Introduction Children deserve to live and play in safe environments. Adults have the re-
sponsibility to keep children safe; children should not be expected to actively
protect themselves. Safety education helps young children develop awareness
for a safer life and realize that they can control some aspects of their safety
through certain actions. Safety education also helps young children develop
skills for safe actions and understand possible consequences of unsafe behav-
ior. The earlier children learn about safety, the more naturally they will de-
velop the attitudes and respect that lead to lifelong patterns of safe behavior.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional
injury is the leading cause of death in children (and adults to age forty-four). Be-
cause children’s cognition is developing, many cannot consistently identify dan-
gerous situations. Also, they often act impulsively, without stopping to consider
danger. The goal of safety education, then, is to help children develop safety
awareness and learn that they can control some aspects of their safety.
Teach safety in a way that does not frighten children but helps them learn
steps to take care of themselves. Help children realize that they can control some
aspects of their safety; for example, safe play may prevent injury. Explain that
they can make choices to stay safe, just as they wash their hands to prevent dis-
ease, and brush their teeth to prevent cavities.
This curriculum will introduce children to lifelong habits that promote safety.
Children will gain a higher measure of confidence as they learn about safety and
begin to incorporate actions into their lives that make them feel safer. Topics
include pedestrian safety, use of seat belts, fire and burn prevention, weapons
avoidance, poisoning prevention, and tobacco and alcohol awareness.
Each chapter covers one topic and starts with an overview that includes sug-
gested interest area materials, learning objectives, vocabulary words to intro-
duce and use (which should include vocabulary words in the languages spoken
by the families of children in the class), supports for creating the learning envi-
ronment, and suggestions for evaluating children’s understanding of the topic.
The overview is followed by activity ideas. Icons appear with each activity to
identify the areas of development and learning integrated into the activity:
t = Science
= Social Emotional
Each chapter concludes with a family information page and a take-home
family activity page, both of which can be photocopied from the book and dis-
tributed to families. These pages can also be downloaded from the Growing,
Growing Strong page at www.redleafpress.org for electronic sharing or printing.
INTEREST AREA MATERIALS
many kinds of hats and helmets
empty fire extinguisher without pin
belts and belt hanger
luggage cart and tie-down
baby or doll stroller
centerpieces car safety seats and booster seats
tablecloth doll high chair with safety strap
flashlights empty, clean rubbing alcohol
containers cellophane paper (red, yellow, green)
Blocks many kinds of toy vehicles (fire trucks, belt buckles for hauling
buses, trains, airplanes)
toy people to be pedestrians
small exit signs to use in building
traffic signs (Stop, Yield, etc.)
road play mat/carpet
small tornado shelter signs to use in
building string, rope, leather lacing, and yarn