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  • The Home Alone Checklist: Guidelines for Leaving Your Child Home Alone

    The Home Alone Checklist: Guidelines for Leaving Your Child Home Alone

    Macaulay Culkin may have forever changed the way we think about kids being at home by themselves, but the reality of leaving a child at home unsupervised is not quite as adventurous as the “Home Alone” movies make it look. There are quite a few serious safety precautions that must be considered before taking this important step; below are some essential guidelines to have in place when leaving your child alone in the home.

    1. Carefully consider all of the factors that can influence your decision. No two kids are alike (even under the same roof), so what might be a completely logical decision for one situation would be a complete disaster for another. Not all kids have the same maturity level and ability to follow instructions, so use your best judgment when it comes to what type of responsibilities you can entrust into their hands. Most states do not have specific laws regarding the exact age that a child can be left home alone, so it would definitely be worth it to contact your local Department of Human Services to find out what type of guidelines might be in place for your particular state.

    2. Make sure your child has memorized his/her full name, address and telephone number (both the home phone and your cell phone).

    3. Create an easy-to-read list of emergency contact numbers and post it in a very accessible place. Let your child know that should they not be able to reach you in an emergency, the numbers on this list will be the next ones in line for them to call.

    4. Teach your child how to lock and unlock the windows and doors in your home. Go through some mock “drills” to make sure that they understand how to do it, and emphasize that they must keep all windows and doors locked at all times while you’re gone. This is one of the advantages of having a keyless lock like the Schlage FE575–it will automatically lock your door within 5 seconds of closing, making it that much easier to keep your child safe while you’re away.

    5. Make sure to inform a trustworthy neighbor (or two) that you’re stepping out for a bit, and that your child will be home alone. It always helps to have an extra set of eyes and ears available to keep tabs on your child, plus your neighbor can be a valuable source of assistance in case of an emergency.

    6. Instruct the child to never go into anyone else’s home (including your neighbors) without your permission.

    7. Call your child several times throughout the span of time that you’re away from the house to check on and reassure them.

    8. Make sure to let your child know that the oven and stove are off-limits while you’re out of the house. If no parent or adult caretaker is present, its microwave meals for them!

    Leaving your child home alone is a huge step for both you and your child. Keep the above tips and guidelines in mind to ensure that your kid will feel safe in your absence, so that you can have peace of mind while you’re away from the house.

    SCHLAGE FE575 Plymouth Keypad Lock, Elan Lever