October is Fire Prevention Month and preschoolers and young students everywhere will be learning about the importance of fire safety and fire prevention.
Whether at home or in a classroom, it is important to teach children
how to prevent fires and what to do if a fire breaks out unexpectedly. This is
a good time to check out fire safety websites and to engage preschoolers in
fire safety activities that get them learning about the dangers of fire. Usually,
calmly practicing ahead of time, children are better equipped to handle
Did you know . . .
- You have no more than 3 minutes to escape a burning building.
- More people die from smoke inhalation than from fire itself.
- Fire creates so much smoke that a room turns pitch black in minutes.
- The toxic fumes created by a fire can kill you within a few breaths.
- Heat produced by a fire can exceed temperatures of more than 1000 degrees F, yet temperatures of more than 150 degrees F can cause your body to shut down?
According to the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association), children playing with lighters or matches leads to almost 50,000 reported fires every year, forty-three percent of which were started by a child under the age of 6. More than half of child fire deaths are among children age 4 or younger – making them an important audience for fire prevention and education.
Providing a Safe Environment
Why young children need a safe environment at home! Young children need to have a safe environment at home, why?
- They are too young care for their own safety.
- They cannot understand danger.
A parent telling them about danger, though important, does not always keep them safe.
Keeping young children safe is an adult’s responsibility, so teachers want to see parents and caregivers staying with their preschoolers for their fire safety lessons. Though most fire safety education programs focus on school age children, children under the age of five have a much higher risk of dying in a residential fire compared to children in other age groups.
Teaching Fire Prevention and Safety to Preschoolers
When a house fire starts, children can become very afraid and confused. They may not understand what is happening or how they should react. With as little as two minutes to escape unharmed, they must know how to crawl low to the ground with their mouths covered if there is smoke and to feel for a hot door before exiting a room.
- Teach children never to hide from firefighters.
- Teach children to NEVER return to a burning building.
- Children’s sleepwear is required to be flame-resistant or snug fitting. Only allow your children to sleep in pajamas, not “day wear,” such as T-shirts or sweatpants.
- Teach children to STOP, DROP, COVER THEIR FACE and ROLL if their clothing catches on fire.
The first step in any fire prevention plan is to ensure all fire alarms, sprinkler systems and extinguishers are fully operational. Practice your escape routes monthly to ensure everyone. Teaching fire safety to young children is important, so take time this Fire Prevention Month to talk to your child about fire. It could save his or her life!
FIRE SAFETY LESSONS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD
- Keep hands away from matches, lighters or anything fire related. Always ask an adult to help if you need to light a candle or to heat something up. Use flashlights in the dark if needed instead of candles, unless supervised by an adult.
- It is fun to roast marshmallows, cook hot dogs, and sit around a campfire, but always make sure to stay at least an arm’s length distance when sitting around a fire or cooking over a grill.
- If your clothes catch on fire remember to STOP, DROP and ROLL as it will take away the oxygen that keeps the fire burning.
- If a fire starts in the house or at school, go to the nearest exit and wait for the rest of your group in a safe place outside. If a door is hot, NEVER go through it. If you are on the ground floor try a window instead or wait for help as far away from the door as possible.
- NEVER go back inside a burning building! Make sure you or an adult call 911, and the firefighters will be there quickly to help stop the fire using water and other types of extinguishers depending on the kind of fire it is.
These safety lessons are a good foundation for t your child. Constant reminders and consistent emphasis on the importance of each of these rules will help ensure the child won’t forget. T's Learning Center helps instill these good safety rules in our toddlers and preschoolers every day!