Hudson Valley Parent

HVP August 2015

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Page 16 of 43 ■ Hudson Valley Parent 17 2 to 17 declined 43 percent during those same years. 'Stranger danger' is rare Even our culture's insistence on the perils of "stranger danger" doesn't have a basis in statistics. The people most likely to harm a child are their relatives or family friends, not strangers. (Continued on Page 18) Simple ways for your child to explore risks: Don't babyproof everything Let your baby explore. Of course, if you're worried about your baby electrocuting herself, then get outlet covers for your own peace of mind. But don't feel like you have to pad every corner and block every staircase. Teach your baby early on not to touch the stove and to be careful on the stairs. The sooner she can learn to explore safely, the less you'll need to worry. Stand back at the playground Use this simple rule: If your kids can't get up something with- out help, they don't belong there. This enables them to explore their own limits and abilities — which helps them stay safe when you're not there to catch them. Let your school-aged child do the shopping Older kids love doing things without grown-up help. Does your kid have some tooth fairy money? Try letting her go to the cashier on her own in a store while you wait out of sight. Once she's older, let her go into a store and buy something while you wait outside. — compiled from afi

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