Safety is important when you are home, but what happens when you’re not? If your child is old enough to stay home alone you should help them understand how important following safety procedures are. Teaching your children how to be safe when they’re alone at home is easy. Here’s a comprehensive list of safety exercises to teach your kids how to stay safe when they’re alone at home.
- Make sure your child knows their own personal information like phone number, address, full name, and allergies. If something should occur and your child is allergic to a certain medication, the paramedics will need to know
- Show your child how to dial 911 and talk to the emergency operator. This may seem like a no-brainer but many people, especially when they’re in danger, freeze up and become completely incoherent when the emergency operator picks up. Explain to your child what to say after they’ve dialed 911 and how its okay if they’re scared and that the emergency operator is going to send help.
- Post a list of easy to read emergency numbers somewhere that your child can see them. Most people stick these numbers on the fridge or near the front door. On this list, include your child’s allergy information as well.
- Show your child where the first aid kit is and how to use it. Keep the kit fully stocked and replenish items after they’ve been used.
- Do not instill fear when teaching your child about home safety. Telling your kids that a burglar can strike at any moment when they’re home alone is only going to scare them. Tell your young ones that having emergency numbers handy are just precautions. If you leave your child home alone and they’re convinced the house is going to get robbed, you are going to come home to a very unsettled and scared kid.
- Prepare for a power outage by leaving flashlights and extra batteries in an easy to get to place. Show your child how to use the flashlight and load the batteries in case of a power failure.
- Keep weapons locked up. If you own a gun or knife collection – even if these items are just for show – you need to keep them locked up when your children are left unsupervised. Furthermore, if there is a break in, the assailant can use these items on your children.
- Practice evacuation routes in case of fire. To really keep your home fire-free when your child is alone, set a no-stove/no-cooking rule.
- Parents, don’t forget to leave your cell phone on at all times and make sure it is at least partially charged. Your child needs to be able to reach you when they’re alone and if your phone dies or is off, how can they get in touch?
There is no law that states at what age children can be left alone so please use your discretion. If your child has a problem remembering their full name and phone number or likes to break the no-cooking rule, they shouldn’t be left alone.