Safety first with Maddie and Matt

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Teaching kids about safety is tricky – there’s a fine line between scaring them with unnecessary detail and making sure they know the difference between right and wrong.

Maddie & Matt’s Safe World is a free app designed to equip children with sensible tips that they can apply to potentially dangerous situations. The ‘dangerous’ situations included in the app aren’t the Bear-Grylls-hanging-down-a-ravine variety. Rather, they’re common scenarios that children are likely to encounter such as understanding warning signs and basic ‘stranger-danger’.

The cartoon-style app includes a story (titled Rough Day) and a number of simple games. The safety tips described in the story range from very simple things such as washing your hands before you eat and not sharing food at school to the more ‘advanced’ such as what to do when someone hurts themselves playing in the yard or what to do when confronted by an aggressive dog. Some of the situations are extreme (such as spotting a snake and what to do in an earthquake) however if they’re likely scenarios for your child then they must be discussed.

Note that there are some aspects of Rough Day that you may not feel are appropriate for your child and therefore it should be ‘read’ independently by a parent first.

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The best part of this app are the simple games. There are four including one about safety signs, road safety and safety equipment. One of my boys was obsessed with road signs when he was a toddler and would have loved the game which describes the meaning of fifty common road and safety signs.

Maddie & Matt’s Safe World is suitable for iPads and is available free from iTunes. It’s suitable for children who can read.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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