Child Safety Guide: How to Keep Kids Safe When They’re Home Alone
There is a moment in every parent’s life when they have to decide whether it is safe to leave their kids at home alone or not. The simple fact is that you need to go somewhere and your child either can’t or doesn’t want to come with you.
You need to understand the law regarding leaving children at home and how to keep kids safe when they’re home alone.
Interestingly the only state in Australia that states a child must not be left at home alone under the age of 12 is Queensland.
This doesn’t mean its okay at any age in other states. You are responsible for your child and making sure they have adequate supervision and are kept safe.
If you don’t comply you can be prosecuted for child neglect.
Keeping Your Kid’s Safe
Once you’ve decided that you can leave your child you need to take a few simple steps to ensure they are safe:
This may seem a little like big brother but using an electrical security services firm to fit a camera system to your home will enable you to check on your child at any time.
The system can even be designed to allow you to communicate with them effortlessly; as though you are in the room with them.
Your child must be able to use a phone to either ring the emergency services, you or a designated other person.
Make sure they are comfortable with the phone and complete several test runs. This will help to ensure they can access help if needed.
It is also best if your children do not answer the phone when you are not there. They should never tell anyone on the phone that you are absent.
Use Your Neighbours
If you have trusted neighbours then make sure they know your child is at home alone. You should be able to set it up that your child can contact or go to the neighbour if there is an issue.
Keep The Door Closed
Your child should not open the front door to anyone unless you have specifically said that a person is coming and is allowed in.
It is also important that the doors are not locked; if there is an emergency the child will need to be able to get out.
If your child feels they are in danger they must know where they should go and how they should get there. Make sure they have everything they need to do this and practice before you leave them alone.
Food & Drink
Your child may get hungry or thirsty when you are not there. It is important to make sure that they can access food and drink easily. Water is fine and healthy and snacks such as fruit or biscuits; nothing that involves using a sharp knife.
Make sure you lock away anything which could be harmful. This includes pest control substances, bleach, washing liquids and oils.
Walk round your home slowly and spot any potential dangerous substance. Then remove it before you leave them alone.
You’ll know when your child is ready to be left alone but it is always a good idea to have these safety measures in place and do a trial run first.