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Kids are going back to school and that means parents who work outside of the home, will have help with caring for their kids after-school.
Whether it’s a babysitter, family member, neighbor or whether your child teenager is old enough to come home to an empty house, it’s important to go voer home safety rules every so often. Take the month of August to reevaluate your family safety plan.
Being aware of potential danger is the first stop to preventing harm!
School bus safety and rules come from the school district. Take the time to go over the school bus rules with your child so that they know what to expect. It is important to tell your child(ren) to let you know that the ride to and from school isn’t safe any longer for a variety of reasons (bullying, unsafe driver, unruly students, heat or cold)
If you child walks home alone, or with a group of friends, make sure you have a system set up to check on them each day right after they arrive home. Go over the rules (no lingering, don’t bring friends home) so that you both know what to expect!
When is your child ready to stay home alone after school? It depends on each child as well as the area you live in, technology you currently have installed in your home, the maturity level of the child and the state you live in (law)
Read more about how to know your child is safe to stay home alone after school.
If you think your child might be ready to be home alone without a babysitter or after-school care, read this!
If you do need to give a babysitter, tutor or neighbor access to your home, it’s important to have a security system installed with a mobile app so that you can have a visual of what’s going on at home!
Tips about how to handle a stranger at the door, from a previous article here on the Strand Security Blog. We suggest you share the following with your teenager who might be home alone!
1 Take a look at the Stranger.
Try to get a look at who is knocking on your door. You may need to find a window in the house that makes your front door visible or use the peephole if you have one. You must have a way to see who is at the front door without opening it!
2 Keep Your Phone on You.
Have your phone visibly on you for the knocker to see. If a situation should occur you will have easy access to call 911.
3 Call Out to Someone in the House.
“Can someone get the door?” or “I’ll get it”
Maybe you are alone but the knocking stranger does not have to know that! Make it evident that there are others in the house with you. This can deter any planned unwanted activities.
4 Do Not Ignore Them.
Sometimes the first reaction is to just ignore a stranger’s knock all together. However, in doing so, you are silently announcing that your house is empty and now is a good time to break in. So, it is better to say something no matter the time of day. A majority of break-ins occur during the day when people are thought to be at work.
5 Request Their Identity.
If a utility worker knocks at your door, ask for them to prove their identity with the company they work for. You can always call the subject’s company to check if they have sent someone to your house.
6 Do Not Share Information.
Strangers may take advantage of you by saying they are in trouble, hurt or in need of help. As much as we all would like to help our fellow citizens, it may be a better choice to let them know you are calling 911 and help is on the way.
Technology can help in this situation! Read more about which devices can help here.
THIS is the time to talk to your kids and teenagers about online safety: cyber security! Not when they start to act strange, not when they are upset, scared or sad. Talk to them before leaving them home alone for extended periods of time!
Set rules, boundaries and check in often!
Last but not least… house rules are house rules whether you are home as a parent, or not! Make sure you instill a sense of responsibility in your child or teenager, to build mutual trust. Respect goes both ways. Always be sure to tell the kids you’ll be checking the cameras remotely if they are home alone. They need to know you can see them or talk with them.
Your house, your rules, and that includes rules for friends and rules for pets, too!
We wish you, your family, your kids a fantastic 2021-2022 school year. We are here to help you navigate it all. If you need smarthome solutions to keep your family safe, need (additional) security cameras, or a panic button for your employees or elderly parents, we can help you with all of that!
If you are thinking a home theater would be great to have at home, we can help with the design, installation and servicing for that as well! Just give us a call!
South Carolina schools in both Hory County and Georgetown County will be back in session in LESS THEN ONE MONTH and if you are a parent of school-aged children, pre-teens or teenagers after-school care solutions is what’s on your mind right now, are we right?
If you’ve researched after school programs, babysitters and clubs, you know that choices are limited and enrollment is expensive.
You might be ready to try the ‘free’ route aka allow your child to be home alone after school!
The question ‘At what age can a child be left home alone after school’ is one we hear quite frequently. As parents ourselves, we’ve had that same question years ago!
There is a two-part answer to this question.
What does this mean?
It’s up to you as a parent; use your common sense and available resources!
In a previous article, we gave some advice on how to find out if your child is ready to be left home alone.
That included looking at the following criteria
One way to measure maturity is that they either bring it up themselves or that they are excited about the opportunity.
Preparation is key for a child to be ready to be home alone after school.
Rules are important!
From that previously mentioned article, we learn to
- Schedule set times for parental contact during the time spent home alone.
- Discuss telephone ettiquette and what information is ok to share and not share.
- Establish a code word in case there is a need to communicate with the child through a third party.
- Discuss before hand who should be allowed in the house, and who should not be.
- Make a list of rules. Is it ok to play with neighborhood kids or play outside? Which activities are not allowed?
- Again, a prepared person (including a child) is someone with confidence!
These rules are rules kids should know regardless of being home alone, or with a parent!
Kids are rehearsing for emergencies at school; why not rehearse them at home once per month as well?
For those among you who are excited at the prospect of being able to allow your child the freedom of being home alone after school, but are still worried, we have several options for you; all of those will ease your mind!