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Teaching Respect for Fire

Keeping matches and lighters out of your child's reach is only the start. Follow these pointers to make your kids fire-savvy.

  • When you're at a restaurant, ask your kids to point out the nearest exits. Quiz older children by having them find alternate exits.
  • If the smoke detectors go off while your family is staying at a hotel, you should never assume it's a false alarm. Act immediately, and reassure your children by saying, "This is probably nothing to worry about, but we're going to follow their fire-drill procedures just in case."
  • Schedule a tour of your local fire station.
  • Visit child-oriented fire-safety Web sites. Two good places to start are www.sparky.org and www.usfa.fema.gov/kids/.

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Copyright © 2000 Kathleen Ewald. Reprinted with permission from the November 2000 issue of Parents Magazine.