Component 1: Health and Safety Practices

Learning Goal 1.b: Children become increasingly able to identify unsafe situations and gradually learn strategies for responding to them.

By 9 months, most children:

  • Express discomfort or anxiety in stressful situations
  • Demonstrates a recognition of the difference between their primary caregiver and a stranger

By 18 months, most children:

  • Sometime respond appropriately to redirection given by an adult caregiver

By 24 months, most children:

  • Respond appropriately to redirection by adults unless too caught up in a game or emotion
  • Demonstrate a beginning understanding when adults say “stop” or “danger” by stopping or listening to adults
  • Hold hands briefly with adults when walking but often break contact when distracted by another person or object

By 36 months, most children:

  • Recognize or identify some harmful or unsafe objects and situations
  • Stop a behavior in response to direction by an adult
  • Understand and participate in the routine of holding hands with an adult when walking in public places
  • Seek an adult’s help in some unsafe or dangerous situations

By 48 months, most children:

  • Recognize unsafe situations and tell an adult; alert adult when another child is in a dangerous situation
  • Understand the difference between “safe touch” and “unsafe touch,” especially if previously instructed
  • Tell what the consequences are of unsafe behaviors
  • With adult assistance, look both ways before crossing the street

By 60 months, most children:

  • Follow safety rules with adult assistance
  • Recognize symbols or signs for danger (e.g., poison labels) and avoid those objects or areas
  • Follow emergency routines after adult instruction
  • Understand the consequences of not following rules related to safety