Keeping Your Children Safe When They Are by Themselves
Author: Richard Armen
If you watch the news, you've surely heard about kidnappings where children are taken right from their own bedrooms. As a parent, you must take steps to protect your children from kidnappers, burglars, and anyone else who may be prowling around your home, whether you are at home or your children are home alone. While you always want to think that you'll be there for your children when they need to, the unfortunate reality is that you must prepare them to deal with emergency situations or dangerous people by themselves.
Your children may be home alone after school until you arrive home from work. These "latchkey kids" may be old enough to take care of themselves on an ordinary afternoon, but what happens if someone tries to break in? Although they are probably safer during daylight than being left alone at night, you still must take steps to protect your home. Install alarms on doors and windows, and make the exterior of your home unattractive to criminals. Do a thorough inspection of your home to look for potential safety risks.
If your children will be left home alone at any time, leave a list of emergency phone numbers beside the phone, and enter these numbers into their cell phone, if they have one. Teach your children not to open the door to strangers or answer the phone when home alone. Discuss any scenario you can think of that may occur when they are home alone, and instruct them what to do if it occurs. Whether your child will be spending time alone at home or not, have a family emergency plan for any type of emergencies. For example, what should they do if an earthquake occurs when they are home alone? Where will the family meet if the home becomes unsafe? Practice these plans, even if it seems silly.
At night, you need to be especially vigilant about protecting your children's safety as they are sound asleep in their beds. If you don't have a whole-house alarm system, install door and window alarms on their windows to keep anyone from breaking in while you're asleep down the hall. In fact, this is even an important home security device if you don't have children. This can alert you to anyone trying to break into their room, and is also helpful in telling you when young children may be up and moving about the home in the middle of the night. A night light can help reassure children who are afraid of the dark, and is also an important safety feature to prevent falls during the night.
Whether your child is in bed, home alone, or out in the world by themselves, arm them with a personal alarm. This can alert adults near them if a dangerous person approaches your child. Whether they are in your home, at school, at the skate park or at the mall, a personal alarm will emit a very loud noise, scaring away anyone who may be bothering them and drawing an adult's attention to the situation. Depending on the age of your children, you may also want to give them a cell phone to take with them when they leave the home. As your children grow older, you may want to arm them with a keychain pepper spray canister or another self defense product to help them defend themselves against kidnappers or other attackers.
Whether your children are ever home alone or not, the unfortunate reality is that at some point in their young lives, they may be confronted by a kidnapper, burglar, or other criminal. To avoid this possibility, make your home as secure as possible, and teach your children what to do in dangerous or emergency situations.About the Author:
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