Safety skills for children more important than ever

June 04, 2024 - 08:57
Many families also teach their children simple lessons such as how to open the driver's door when forgotten in the car or what to do if fire breaks out at home.
The school bus where the five-year-old boy was forgotten in Thái Bình Province last week. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Following the tragic death of a five year old boy in Thái Bình Province after being forgotten on a school bus, numerous families and schools in Hà Nội have begun teaching their children basic safety and emergency skills.

Teachers at Mario House Kindergarten on Trần Khát Chân Street, Hai Bà Trưng District, organised sessions for children to teach them some fundamental life skills, in case they get lost or forgotten in a room or inside a car or bus, or are at home when fire breaks out.

Teacher Nguyễn Thị Thu Hằng, Mario House Kindergarten, said: "As a mother with a five-year-old child and a kindergarten teacher, I have taught my children at home and the children at school to whistle in the car to attract the attention of others when unfortunately being forgotten.

"I also ask them to always follow adults and teach them escape skills if there is an incident,” she told Voice of Vietnam (VOV).

Vương Khả Hân, a five-year-old student at the Mario House Kindergarten, said: “The teachers teach me to shout out to attract others' attention and ask for help when some strangers take us away. We’ve also been taught what it could be like to be trapped in a fire and learned how to escape.”

Many families also teach their children simple lessons such as how to open the driver's door if they are left in the car, or why it is important to follow adults when going outdoors, or what to do if there is a fire.

In a difficult situation, parents believe that these skills are absolutely essential.

"Not only the school but the parents also need to equip their children with knowledge of knocking the window and shouting out to call others or to get wet towels to cover your nose in a fire,” said one parent who wished to remain anonymous.

“Children have to understand that they are in danger and that they require assistance but the kids need to help themselves too if no one steps in to help. For instance, the horn in a car still remains operational even when the motor is switched off. We ought to teach the kids to honk,” the parent said.

Dr. Lê Văn Thiệu, department of General Infection under the National Tropical Diseases Hospital said, in addition to teaching children the safety skills needed in case of emergencies, parents should still keep a close eye on their children when they travel in groups.

He said: "It is imperative that children receive the appropriate training, but we also cannot allow them to engage in outdoor activities unsupervised by adults. Parents ought to form groups and divide duties among themselves, such as designating a job to watch over kids so they can better manage them and deal with emergencies."

Five years ago, a first grader at an international school in Hà Nội also died after being forgotten on a school bus.

Following that case, the Ministry of Education and Training demanded more robust solutions to guarantee student safety on shuttle buses to school. Educational institutions were required to use only qualified transportation services to pick up school children.

In May 2020, the Ministry of Education and Training proposed that transporting students be considered as a special type of transport, along with stricter regulations to enhance the safety, capacity and responsibility of the related entities (the service provider, driver, student manager). Participating organisations and individuals in this service must be assigned particular duties, receive training and hold practice certificates.

Article 70 of the draft Law on Roads, which is now being considered by the National Assembly, outlines the transportation procedures for picking up preschoolers and students in cars. — VNS