Children are naturally curious explorers who tend to satisfy their curiosity by exploring and experimenting with unfamiliar objects. As they navigate through the wonders of life, they may unknowingly expose themselves to chemical hazards or other potentially harmful substances. To ensure children's safety, it is crucial to educate them on the dangers of these substances and provide appropriate guidance on how to use them correctly.
This evidence-based health education lesson teaches kindergarten students how to act positively around potentially hazardous substances. Using age-appropriate teaching strategies, the lesson teaches young students to avoid chemicals that they are unfamiliar with and always seek the advice of adults before using them.
The lesson commences with the teacher reading the tale of Harry Harms-Not, another member of the Goodbody family. Harry swims in the swimming pool on a hot summer day. His mother, Ms. Goodbody, tells him to apply sun protection to avoid sunburn. With his excitement to jump in the water, Harry ignores his mother’s advice and stays too long in the pool under the intense heat of the scorching sun. He later regrets his decision when he cannot sleep that night because he feels so much pain and illness.
"Chemical poisoning and substance abuse due to unintentional ingestion or misuse of household products pose a serious threat to children."
Like anything else, sun exposure can benefit health, but excessive exposure can pose dangers. This valuable lesson enlightens students about the potential harm of substance misuse and abuse to physical health.
In the following interactive SEL activity, students engage in critical thinking to test their understanding of the lesson. They listen to three relatable situations and wave their "No Way" signal when they recognize the example as harmful to their health.
During the activity, kindergarten students meet Dean-Do Right, Harry’s brother and part of the Goodbody family. Students wave their "No Way" signals when Dean Do-Right takes medicine without the advice of a doctor or an adult. Worse than that, Dean takes more medicine than needed when he does not feel better immediately.
The lesson ends with the third example, illustrating a child named Bobby who uses the insect spray his dad always uses for the fruit trees. Kindergartners wave their "No Way" signals as they understand that the best thing to do is not to touch such things when their parents are not around. Finally, the students take their signs home to show their parents and remind themselves not to abuse harmful substances.
Chemical poisoning and substance abuse due to unintentional ingestion or misuse of household products pose a serious threat to children. This is why teaching them to recognize potential hazards and seek adult guidance through this lesson is so important. In this way, they become equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect themselves and prevent harm.