Parents - Start Young with Safety

June 24 2024
By: Traci D. Long

My parents were both children of WWII veterans, with very structured upbringings. There were certain values instilled in them that they were sure to pass along to us. From an early age, I recall them asking me to recite our home address, phone number, their names, etc. We were instructed to look both ways before crossing the street, and not to take anything from nor ever go with a stranger who did not know our secret password (in case of emergencies). We took CPR and swimming lessons at the YMCA annually. Well into high school, I recall my parents listing, and asking me to repeat back, the precautions to take each time I left for a non-routine event.

Knowing the plan and communicating it regularly helped ensure everyone knew their part and can work collectively when needed. When I was young, it was very much a game to me – like Memory. How much do you recall? How much prompting does it take to remember? How much more can we put up there without losing previous information? But as an adult, I realize it was not a game. It was very important training. Stories shared by relatives and friends about near abductions makes me understand just how essential this was, and still is.

Many of these precautions are now second nature to me, happening instinctively. This has allowed me to build on my capacity for identifying risks over time. I can name at least three instances where this “instinct” saved my life, or at least a limb. I have no doubt there were many more, but they are not so easily identified when avoided early on.

Starting young in safety will help internalize the tactics necessary for a foundation of growth. So to all parents and guardians out there - it's never too early to teach your children about safety. This is a solid investment in their future well-being. Embedding these crucial lessons early on gives them the tools to protect themselves for a lifetime.

Remember that safety is a habit, so start young, stay consistent, and make safety second nature in your life.

Traci D. Long

Traci D Long is the Director of Operations for ProAct Safety. With more than 20 years of experience, she assists with statistical analyses of safety management data, provides project oversight and management for client and internal projects, and assists with the development of quality assurance efforts.

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