Protecting your kids really does not need you to have the kids wrapped in a bubble or you become the helicopter kind of parent. There are simple things which you need to do and let them known to the child for safety. For instance, the most commonly used home safety methods is use of locks, alarm systems and smoke detectors. Let such things known to your child. Let the child beware of an emergency locksmith whom in case of emergency can be consulted.
At which age is your kid old enough to be left home alone? This depends on you. Its only you can assess the comfort level, judgement and maturity of your child. Some state or cities have laws stating which age children should be left home alone and therefore, before decide ensure you check for that.
Go ahead and ask the kid how they feel about being home alone. If the child seems afraid or worried, be sure they are not yet ready. If the child is keen to give it a try, the experience builds independence. If the child is ready, there are rules which you should let known to them. The rules include:
1. Emergency Plan
Carry out a thorough inspection of your home for all safety risks possible. Ensure smoke detectors in the house are functioning well. Also do not assume your alarm, review its sound and show your child what they can do if the alarm goes off. In case of an alarm going off, let the kid know that they should get out immediately then from a neighbor’s house call 911. Draw for the kid best pathways of exiting the house for safety.
2. Check in Always
Inform the child that he/she must make a call or message the parent immediately they get home. This should come first in the routine after school before snacking or doing homework.
3. Keep Off the Phone
Your child should not be able to answer calls from anyone thus set guidelines concerning the phone. If your landline has caller ID, let the child not answer calls from any number or name he/she cannot recognize. For ones with no caller ID, let the child direct all calls to voicemail. In case the child has their own cell phone, let the same guidelines on her cell phone too.
4. Never Leave the House
Unless there is an emergency like fire, the child should never leave the house. Make known to the child the risks of leaving the home alone like burglary, theft and other bad happenings.
5. Use The Same Route Home
Have the child use the same route every day from and to school. Take a review of the streets which your child uses if the child walks. If she uses a bus, let it be a bus for her everyday even when friends offer rides. Knowing the route, she uses helps in predicting the time taken from school and also trace the steps of the child in case of a problem.
6. Keep The Child Busy
Although after school is intended for rest and rejuvenation, the child will be less likely to enter into trouble if busy. Occupy the child with things like house chores, music practice and also homework.
7. Practice with The Child First Aid
Have a first aid kit with you then review it together with your child. Help the child differentiate a serious emergency from a minor one which they can handle.