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3 Safety Tips for Kids When Staying Home Alone

 

Take the time to learn several safety tips for kids that may come in handy, especially when you have no other choice but leave them alone at home. You may have to go to work, to school or run important errands and the babysitter has not arrived yet, or you just can't find one. It is never ideal to leave kids at home without an adult to look after and supervise them. However, if you have to do so, follow the home safety tips listed below when you're leaving the kids behind.

1. On Opening Doors

Remind your child not to open doors to strangers and even to people they know, not unless it's an emergency. But before you tell them about not letting strangers come in, let them know what exactly a "stranger" means. People they see every day or occasionally, such as the postman or the babysitter next door, are also strangers. A familiar face itself could even be a stranger. Remind your child not open the door to anyone, that doors and gates should be locked at all times and to always check through the window or peephole when someone knocks or rings the bell. Avoid scheduling deliveries when you're not at home, too. Tell your child not to entertain people in the doorstep if they do not recognize them.

2. Phone Safety

As much as possible, activate your phone's caller ID and voicemail feature. Tell them not to pick up the phone unless the number on the ID is yours or any of the family members. You can write down a list of the family members' phone numbers and place it near the telephone. They can also wait for the answering machine and simply pick it up if it's you or one of the family members. 

If they happen to pick up the phone and they don't know who's on the other line, instruct them not to give out any form of information, such as they're currently alone at home, the exact home address or anything related to the household. In dealing with prank callers, tell them to simply hang up. You can teach them to say "No one can come to the phone now because they're busy; I'll take a message."

3. Internet Safety

Remind your kids to avoid posting statuses over the Internet that say they are currently alone at home. Instruct them to avoid chatting with random strangers. They might think it's harmless since it's cyberspace.

Other safety tips include the following:

  • Provide a list of numbers to contact in case of emergencies such as the fire department, 911 and both your work and mobile phone number.
  • Keep sharp objects hidden such as knives, scissors and gardening tools.
  • If it does not interfere with any of the family members' health conditions, you may want to have a dog at home. Aside from providing an extra measure of security and protection, dogs are also perfect companions for your kids at home.

You might want to do a test run--leave your child by walking in the neighborhood for 20 to 30 minutes. After this, ask your child how he feels about it.

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