Safety Guide for Children at Home Alone
When you have determined your child is old enough and the circumstances are safe enough, you may begin to leave your child home alone for brief periods. Be certain your child knows how to keep themselves safe.
There are some basic rules that your child has to know when he or she is at home alone. For example, your child should know how to lock and unlock all of the doors and windows for safety. Any appliances that your child needs to use should be safely plugged in, and you need to make sure that your child knows how to operate these appliances. If they are not allowed to use certain appliances, make sure that these are unplugged or out of reach, or that you are certain your child is mature enough to follow your rule.
Remember to go over the basic rules with your child every so often to remind him or her. Make sure that your child understands to never let strangers into the house, and that he or she does not answer calls from unknown callers. Tell your child to tell you about any fears that they might have about being home alone so that you can address these fears.
Your child should know how to do basic first aid in case he or she gets minor injuries. For example, if your child gets a shallow cut, he or she should know how to clean the wound and bandage it up. If in case your child gets into a more serious accident, he or she should know how to call 911. Make sure that your child knows all of the important numbers in case of an emergency like your work number and people he or she can contact.
Also, set up an emergency kit in an easily accessible part of the house in case of a storm or a black out. The kit should include a flashlight and some batteries. Tell your child where to stay in case of a black out or a storm, like in the basement or in the living room. Teach your child about how to be safe during emergencies like fires and earthquakes. These are rare occurrences, but it is necessary for your child to be prepared for any situation. To lessen the chance of fires, make sure that your child does not use the stove unless he or she is old enough.
If you have neighbors that you can trust, then give them a set of keys so that if your child accidentally gets locked out, he or she can go to the neighbors. Your child should keep his or her key hidden somewhere safe on their person preferably, and not make it broadly known to all their friends that they carry their house key. It is best if they not have their friends over because a friend may influence a child to break rules they normally would not.
If you follow these steps, your child will be a lot safer in your home when you're not around. Remember that your child's safety is of the utmost importance, and do not forget to check up on your child by telephone or other means until you return.
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