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The importance of teaching children about fire safety

Children need to know that fire is serious.  We do not want them to become a terrible statistic.
Children need to know that fire is serious. We do not want them to become a terrible statistic.Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

According to the National Fire Date Center, each year it is estimated that 2,800 children age 14 and under are injured and about 850 are killed in this country due to residential fires. Those are sobering statistics and a very good reason to help children become aware of fire safety. This is especially important in cool climes where wood is often a supplemental heat source.

When teaching kids about fire safety it is important to tell them why fire is dangerous and what to do if a fire takes place. Little children may not comprehend the seriousness of a fire emergency. So it is of utmost importance that adults act as role models to instruct them that fire is a tool, not a toy. It is important that children be taught that matches and lighters are not toys and should only be handled by adults.

Another important aspect of teaching children about fire safety is to instruct them what to do in case of fire. Plan an escape route out of your home, daycare or preschool. Decide on a designated meeting place. Have regular fire drills so kids can practice what to do. Teach children how to call 911 in case of an emergency.Practice, practice, practice stop, drop and roll in case clothing catches on fire.

A visit to a local fire department and talking to firefighters is another good educational tool in keeping children safe. If you cannot make a trip to the fire department, have a local firefighter some to your preschool or daycare. The firefighters can explain what kind of equipment they use and help underscore the importance of fire safety. Keeping our children safe is a priority. We do not want them to become part of some grim statistic.