- Family and Parenting
Keeping Latchkey Kids Safe
Keeping Latchkey Kids Safe
The term latchkey kid refers to a child who returns home from school to an empty house because the parents are at work or away. Most parents would prefer not to leave their child home alone but sometimes this is unavoidable, especially in single parent homes. However, there are several measures you can take to reduce the fear and keep your child out of harms way.
What is a Latchkey Kid?
Latchkey kid refers to a child who returns from school to an empty home because his or her parent or parents are away at work. It also refers to a child who is often left at home with little or no parental supervision.
At what age can you legally leave a child home alone?
The legal age restrictions for children left at home alone varies from state to state. The National SAFEKIDS Campaign recommends that no child under the age of 12 be left at home alone.
1. Make rules. Go over all the rules with your child and post of copy of them on the refrigerator.
2. Make an emergency plan and go over it with you child.
3. Make sure your child knows some of the basics, such as being able to lock and unlock the door, tell time, dial the phone, and ask for help if needed.
4. Rehearse with your child on what to do in various situations. Ask you child, "What would you do if...?".
5. Have your child check in with you as soon as they arrive home from school. If you are not available, have them check in with a family member or a trusted neighbor.
6. Post a list of emergency numbers near every phone in the house.
7. Teach your child how to address callers when you are not home. They should never say that their parents are not home.
8. Be sure you child knows your work phone number and address, and how to reach you at all times.
9. Call your child if you are not going to arrive home at your usual time or if you are running late.
10. Teach your child what to do in case of a fire. Have them memorize the Fire Department's phone number and be sure that your smoke alarms work at all times..
11. If you live in areas prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or tornadoes, teach you child what to do in case of a disaster. Plan an escape route too.
12. Have your child use the buddy system when walking home from school or to and from the bus stop.
13. If possible, adopt a large dog that can provide a certain amount of protection.
14.Teach your child how to use basic first aid and keep a well stocked first aid kit in your home.
15. Teach your child how to use the home appliances, and let them know which ones are off limits while you are not home.
16. If your child wears the house key on a string around their neck, make sure it is out of site. If you hid your key in your yard, make sure it is hidden in a place where no one can see your child retrieve it.
17. Teach you child what to do in case of a home invasion.
Stop! Please Answer the Poll!
At what age do you think it's ok to leave kids home alone?
Security System Deluxe Kit
Door Security Bar
The latchkey children calling program simply calls your child (on the days and times you specify) and greets your child with a recorded message. The child is instructed to "Press 1" to acknowledge the call. Visit the web site for more information.
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Chilren
Quick search for missing children and more.
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