Jul 21, 2022|

Back to School: Keeping Kids Safe at Home 

With back-to-school quickly approaching, many working parents are faced with the question, “Who’s going to watch the kids after school?”

And it’s not just parents who work away from home who have childcare considerations. About 45% of the adult workforce works remotely at least part of the time, and anyone with young children knows that it can be difficult (at best!) to concentrate on work and meetings when you have to care for your children as well.

Depending on the child’s age, a babysitter or after-school program may not be necessary. Approximately 7 million school-age kids are left unsupervised after school for a few hours until their parents come home from work.

While this rite of passage is an exciting display of independence for kids, it can a bit nerve-wracking for parents who are worried about their children’s safety. We’ve compiled a list of safety tips that will help kids stay safe while keeping parents connected to them wherever they are.

A father walking his child to school.
 

Back-to-school safety tips

These school safety tips will help you ensure your kids are safe both at home and while coming and going to school as they begin a new school year.

Consider the current learning environment

Keep in mind that your child’s current learning environment will affect the steps you take to ensure their safety. The coronavirus pandemic resulted in some major changes in education. As schools shut down, kids went to school remotely. This eventually transitioned into a hybrid learning model, where students went to the classroom part of the time, and eventually back to a full-time classroom experience.

If your kids are still in a remote or homeschooling learning environment, they may not have the same safety concerns like getting to the bus stop safely or following the rules of the road, but there are still things you can be doing to keep them safe at home.

Stay connected to your kids

Staying in touch with your children will alleviate many concerns both kids and parents have. A few things you can do to keep the lines of communication open include:

  • Start a family text chain. This will ensure everyone in the family is in the loop. It also makes communicating and coordinating with each other easier.
  • Set check-in times so parents and kids know when to expect a call or text.
  • Consider indoor cameras or nanny cams that allow you to see what’s going on at home at any given time.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that a cell phone is a must have for kids who are going to be home alone after school. It doesn’t have to be the latest smartphone, but they should have a way to reach you and be reached.

Let’s be neighbors.

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Teach safety rules to and from school

First decide how your kids will be getting to and from school each day, and make sure they understand their schedule as well as safety rules:

Walking or biking to school

If your kids walk or bike to school, they should know the following basic bike and pedestrian safety rules:

  • Obey all traffic signals, including stop signs and stop lights
  • Always wear a fitted helmet when biking, and follow National Safety Council recommendations to ride single file in the same direction of traffic (instead of facing traffic)
  • If walking, always use crosswalks and follow the crossing guard’s instructions
  • Be aware of other motorists at all times
  • Don’t jaywalk; only cross the street at intersections
  • Know and practice your route to and from school.

Riding the school bus

School bus safety is important for all kids to know and includes:

  • Always follow the bus driver’s instructions and rules
  • Never walk in front of the bus, where it’s hard for the bus driver to see
Young girl standing in front of a schoolbus.
 

Prepare your kids with the right info

An after-school routine or schedule is important and can help kids and parents feel safer and more secure. Your schedule should include information on:

  • What to do in an emergency. In addition to emergencies like what to do if someone gets hurt or they see fire, they should know what to do during a weather emergency, like a tornado or thunderstorm.
  • When to call 911. Help kids understand how and when to call 911, and what to say when they call.
  • Who to call. If they get locked out, or their ride is late, they should know who to call, such as a neighbor or family member. Make a list of numbers, including family and friends, your child’s school, and other contacts, and post it somewhere they’ll be able to see and easily access.
  • Answering the door while at home. If you have a doorbell camera, teach kids how and when to use it. (For example, if a trusted friend or neighbor comes over, are they allowed to answer the door?) When in doubt, tell your kids not to answer the door while home alone.
  • How to work security systems. Eliminate false alarms by making sure your kids know how to disarm your security system when they come home. You can also teach them how to arm the system, so they feel safe while home alone.

Take advantage of technology

Fortunately, there are many different security and smart home devices on the market you can use to keep your home and kids safe after school (and all the time!)

Vivint offers a complete smart home security system that keeps you home secure while keeping you connected to your kids. Some of the best features and devices for kids

Smart door locks

Smart locks eliminate the need for a physical key, using a keypad or smartphone to unlock them rather than a key. This means you can unlock the door for your kids, or they can put their own code in. You’ll also be notified whenever they use the code, so you’ll always know who’s coming or going.

Another great thing about smart locks is the auto-lock feature, which locks the door automatically after a period of time.

Doorbell camera

A doorbell camera notifies you whenever anyone is at your front door, whether they ring the bell or not. You can also speak to the person at the door through your phone.

Parents love this device because it allows them to see when their kids get home from school. Take a look at these reviews:

Deborah’s review:

We have only had our Smart Home system for a month now. We are very happy with the system and the protection it provides to keep our home and family safe. It is very very easy to use. The best feature for me as a mom is to be able to see when my child leaves and returns home from school thru the door bell camera. I have even spooked her a couple of times by telling her hello as she enters our home haha. It gives us peace of mind that everything is recorded and we are capable of monitoring from anywhere just on our phones. If your thinking of a home security system give Vivint a try. You wont be disappointed, I promise.

Deborah

Indoor camera

The Vivint Indoor Camera not only allows you to check in on your kids, but speak to them as well with the two-way voice feature. The camera also includes a one-touch callout button, so your kids can reach you on your cell phone immediately with the touch of a button.

Anson & Vanessa’s review:

I've had a Vivint security system since July 2013 and will never, ever not have one. The fact that I can control my garage doors, door locks, lights, thermostat is awesome. I also love the door bell camera and the indoor camera, both that are two way communication, so I can know when my kids get home from school!

Anson & Vanessa

Neil’s review:

It's a great system that's easy to use. Connecting through our phones is fantastic and gives peace of mind with the kids coming home from school while I'm still at work. Peace of mind sums it up well actually.

Neil
A group of school-aged kids getting home from school.
 

Preparation = peace of mind

Making sure your kids are safe at home and school is a daunting task for any parent, but taking the time to prepare your kids, practicing scenarios with them, and ensuring you have the right tools to stay connected to your kids can help make back to school time worry-free. To learn more about a Vivint security system and how our devices can help make your home a safer place, call us at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation today.

Get a free quote today.

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