More and more kids are being trusted with staying home alone. So, if you have decided your children are mature enough to watch themselves, it would be a great idea to go over some precautions that will help keep them safe. This article outlines four areas that your child will need to know to keep them safe and sound at home.
Go over Security Measures
Once your child enters the house, make sure they lock the door. Have your child practice locking and unlocking all locks throughout the home. If your home has a security system, teach your child how to arm and disarm it. Many security systems also have the ability to call for help; advise your child that if they cannot reach help through the phone, they can use the security system instead. And, of course, make sure they know not to answer the door for strangers, even if they are older.
Plan for an Emergency
In the event of an emergency, your child should feel confident that they know how to get to safety. Start with creating an escape plan. When things get scary, children usually run and hide; teach your child how to get out of the house and find help. Practice the escape plan often so your child won’t forget. Also, create a list of emergency contacts for your child to reach in case something happens. Keep this list in plain sight and along the route your child would take to get help.
If you have an older child babysitting their siblings, train them to keep a close eye on their younger brother or sister while they play. Remind them to never leave a child in the bath alone, especially if they have toys or objects to play with. This type of distraction can be misleading. Even if drowning isn’t likely, the child can get severely burned by water that is too hot.
Remind your kids to put away their toys once they are done playing. In case of an emergency, a toy or other objects can obstruct a path, making it hard to get to safety quickly. And never let your kids play on furniture. A serious injury can turn life threatening if your child is home alone.
Proper Food Allergy and Medication Usage
If your child is allergic to any foods, explain to them how to protect themselves from a reaction. Label any foods that may be a threat, or keep these foods in a location that would make it hard for your child to mistakenly ingest them. Also, let your child know to seek help immediately. Some children may be afraid of getting into trouble for doing something they shouldn’t. Help them understand that they won’t be punished for making a mistake.
If your child is on medication, you may want to question whether or not it is a good idea to leave them alone. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to learn about side effects that may impact your child. If they seem severe, you may want to wait until your child is off the medication before allowing them to stay at home. If you feel comfortable leaving your child home alone, be sure to leave details about the medication in a place where emergency responders can get it.
Leaving your kids at home is a big decision.
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