Community Safety 101: Toddlers


You know, sometimes just keeping our children safe feels like a full job in-and-of itself. Between making sure our kids don’t run out into the middle of the road or put something that they think is oh-so enticing into their mouths (even though you’ve told them over and over again not to), it’s exhausting.

While we as adults understand that what community safety is, to a point where it’s almost second nature; children have yet to grasp that concept. So, here are some basic community safety tips and talking points for you to teach your little one.


Teaching road and sidewalk safety (You need to hold my hand! What? No, you can’t just stop in the middle of a cross walk to pick up a rock!)


While walking (even to the car, mailbox or even just stepping out onto the front porch/stoop) it helps to point out potential safety hazards. Keep talking to your children while walking, keep them engaged and aware of their surroundings and potential hazards:


Cars driving too fast down the street

Blind spots for drivers

Needing to stay off electronic devices while walking

Wearing reflective clothing in low lighting

Utilizing cross walks appropriately

Learning what road signs are and their meanings

Noting that even though there are stop signs/stop lights-that caution should still be used as one does not know if a driver will stop or even notice the sign

Teaching children the rules of the road; where and when pedestrians have the right of way V.S. where vehicles have the right away



Teaching children safety in cars (Don’t you dare unbuckle yourself!!):


Why we use seatbelts, car seats and why children under a certain weight and height limit should remain in the back seat

Why it’s important to be respectful when in a car; how easily drivers can become distracted. (No, I can’t just turn around to see the cute dog walking down the street.)



Teaching children about stranger danger (Because, please, please, please stop going up to random people and giving them hugs.):


Helping your child understand that adults should never ask a child for help, especially if there are other adults around

Having children tell a trusted adult that someone they don’t know tried to talk to them

Helping children understand that they should not just walk up to anyone for help, that they should find community helpers: uniformed police, fire fighters, store clerks with nametags or a parent with children

Helping children understand that they should always ask for permission from you before going anywhere with anyone

Having children understand that they should let you know if anyone asks them to keep something a secret, makes you feel uncomfortable/not safe or tries to get them to go with someone


Now go out there and keep your kids safe! (Yeah, that’s easier said than done: it’s almost like kids don’t believe us when we tell them things, weird right?)





Community Safety Resources:

Children’s Wisconsin