Teaching Kids about Staying Safe When Home Alone
As a parent, getting to the stage where you are considering leaving your kids along for the first time is a big milestone. Knowing that your kids are safe when home alone with a home alarm system is the first step in feeling secure. Creating guidelines and boundaries about what they can and cannot do when home alone, can also help you to feel comfortable and know that they are safe.
Children should be over the age of 12 to be left at home alone. Participating in courses like Home Alone Safety or the Babysitter’s Course put on by the Red Cross, St. John’s Ambulance or a local community organization is always a good idea before leaving your children alone at home for the first time. Each province has a different minimum age recommendation for staying home alone – in Saskatchewan, the minimum age is 12 years old, and siblings should be at least in 1st grade.
Other tips to teach kids about staying home alone safely:
- Children should always have access to a landline. In case of a power outage, every home should have a phone that plugs directly into the wall.
- Contact numbers for emergencies including neighbours, and key family members should be posted by the phone.
- Outline safe practices about the use of household appliances such as the stove and microwave.
- Always cover basics like how to close and lock doors properly, and set the security alarm system.
- Teach them how to identify house sounds so that they feel secure.
- Never use social media to announce to friends or contacts that you are home alone and disable location setting on a smart phone or tablet.
Always make arrangements with your child ahead of time so that they are clear about boundaries and safety before staying at home alone for the first time.