Child Home Alone? Use These Tips to Keep Them Safe
Written by: Susan F.
Every parent deserves a break.
Getting a night out with the hubby can be difficult once children are in the mix. Planning ahead, finding a sitter, and leaving your home with energy to spare are all normal parts of married date night rituals.
Making the transition from having a regular babysitter to leaving your child home alone saves money and headaches. It can also be a trying time for both you and your little one. Here are some simple tips to regain your date night and safely leave your child home alone.
Recap your home alone rules
There are usually different rules for when you’re home versus when you’re away. Take a minute to discuss those differences with your child before you head out the door.
Be sure to address whether they can have friends over, answer the door, or use the phone. If your child is already used to specific home rules, make sure they understand that the rules change when you’re away.
Have their favorite snacks on hand
In my personal experience, the best way to keep your house clean while away is to have snacks your child loves ready to eat. Make sure these finger foods are on low shelves or somewhere little hands can easily reach. This strategy is important for two reasons:
1. Your child will stay safely away from the microwave, stove, knives, or any other prep tools
2. Your child will enjoy their favorite dish and gain a feeling of independence while you’re away
I always stock our fridge with grapes, cheese sticks, and pre-popped popcorn to make sure my kids eat healthy and stay happy while my husband and I are having a romantic dinner away.
Prepare your child for emergencies
Of course, the odds of an emergency happening while you’re away are slim, but being prepared is always important.
Discuss with your child the plans for various emergencies. Let them know when to call 9-1-1 and what to say if they do. Explain where they should go if the fire alarm goes off. Make sure there is a basic first-aid kit within their reach and help them understand how to use it.
Not only does having a plan help your child feel secure while their home alone, it gives you peace of mind and lets you enjoy your night out knowing they’re safe.
Talk about entertainment
The world today is completely connected and it seems kids speak the language. The internet is a great place for learning and entertainment. It can also be a scary place filled with danger. If you don’t want your children surfing the web while home alone, make sure you let them know.
Set clear expectations with your children about the internet and social media before you leave the house. A simple chat with your child can save them from the dangers of unmonitored internet access and sharing too much information online.
Leave your phone number
Even when everything’s fine at home, sometimes your child just needs to talk to their mom. Helping your children memorize your cell number and leaving any other contact numbers by the phone are great ways to make your child feel protected.
I’ve found the best way to teach my kids our numbers is with a simple song set to a nursery rhyme. My family goes with Old MacDonald. It took my 8-year-old about 5 minutes to learn and now he hums it while he’s playing.
Although nursery rhymes may seem childish to older kids, getting the song stuck in their head once will lead to a lifetime of memorization.
Protect your home for extra peace of mind
To keep your date nights worry-free, consider installing a home security system. Today’s top systems include the ability to check on your kids from anywhere using your mobile phone. With a quick glance, you can ensure your child is safe without intruding on their newfound independence.
For more tips on protecting your home, contact the security experts at Vivint Smart Home.