After school can be a bit of a scary time for parents. Our kids are home and sometimes we’re still at work, so we have to count on them to stay safe. This time can be a great test for their independence but it can also be a bit scary for parents. These safety tips can help keep your tweens safe until you’re back at home.
After School Safety Tips – Basic Common Sense
While all of these safety tips might be basic common sense, let’s face it. Tweens are at an age when common sense begins to melt away. Remember when you were a tween? I do. I was actually a pretty responsible tween and often babysat outside my home so I was reasonably confident being alone at home on my own. But many tweens begin to think they are indestructible as soon as puberty hits. Many have no fear. It’s smart to start teaching them some basic safety tips at a young age. For instance I have a rule about no candles at all when kids are home. My kids are occasionally forgetful so that rule is a must and they know that rule has been in place from the time they were toddlers. As kids get older sometimes they need a booster course in home safety too. Most of these after school safety tips are actually just refreshers on what your kids should already know.
Always Keep the Door Locked
Home invasions are always on the news. It’s a common thing, so there’s no need to make it easier on the interlopers by leaving the door unlocked. After school safety tip number 1: keep that door locked!
Don’t Answer the Door
No child should ever answer the door for anyone who they don’t know for any reason. There’s no way to know if the person on the other side is who they say they are, and if it’s important, they’ll come back. I have to repeat teach this one because of my younger daughter and because of our pool. If I am out back at the pool watching some kids and she opens the door to a sales or delivery person at all then that puts all of us in potential danger. My one girl is impulsive so I don’t yet leave her home alone. My older daughter babysits though and she knows all of these rules.
Find a Babysitter Course or a Home Alone Course and Sign them up
The local library or community centre often runs a Home Alone course, or a St John’s Ambulance babysitting course. There might even be a bit of first aid thrown in there. That is an invaluable resource actually. It doesn’t cost much and it helps give you some peace of mind too.
Have an Escape Route
While this is normally done for fires, an escape route can just as easily be used in the case of home invasions. Your child should know the fastest way to any exit – be it a door or window – in the event that someone breaks in. It’s much better to get away than to hide. Of course, this only works if the intruder is far enough away for escape to be a plausible options.
911 on Speed Dial
Another important after school safety tip for tweens is to have 911 on speed dial. With one touch of their smart phone, they should be able to be connected with 911. Whether it’s a break-in or a fire, tapping that 911 speed dial key should be the first thing your child does before anything else.
Always Stay Connected
One of my biggest after school safety tips for tweens is to always stay connected. Our kids shouldn’t have to be on lock down all the time. So if your son or daughter decides to go to the park or to a friend’s house, they need to be in communication with you. I make sure my kids call or text me before they go anywhere and that they check in periodically while they’re gone.
After School Safety Tips – The Basics are the Best
These basic after school safety tips are the core for a safe time at home until parents can make it back. It’s all common sense, but it doesn’t hurt to go over these safety tips with the kids and even have a board with all of them posted somewhere in the house. With these after school safety tips, parent-free time at home will be much safer.
For more home safety tips don’t forget to read this post about carbon monoxide detectors maintenance.