Keeping Baby Safe

There are several Baby Sign Language signs that will be useful for parents as they guide their children through safety issues. The first sign that I would suggest you show a child when they're very young is the STAY sign. When babies are young they stay where you place them, unable to turn over or crawl away. While changing the diapers, you can begin showing (modeling) the sign for STAY and put your hand lightly on the baby's chest to indicate the baby should stay still. As the child grows older and can flip over, squirm, and crawl, the stay sign will be useful to keep the child from making a mess.

Also, we play a game called FREEZE. When I sign the sign STAY I freeze my position and encourage my child to freeze.  This game teaches the baby to stop what they are doing and freeze in a game-like activity. It may be a good idea to model this behavior so the child can watch, see, and eventually play the game FREEZE. Later in life, if the child is in a situation where they shouldn't move–where they could get hurt, you may find it’s a good time to play the freeze game. This gamelike approach to learning is a practical use of Baby Sign Language to protect your child from harm. 

Another handy sign to start showing a child very young is DON'T TOUCH or TOUCH NO. This sign is very useful as you have an object that is uncomfortable to touch like sandpaper or some warm (not hot–but warm) mashed potatoes… touch them and say, “Oh, that doesn't feel so good… TOUCH NO. Once the baby has a few experiences of things they touch that don't feel comfortable they will learn the TOUCH NO sign means not to touch something.  
Dr. Joseph Garcia signs "KNIFE"

I also taught my child the sign for SHARP KNIFE and BE CAREFUL. Those signs were very useful to help protect my child from sharp objects such as knives scissors or other sharp objects. My children used some of these items, but after growing up receiving a CAREFUL warning since they can remember helped them use–but respect sharp instruments. Each time I would grab a knife, I would sign SHARP KNIFE, BE CAREFUL and then use the knife to cut something.  After I was finished cutting, I would carefully place the knife down, point to it, and sign SHARP KNIFE and BE CAREFUL again. My grandson combined both signs into one motion that meant SHARP KNIFE-BE CAREFUL. Eventually whenever I picked up a knife my grandson would sign SHARP KNIFE and BE CAREFUL to me, using Baby Sign Language to instruct me on the dangers of sharp objects. 

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