Crime specialist offers home-alone safety tips

Many parents make the decision to leave their children home alone during the summer.

It is important to remember several factors when you want to determine whether your child is ready to be left home alone for any length of time.

It is also very important to prepare children for any situations and emergencies that may come up during the time they are home alone.

Ensuring that your child is responsible, can follow directions and understands and follows the rules set in place by you, the parent, are all important factors in making the decision to leave your child unsupervised.

Make sure your child is ready

Consider your child’s temperament and maturity level. Does your child follow directions and act responsibly? Has he or she expressed interest and confidence in staying home unsupervised? Ensure that your child knows what to do in an emergency situation.

Go over “what if” scenarios to see how a child might handle an unexpected situation before it

arises. Talk through situations with your child.

Try running short errands first to get your child confident with staying home alone before leaving him/her for longer periods of time.

Go over emergency precautions

Make sure your child knows how and when to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency situation.

Have all of your contact information (work phone, cell phone, etc.) printed and posted near the phone along with the numbers of several trusted neighbors.

Discuss fire safety with your child and various escape routes if a fire occurs in the home.

Your child should have your name, phone number and address memorized if needed in case of an emergency.

Also, make sure your child never answers the door when he or she iss home alone.

If you would like further information on this subject, or on crime-prevention topics, please contact Kern County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Specialist Ashley Glover, 661-392-6914 or glovera@ kernsheriff.com.

Story First Published: 2013-06-19