With busy schedules and far too little days in a week to do it all, our brains sometimes slips with some very important safety rules. Take the time to refresh your memory and even educate your children with these quick to learn safety rules:
- Never open the door to strangers. Tell the person knocking that your Mom/Dad is at home but is busy and unable to answer the door.
- Use caller ID or an answering machine to screen telephone calls. When answering the phone, never tell callers you are home alone. Tell them your mom/dad is busy and will call them back.
- Keep all doors and windows locked. Make sure you know how the alarm works and keep the perimeter alarm armed, if need be.
- When coming home, never enter the house if there are open or broken windows, doors, or other signs of forced entry. Leave and get help from a trusted neighbour or alert Atlas.
- Tell your parents of any fears or concerns you may have while being at home alone.
Safety tips for parents
While teaching your child safety rules for staying home alone, it is important to stress the significance of the safety rules, without unnecessarily instilling fear.
- Post a list of emergency numbers including family members, friends and neighbours, and emergency personnel (Atlas and SAPS).
- Keep a first aid kit in the house. Teach your child basic first aid.
- Make sure that your alarm is in good working order and teach your child how to use it and what to do in case of emergency.
- Atlas ICE/ RES-Q-ME and Remote Panic buttons are all very useful for emergencies, but children and teens must understand the importance of only using these in extreme circumstances. Consider these security options that can summon help from anywhere in the home or garden at anytime should there be an emergency. Please contact email@example.com should you have any queries regarding these value-added services.
- Notify your security company that your child/children will be alone at home during the day – this information will be passed on to Response Officers in the event of an alarm activation.
- Make sure that your child can reach you at all times, should you be in a meeting check your messages often and promptly return your child’s calls.
- Call and check on your child. Always call and let them know if you are running late.
Remember, no matter how mature your child acts, he or she is still a child. Children invariably make mistakes; they don’t always react in a situation as you wish they would. Even if they start off well without adult supervision, they can get “spooked” and develop real fears about being home alone. Give your youngsters lots of support, encouragement and backup, and treat their mistakes as learning experiences and not failures. Show them how much you appreciate their support, independence and cooperation while you are at work, and be liberal with fitting rewards.