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.
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.