We always want to be there to keep our children safe, but sometimes life provides circumstances that make it impossible to be there in person. Work and school hours may be a bit off, traffic may slow you as you head home, or your child may be at that transitional age where she is too old for a babysitter but too young to be left alone. Whatever the circumstance, there are ways you can increase the amount of after-school safety you offer your child.
Make sure your child has a cell phone that has both you and 911 on speed dial. Many of today’s phones have GPS tracking incorporated and this is well worth seeking out when you make your purchase. Make it a rule that your child check in when they get home and that they stay inside until you arrive. Another thing to do is to place your phone number under the term ICE in your child’s phone contacts. Should something happen, emergency personnel will search a cell phone for this entry, which stands for In Case of Emergency.
Choose a neighbor that you can trust and have your child check in with them upon arriving home. Also, have a trusted neighbor keep an eye on your home to make sure everything is okay and nothing strange, like an unknown person, is hanging around.
*Allow no visitors while you are not home.
*Make sure your child has followed all Internet safety rules and doesn’t mention being home alone.
*Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
*Make it a rule that your child does not answer the door for any reason. Anyone having the right to be there should have their own key. If any family member loses their key, change all locks that are opened by that key.
*Make sure your child knows what to do should the find doors or windows open upon arriving at home. Let them know where to go and who to call and make sure they know not to enter the house.
Get a Dog
Your dog can be a sweet family pet and offer safeguarding for your child. Not only are dogs naturally defensive of their families, but a barking dog will deter many people who are up to no good.
Install a Camera
Installing a camera will help immensely in regards to after-school safety. Not only will it give you an idea of what kind of behavior your child exhibits while you are away, it will also deter would-be burglars. The very act of displaying a security system sticker on your home will deter most burglars, who will look for easier targets.
Install an Alarm System
In case something does go wrong, even after all your attempts at after-school safety, an alarm system that is monitored by an agency will make it possible to get help to your home in the shortest amount of time. An audible alarm will scare off potential burglars. A silent alarm will have police at the door at the first sign of trouble.
In an ideal world, we would be able to be with our children every moment to keep them safe. This isn’t an ideal world, however. By following some, or all, of the above steps, you offer your child a much safer space when they must be home alone.