August marks the start of school for many students throughout the Southeast. If your family is like most, your of-age children could be home alone for some time after school. This of course, may cause you some anxiety over their safety. No need to stress! Read on to learn more of our favorite tips for keeping kids safe after school when they’re home alone.
Make it a Rule to Check In
Whether your kids walk home from school, take a bus, or are dropped off by another carpool parent, you want to know that they have arrived home safely. Make it a rule that your kids text or call you to let you know they are home. If you have a smart doorbell or an IQ Panel 2 from SafeTouch, you can be alerted to see who’s at the door or who disarmed your system, even when you’re away.
Stick to a Routine
Know what route your child takes home from school, especially if they walk to and from school. This way you have somewhere to start if you do not hear from them or are unable to reach them after school. Make sure they understand they should always let you know if they will not be going home immediately after school.
Create an Emergency Plan
You can never know when an emergency might strike. Create an emergency plan with your children so that they know what to do in case of an emergency and who to call. If needed, make a written copy and hang it where it can be seen. Discuss such emergencies as:
- Gas leak
- Strangers and break-ins
- Severe weather
- Illness or injury
Prominently Post Important Phone Numbers
During an emergency, your child needs to know who to call. You cannot rely on them remembering phone numbers or having immediate access to their cellphones. Keep a list of phone numbers posted in a prominent place in your home so that your child has the numbers they need in an emergency. Do not forget to list your home address on the list because it can be easy for a child to forget it in an emergency when calling 911 or other emergency services.
Inspect Your Home for Safety Hazards
We would all like to think our homes are safe, but it is always a good idea to periodically inspect it for any safety hazards. This can include overloaded electrical outlets and frayed cords that could spark a fire, unsecured firearms, or an unattended swimming pool. Make sure any unsafe conditions are addressed or discussed with your child.
Establish the Ground Rules
Even the most well-behaved kids can take chances doing things that you might not expect they would do – particularly when they’re home alone. Make sure to establish ground rules, especially with your kids about how you expect them to behave while you are not at home. Such topics to discuss include:
- Are they allowed to leave the house when you are not home?
- Who can be in your home while you are not there?
- Are they allowed to cook while you are not home?
- Will they be responsible for looking after younger siblings?
- Should they answer the door when you are not home?
- What chores or other activities, like doing homework must be done after school?
Install a Home Security System for Peace of Mind
With the right home security system, you can have peace of mind knowing that you can:
- Monitor when your children arrive or leave home.
- Receive instant email or video notifications whenever your system is armed or disarmed.
- Remotely monitor security cameras to see who is coming into your home.
Contact SafeTouch Security to learn more about how owning a home security system can help give you peace of mind.