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Safety as a Basic Need


Safety issues occupy the second rung in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. They are less important than the most basic issues, having to do with food and shelter, but they are more important than most everything else in life. When you don't feel safe as you go about your life, you are likely to be on guard all the time; worried, anxious, vigilant and stressed out. You are rather unlikely to have extra energy or attention available for dealing with less demanding, pressing life issues.

Whether or not you feel safe has to do with your perception of whether you are in danger or not. We use the word "perception" deliberately here. Believing that you are safe is different than actually being safe. Some people are afraid of getting on airplanes for fear that they will crash, but have no problem getting in a car (which is much more likely than a plane to get into a serious accident!). It it is not enough that you are safe; you have to feel that you are safe too.

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Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!

How can I prevent safety risks for all the members of my family?

  • Caregivers can help babies to safely explore their world by attending to and fixing aspects of babies' environments that may be dangerous for them.
  • By law, all fifty United States require that infants and younger children must be restrained in a crash-tested child restraint seat while riding in a motor vehicle.
  • Use the safety tips in this checklist to help keep young children safe.
  • Caregivers can ensure a good night's sleep for their babies and themselves by following these tips to create a safe sleeping space for infants and toddlers.
  • Kitchens can easily be either the center of a rich and busy family life or a dangerous place where young children are not allowed.
  • Caregivers can make sure certain safety precautions have been taken as children and families go about their daily business.
  • Caregivers should follow certain safety precautions to help ensure that everyone stays happy and healthy when playing outside and on a playground.
  • There are several things that caregivers can do to reduce the possibility that their children will be harmed in a fire-related situation.
  • Older people are also at special risk for death and injury from fires.
  • Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning alarm to your household.
  • It's important to follow safety tips to maintain a fire safe home this winter.
  • Adults also need to be vaccinated from time to time to protect themselves against serious infectious diseases.
  • Each year thousands of older men and women are disabled, sometimes permanently, by falls that result in broken bones.