6 Safety Tips for Kids Home Alone This Summer
Summer vacation is in full swing. For many kids, this means pool parties, cookouts and sleepovers with friends.
It may also mean being at home alone while parents are at work. No matter the age of a child, every parent worries about safety, particularly if a child is staying alone for the first time.
1. Determine if They Are Ready
Age is important, but it’s not the only factor to consider when deciding whether your child is ready to stay home alone.
While children under the age of 10 should never be left alone, it’s more a matter of maturity for older children. Consider how well your child handles various situations and discuss how they would react during an emergency
2. Perform a Trial Run
If your child is staying at home for the first time, do a practice run to assess their comfort level. Leave them at home for 30 minutes while you go to the store or somewhere nearby.
Ask them how they felt when you return home and address any concerns
3. Post Emergency Info
Make sure your child knows who to call in the event of an emergency.
These numbers should not only be programmed into their cell phones, but they should be posted somewhere in the house, such as on the refrigerator
4. Discuss Phone and Internet Safety
Talk your child about phone and internet safety. They should never share their location online or reveal they are alone over social media.
If someone calls, they should tell the caller their parents are unavailable rather than not at home
5. Discuss How to Answer the Door
Unless your child is expecting someone, they should never answer the door when home alone.
Criminals are skilled at masking their identity and will often pose as sales reps, service providers or someone claiming to have an emergency.
6. Talk to Your Kids About These Safe Habits
- Get your child in the habit of locking doors and windows.
- If you have a security system, familiarize your child with it. They should know how to activate and deactivate it.
- Make sure your child knows where to find a fire extinguisher and how to use it.
- Children should be on the look-out for unfamiliar cars, people or activity in their neighborhood. If they notice anything unusual, they should contact a trusted adult.
- If your child is arriving home to an empty house, they should take note of anything out of place in the yard or home’s exterior. If they notice a broken window or door, they should not enter the home. This could be a sign of a break-in, and an intruder may still be inside.