In today’s fast-paced world, numerous children care for themselves prior to, or after, the first school bell of the day rings. After school, roughly one in five students from kindergarten to eighth grade, weekly spend time in self-care at least once during every week. Before allowing your child to spend time at home alone, you should:
Remember that you are still your child’s “boss,” even while you are away.
Decide if after-school care is available
Learn how your child feels about being home alone:
Determine if your child can independently solve problems and follow directions
Calculate the duration of time your child would be alone
Contact your local law-enforcement agency to determine cases and varieties of crime in your neighborhood
Create specific rules for your child to follow while he or she is home alone
Provide information to your child about what to do during emergencies, and how you can be contacted
You may also consider the latest child safety products from a child safety store, which could help to constantly keep your child at home, safe.
After determining to let your child spend time home alone, make sure to provide him or her with important information. To begin with, your child should have certain information and be prepared for emergencies. Your son or daughter should know his or her complete name, address, and phone number. Children should also know exact information about their parent or parent’s workplace, and how to contact them.
Prior to children even arriving home, they should take precautions. They must never take shortcuts home and never play or walk alone while returning home. Teach your child that if he or she is being trailed, to spin around, dart in the opposite direction, and go to select locations for emergencies. Also, keys should be hidden and secure when toted.
After children arrive home, it is vital that their homes remain secure. After entering the house, the door must be locked immediately. They should only allow people who they know well and who you have previously approved, in the house. Your child should examine the home before entering it, looking for opened entry points. If something looks amiss, they should call for help from another safe location.
Next, your child should always lock the door after entering and make sure the house is secure. Child safety products from a child safety store can further assure that your child is safe at home.
Lastly, while at home, your child should use the phone to increase security. He or she should check in via phone immediately after returning home. If someone calls for you while your child is home alone, the child should inform the caller that you are unavailable, and not absent. Finally, your child should be aware of how to make emergency phone calls, such as 911.
After school, children have activities to select from, to keep them occupied. If they must spend time at home alone, consider child safety products from a child safety store, to help them to spend it safely.