Preventing Disaster While Kids Are Home Alone

Apr 07 2014

The summer is almost here which means those kids with working parents may soon find themselves home alone for a large chunk of the day. If your children are old enough to do this, make sure that you first speak to them about safety in the home, ensuring that no preventable disasters will occur.

Some of the most common household disasters occurring within the home while parents are away could have been prevented if the parents would have more thoroughly explained safety basics.


The Right Time

One of the most important things to consider before leaving your kids home alone is if they are ready. There is more than just their age to consider in this equation. While it is usually agreed that somewhere between 10 and 11 is the best time to leave your child home alone, your child might need a few more years.

The maturity and compatibility with siblings of your child will also determine whether they are ready to be left home alone at a certain time. These factors will determine how responsible they will be in normal situations, and in the face of an emergency. Don’t leave your children home alone until you can be certain they are ready in terms of maturity.


Safety First

Well before your child has reached an age and maturity level that they can be left home alone, start teaching them about safety in the home. This is vital, and something that should be reiterated time and time again. Make sure to speak to your children about these issues before you leave, ensuring they will remember the most crucial points in safety:

  • Make sure that there is a list of emergency numbers ready for your child should an emergency situation arise. These numbers should include local emergency responders, where you can be reached, and close relatives or neighbors. Emphasize the importance of only calling most of these numbers in a true emergency.

  • Many home disasters happen as a result of children being left unattended. Don’t let your family join the ranks of this statistic. Teach your children about the dangers of matches and kitchen fires, which is one of the most common causes of accidental home fires. In addition to this, discourage them from being irresponsible with the hose, risking a basement flooding. Teaching them about potential damage in the home could prevent major problems.

  • Decide whether or not you want your child opening the door when you aren’t home. For younger kids, it may be safer to ask them not to open the door, especially to strangers.

If your kids are home alone at all, make sure to teach them to be safe during this time. By talking to them about safety from a young age, you can more easily prevent problems that might have otherwise occurred.


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