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KID STUFF : Keeping Kids Safe Through the Ages

August 27, 1992|ASSOCIATED PRESS

Kids perceive danger in different ways at different ages, and it's important to recognize these differences to help keep children safe.

"Keep Kids Safe This Summer," a booklet from Whittle Communications' "Special Report Home Library," offers these guidelines:

* Up to age 2: Tots don't differentiate between right or wrong, safe or unsafe. Don't leave them unsupervised or assume they can recognize safety dangers.

* Ages 2 to 5: Fears of injury or falling from a height haven't developed; this highly curious set doesn't grasp long lectures on safety but often will listen when given specific rules and concrete penalties if rules are broken.

* Ages 6 to 10: At this age, youngsters are testing independence and learning how the world works. They can appreciate rules and consequences of their actions, so realistic expectations are needed as reprimands. "Because I say so" and exaggerated predictions of harm may be tuned out.

* Ages 10 and up: Kids are likely to handle most dangerous situations well if they've learned good safety habits. But if your child seems impulsive or shows poor judgment, watch him or her closely.

The booklet also includes tips on bike safety, swing set safety, a "coach checklist" and a safe pool checklist. The booklets are distributed free in physicians' waiting rooms by Whittle Communications.

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