When your children reach the age that they are technically old enough to stay at home by themselves while you run a quick errand or two, it can offer you some flexibility during your day, but it can also be a little unnerving. To help keep them safe and provide you with some peace of mind, here are some security tips that you may want to consider.
Establish House Rules:
Establish rules with your children that cover what they can and cannot do when they’re home alone.
Cooking – Depending on your child’s age, you may want to make the stove off-limits when you are not at home. Using a microwave has much fewer risks involved, and they can still prepare plenty of snacks to hold them over until you are back at home.
Answering the Door – Many parents feel like the safest policy is not to have their children answer the door at all when they not at home with them. If you make any exceptions to this rule, such as a neighbor or relative stopping by to check-in, be sure your children know in advance that someone safe is stopping by, and you can even implement the use of a safe word to add an extra layer of security.
Secure Locks – Check that all doors and windows are locked before you leave home, and make sure children know not to unlock them while you’re away. If you have a security system, be sure to set it and make sure children are know how to operate the system if needed.
Lock Up Dangerous Items
Make sure dangerous items like household chemicals and poisons are out of reach or locked up to ensure your children cannot access them. Think about your garage and yard areas too. Things like pesticides, weed killer, bug spray, fertilizer, oil, gas, etc., should be placed out of reach and under lock and key if needed.
If you have guns in your home, be sure they are locked up and secured. Also, make sure ammunition is secured in a separate location. Locking up your liquor cabinet and securing all medications in a tamper-proof container is also a great idea. If your medicine cabinet doesn’t come with a lock, you can purchase a lockbox to keep dangerous medication out of your little hands.
Utilize Smart Security
Thanks to smart technology, you can keep an active eye on your children, no matter where you are. If being home alone is a regular occurrence, this can provide all the peace of mind you need to know your children are safe. Systems with home automation can let you see and talk to your kids, check in on homework, and even alert you if various doors or windows are opened.
Also, a video doorbell feature lets you see when your child comes home after school, and you can also communicate with them via a two-way communication component. This feature will also allow you to screen anyone that comes to your door. You can quickly send them on their way, and you will give the impression that an adult is at home.
At some point, your child will end up home without you. As they continue to get older, this becomes more and more typical. Using tips like these can help to make sure your family is prepared for this next phase. A few common-sense strategies and using the technology available can make staying home alone a safe, enjoyable next step as your children grow and gain their independence.