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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Guest Post - Keeping Kids Safe in the Home

Today, I'm lucky enough to have a guest post on keeping kids safe in the home...something I never have to worry about, you know, since I'm always here.

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Staying home alone is an exciting rite of passage for adolescents. It shows them that you recognize they are growing up and maturing, and that you trust their judgment. However, despite being an exciting time for your kids, this can be somewhat of a terrifying time for parents. Sure, you trust them, but it's everyone else that's the problem. What about that troublemaker kid down the street who's been trying to pal around with your son? Or that creepy guy always walking his dog past your house?



As a parent, it's important to show your child that you believe in them, which is why you should give your child a chance to stay home alone and see how it goes. Here are four ways that technology can help you protect your children from afar to preserve your peace of mind:

Find Out What's Going On

Installing a wireless home security system can go a long way to help both you and your kids feel safe and secure when they are home alone. Opt for one with a few small cameras to place outside near the front door, in the back yard and in a frequented common area of the house, such as the kitchen or living room. Many wireless security systems come with online apps that you can access from the Web or your smartphone to view a live feed of your home cameras and see exactly what's going on at home in your absence.

Check In Frequently

How did parents ever let their kids stay home alone without cell phones? Cell phones have become a true lifeline for both kids and parents, facilitating quick check-ins to make sure everything is going alright. Parenting experts at KidsHealth.org advise setting up a schedule to call your kids and have them call you. For instance, if the kids are going home to an empty house after school, have them call you to check in as soon as they arrive so you know they got there safely. Creating a schedule that works for your family can be important in helping you and your kids feel safe and confident about staying home unsupervised.

Screen Calls

Teach your kids to never tell unfamiliar callers that they're home alone. Instead of saying "my parents aren't home," they should say "my parents aren't available to come to the phone right now." Instead, it may be best to instruct your children to screen incoming calls by looking at the caller ID and not answering calls from unfamiliar phone numbers. Consider leaving a list of phone numbers that should be answered next to the phone as a reminder for your kids.

See Who's at the Door

Instruct your child to call you when someone is at the door so that you can remotely view the camera feed online and see who is there. Something as simple as a knock at the door can be scary for a child who's not used to being home by himself. Talk to your kids about how to respond in this situation and let them know the importance of staying calm. Parenting experts at the University of Illinois Extension advise instructing your children not to answer the door unless they know in advance to expect someone dropping by.

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Author Bio:
Gina Waters
A volunteer firefighter, nanny and freelance writer, Gina has been a dedicated serious writer of articles and fiction since her first publication, when she was 18.


 

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