Do you worry about those few hours your child is home alone while you're still at work?
Read the safety tips below, provided by the NYPD's Community Affairs Bureau, to help keep your kid/kids safe:
Just like the majority of American parents who work and have to leave their children on their own after school every day, you are anxious about your child's safety. But by following the safeguards listed below, you can help ease some of this worry by taking basic precautionary measures when you're not around.
Remember, always know the three "W’s": Where your kids are, What they're doing, and Who they're with!
WHAT TO TEACH YOUR "HOME ALONE" CHILDREN:
- Have your child check in with you or a neighbor immediately after arriving home.
- Ensure they know how to call 9-1-1 and how to give directions to your home, in case of emergency.
- Make sure they know your family's emergency plan — if you do not have a plan, visit www.ready.gov for more information on creating one.
- Teach them how to properly use the door and window locks, and the alarm system if you have one, particularly the "panic" feature of your alarm system.
- Teach them to never let anyone into your home without asking your permission: no repairmen, delivery persons etc. Stress the importance of NO ONE, even if they appear to be in a company uniform.
- Tell them to never let a person at the door or on the phone know that they're alone. Teach them to say "Mom or Dad can't come to the phone (or door) right now, may I take a message?"
- Make sure they know how to escape in case of fire: do you call 911 first then exit? Or exit and then call 911? Make sure they know all available exits and what a smoke (or CO) alarm sounds like and what to do if it goes off.
Often times, if you can come home (or call) unexpectedly to check on your child — perhaps even have a trusted friend/neighbor check in — you can be sure that they are following your rules and staying as safe as possible while you are at work.
For more information on all of the programs the NYPD’s Community Affairs Bureau offers, or for crime prevention and personal safety tips visit their website by clicking here.