Safety: Are your kids ready to stay home alone?

  • Review basic safety rules on a regular basis.
  • Discuss how to respond in the event of an emergency situation, and role-play responses.
  • You might like your child to attend a Latchkey Kids Program along with a Basic First Aid Course. Check you local hospitals, YMCA or library to learn about programs in your area.
  • Post all important phone numbers, and special instructions in a central location, such as on the fridge.
  • Explain that you expect your child to come straight home from school, and to call you if there is any delay.
  • Remind your child to never accept a ride.
  • Ask your child to call you or a trusted neighbor as soon as he gets home from school.
  • Instruct your child not to enter your house if the door is open, unlocked, or if anything seems unusual.
  • Remind your child not to answer the door (without your prior approval) - Install a peephole at his eye level.
  • Instruct your child that he should never let someone at the door or on the phone know he is alone.
  • Be sure you feel that your child can comfortably handle using the telephone, operate the security system/door, and can safely use any appliances they might be using after school.
  • Be sure you have a working fire extinguisher and your child knows how to operate it (and you have smoke detectors with fresh batteries appropriately placed throughout your house.)
  • Plan escape routes and meeting place outside your home in case of fire.
  • Ask that your child let you know immediately if anything makes them uncomfortable or frightened.
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