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How to Know When Your Child is Safe Home Alone After School

home alone after school

At What Age Can A Child Be Left Home Alone After School?

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.

  1. The LEGAL AGE a child can be left home alone after school in South Carolina is non-specific (there is no law regarding the age at which children can be left alone), however, the state has issued a non-legal guideline recommending that children younger than 8 never be left alone.
  2. The age you might want to leave your child home alone after school differs from child-to-child!

What does this mean?

It’s up to you as a parent; use your common sense and available resources!

Does Your Child Ask To be Left Home Alone After School?

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

  • state laws
  • maturity
  • safety standards

One way to measure maturity is that they either bring it up themselves or that they are excited about the opportunity.


How To Prepare A Child To Be Home Alone After School

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!

Safety Rules For Kids Staying Home Alone After School

These rules are rules kids should know regardless of being home alone, or with a parent!

  • Rehearse possible situations the child might face. Rehearse what to do in case of a fire, power outage, tornado, security alarm set off.
  • Rehearse what to do if a stranger knocks on the door.
  • For an extra safety measure, install a security system. This will allow you to be notified when your child has arrived home from school and also allows you to check on them from time to time.

Kids are rehearsing for emergencies at school; why not rehearse them at home once per month as well?

How To Keep an Eye on Your Child Who Is Home Alone After School

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!

Call Strand Security in Myrtle Beach at 843-318-6392



7 Things to Teach Your Child To Be Safe and Protected Now!

7 things to teach your child so that they are safe and protected even when staying home alone. Myrtle Beach Safety and Security Experts

Looks Who’s Home Alone!

As parents to three kids, as small business owners and as security company owners, we know a thing or two about safety and security! We also know that as parents of teens, you can not be with them at all times, everywhere. Kids go off with their friends, or are left home alone to do homework (and chores, maybe?).

Reality check:

You just can not be with your child or teen 24/7.

So as your child ages and gets older, s/he should have more responsibilities around the house, and around town.
This responsibility comes with added anxiety for parents, right?!

The best way to combat this anxiety is to be informed and to teach our children well!

In previous articles, we’ve touched on several kid-related safety and security issues.
Check out the following articles for great tips and information!


Would You Know How To Fight Off A Kidnapper?

New Driver? Enter Vehicle Tracker From Honeywell Total Connect.

3 Ways To Know If Your Child Is Ready To be left Home Alone.

Safety First! Make a Family Emergency Plan Today.

Hiring a Babysitter Shouldn’t Stress You Out!

 About Being Alone. Not Helpless.

So what can you do today to reduce your stress over your child gaining more independence and them being alone more?

You should

  • talk with your child and set expectations re: places to go, timing and when to check in
  • prepare your child to be out alone; teach self-defense, awareness and safety rules
  • check out and then implement the following seven tips!


7  Things to Teach Your Child About Safety!

  1. Teach your child not to open the front door when home alone. If there is one exception, it should be to open the door for the parent or grandparent, no one else. They should also have the alarm system activated when home alone!
  2. Teach your child when it’s appropriate, and how to dial 911. Talk through a range of situations where you should (and shouldn’t) call for help – use real-life examples if needed.
  3. Create a simple family text code (something like 711 or 321) that they can easily remember and use to contact you if they are scared, or in danger.
  4. Create a memorable family code word. This word should only be given to family members (or trusted friends in your absence). Teach your children that they are never to leave with anyone who doesn’t have the secret code. The word should remain a secret and changed periodically.
  5. Teach your child the following: their home address, phone number and parents’ full names.
  6. Teach your child to listen to that little voice that tells them something is not right, and to trust it. Tell them that sometimes adults may make them feel uncomfortable. It is always okay for them to move away or leave immediately, and to tell a trusted adult what happened. It is important that your children know that you will always help and support them, and that you will never be upset at them trying to protect themselves.
  7. Create a list of ‘favorites’ in your and/or their cellphone. Add your spouse/partner and one or two immediate family members (or trusted friends) and teach your child how to find and call these numbers.

7 things to teach your child to be safe and protected when staying home alone.

Sit Down and Have a Safety Talk With Your Child(ren) Today!

Don’t wait – it’s never a perfect or convenient time to do it, but if you can’t make the time today, at least make the time to schedule a family safety meeting this weekend!

Let us know if we can help you in anyway!

Contact Strand Security today

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