Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe When They Have to Stay Home Alone

Keep kids safeBeing a parent means wanting your kids to be safe above all else. If you can’t be home and find someone to watch your kids in time, you have to make sure they can stay safe. The first thing you need to confirm is that your kids are old enough to stay home alone. Then, you need to make sure that there won’t be any unwelcome surprises. These are four ways to keep your kids safe when they have to stay home alone.

Keep Doors Locked

The best way to keep your kids protected is to make sure the house is secured. Make sure that all entrances are locked off. If you have a home security system, arm it. Instruct your kids that they’re not to leave your home. If there’s an emergency, they should call you or 911. The garage should also be sealed off. Consider getting a garage remote replacement so your kids can enter your home through the garage. That will ensure the front door remains locked and they won’t have to worry about carrying a house key with them at all times.

Teach Them Stranger Danger

Being home alone can make your kids vulnerable. If someone realizes that they’re home alone, they could pose a serious risk< to them. Teach your kids to not open the door for anyone they don’t know. If they see an unfamiliar face, have them call your right away. This will help them understand how to not be duped by dishonesty.

Look for Safety Hazards

There could be all kinds of dangers lurking around your house that you won’t realize unless you’re looking closely. For instance, there could be cutlery on the kitchen counter or a loose box of matches. Make sure you clean things up and instruct your kids about what they’re not to do, such as using the stove if they’re not old enough to cook.

Put Someone in Charge

Even if there aren’t any adults present, your kids can still be kept safe if you assign a leader. Ideally, this will be a child who’s at least a few years old than their siblings and who understands what it means to be responsible. Let them know that the trust you’re placing in them is not a license for them to be bossy or to make unreasonable demands. You want your children to understand the importance of cooperation.

It’s totally normal to be concerned about having to leave your kids home alone. However, you can use this time to teach them responsibility. They need to understand that being able to stay home unsupervised is a privilege. In order to keep that privilege, they need to know the importance of safety.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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