With the large number of two-income and single-parent households, many children come home to empty houses after school. For older children, spending time alone helps them become mature, independent, and responsible adults. However, for some children, being home alone can be a frightening experience. To make your children’s time alone safe and productive, make sure they know:
- his or her address and phone number as well as those of the parent or guardian at work.
- a trusted neighbor who is at home during the day and can be notified in case of an emergency. Leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor in case keys are misplaced or lost. Do not hide an extra key near the entrance of your home--if it is accessible to you and your children, it is accessible to a thief.
- how to efficiently lock and unlock the doors and windows in your home.
- never to open the door to a stranger or let anyone unfamiliar to them know--either on the phone or at the door--that they are without adult supervision.
- first aid for minor injuries.
- safety procedures in case of fire or injury, and how and when to use 911.