4 simple rules for your kid's safety around escalators, playgrounds and cars

Follow these helpful, useful tips and teach your children how to behave for their own good.

Mum-of-two and creative director Ngow Fei Fei, 40, takes her family cycling every week. And every time they troop to the park, they're properly attired with helmets, riding gloves and covered shoes.

“Whenever we travel out in full gear, we always get stares from strangers. They probably think we’re crazy for taking something so leisurely as cycling so seriously," Ngow says. "For a lot of families, cycling is just a casual activity, so they may not feel the need to insist that their kids wear helmets or gloves. (But) my husband and I are into extreme sports, so we know how dangerous it can get and how important helmets are. My kids always have their helmets on, even if it’s just cycling outside our house because you never know when an accident will happen.” 

Ngow says bicycle helmets for children can be found in most hypermarkets and bicycle shops. A quality purchase can last for years. After her kids, five and eight, started sustaining light injuries due to falls while cycling, she added on the gloves for them.  

“Even bicycles with training wheels can cause children to topple over if they are not familiar with turning corners. Parents need to keep an eye on their children at all times to ensure that they do not sustain serious injuries, even if they have their helmets or protective gear on," says Ngow. "It’s not enough just telling them what to do; they want to know why. People may laugh at me about being overprotective of my kids, but safety always comes first in my family. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Keeping their hands on the handrail and standing within the yellow lines are some of the escalator safety tips that May Lim and her daughter Amelia Lee learned at a Child Safe Shopping workshop in Sunway Pyramid mall.

Escalator safety tips 

1. Hold a child's hand firmly and step on a moving escalator quickly but carefully.

2. Stand inside the yellow lines and hold the handrails on either side.

3. Stand and face forward. Never sit on the steps or climb in a reserve direction.

4. Step off the escalator quickly at the end and immediately move aisde to make way for others behind you. 

Watch their steps: Children are less aware of danger and so parents must keep a watchful eye on them. - AZMAN GHANI / The Star

Playground safety tips 

1. Insist that children on slides use the ladder instead of climbing up the slide. Don't allow pushing or shoving on the ladder, and have kids go up one at a time. 

2. Kids under four shouldn't be allowed to use equipment that's taller than they are without supervision. 

3. From the ages of three to five, children should only play on a see-saw with other kids of comparable age and size. Children under three haven't developed hand and feet coordination to use the equipment. 

4. On metal equipment, check for exposed or rusty bolts, as well as sharp points or edges. 

Lalitha Balakrishnan always ensures that her daughter is buckled into a car seat whenever they are on the road.
Lalitha Balakrishnan always has her daughter buckled into a car seat when they're driving. 

Car safety tips 

1. Look before you lock the doors. Always place your bags or mobile phone in the backseat to remind yourself that your child is in the car with you.

2. Never leave a kid unattended in a car with the engine running, even if it's just for a quick errand. Bring them with you at all times. 

3. Before moving or reversing your car, make sure you know where your child is. Walk around the car if you must. 

4. Make sure that the safety locks are switched on for the windows, so that your children don't injure themselves when they press on the switches. Better still, teach them not to play with the switches. 

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