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Child Safety

Is Your Child Home Alone?

 

Occasionally, due to conflicting schedules, your child may find themselves home alone. The following information will help to keep them safe and secure.

What Is a
Contact Person?

A contact person is an adult who could be a neighbor or a friend that you trust to be a "go to" person for your child in case of an emergency. Your child should know how to quickly reach this person if needed. Most phones allow the programming in of a one-touch number or speed dial - set this to the contact person and teach your child to use it.

 

Emergencies

Go over with your child what to do in case of a fire or other emerFreddie the Firegency. Usually the contact person should be called first, and they can determine if 9-1-1 needs to be dialed. Practice with your child a safe path to their contact person in case they need to leave the house.

IN EMERGENCIES DIAL:

9-1-1

Awareness

Hilda the HouseDiscuss with your child signs of trouble that they can look for as they approach home. Is the door or a window broken? Is there a strange car in the driveway or parked out front? Can they see or smell smoke? If anything seems out of the ordinary instruct the child to go directly to their contact person for help.

 

The Telephone

The phone can be a great source of comfort to a child home alone. Tommy the TelephoneBe sure your child knows where the phones are in the home and how to use them. Practice with your child the proper way to answer the telephone when you are away. Children should never tell a stranger that you are not home. Rather, have them say, "They are not able to come to the phone right now. Can you please call back later?" Answering machines can screen calls instead of having to answer directly.

The Door

Dennis the DoorDiscuss with your child the procedure for dealing with someone at the door. If you are expecting a visitor while you are away, let your child know who they are and when they are expected. Discuss what to do if someone knocks at the door. When in doubt, keep them out.

 

Your Key

Stress to your child the need to keep their key safe and secret. No one but your The Key Gangcontact person should know your child will be home alone. Go over with your child what to do in case their key is lost. Consider leaving a spare key with the Contact Person.

 

Don't Be Afraid!

Children can easily become frightened without the presence of an adult. Lights, televisions and Scotty Scaredradios are all things that can be turned on to keep a child company. Agree to a time that the child can expect you to be home and CALL if you are going to be late getting home.

Appliances

The Appliance GangNearly everything that plugs into the wall at home can be dangerous to your child if unsupervised. Stress the importance of HANDS OFF of anything that could cause serious injury or damage like stoves, microwaves or washer/dryers.

 

If you have safety tips you'd like included here, write:

 

Marketing, Valley Yellow Pages
1850 N Gateway Blvd
Fresno, CA 93727-1600

Information provided by Community Connection for Child Care, Bakersfield, CA.

Illustrations by Mark Dement and Steve Roach.


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