A time will come when your child is sufficiently grown and can fend for himself/herself especially when you plan to get back to work or have to run a crucial errand. One option is to leave the child with a baby sitter. This option can horribly backfire especially if your baby sitter has called in sick. You are grappling with anxiety and indecision about whether or not you can leave your child alone at home.
An older child who is 9-10 can be left alone. Leaving a child alone at home entails a fair degree of responsibility in leaving your house safe for them while you are away. A few trial runs should also be carried out before you take this step. Leaving the child alone is crucial for his/her development as it inculcates self-assuredness, self-reliance and independence. Here are some ways to make your house kiddie proof while you are away.
Home Alone Safety Tips For Kids
Do A Practice Run
Leave your child alone for not more than 30 minutes in the initial days. Gradually increase the time as the child gains more confidence.
Dialling Emergency Numbers
Teach your child the nuances of using a phone and having access to emergency numbers like the doctor, security and your number in case the need should arise.
Locking And Unlocking Of Doors And Windows
Ensure all the doors and windows are safely and securely locked when you leave the child. Tell the child not to open the door to any stranger while you are away. If you have an alarm system in your house, teaching the child how to use it and turn it off is a good idea.
Using Electrical Appliances
A slightly older child is sufficiently smart enough to use electrical appliances with prudence and discretion. Just ensure that your child stays away from the gas. It is a good idea to turn off the gas knob on the cylinder before leaving the house. Teach your child how to heat food in a microwave if he/she feels hungry.
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Set Ground Rules
There should be definite limits on what the child can or cannot do while you are away. Internet viewing should be supervised. Illegal sites like porn and video games should be made inaccessible to the child by adding security features on your computer. You can allow certain TV shows to be viewed. Bargain with the child that he/she can do what he/she wants after homework is done. Ensure that your child does not have friends over while you are away.
Stay In Touch
Call your child at regular intervals to ensure that he/she is coping fine.
Make sure your house is well stocked for your child. Snacks and food should be catered for while you are away. Empty your larder of unhealthy snacks and store only healthy food items for your child to eat. Meals should be prepared in advance, so that the child can heat it and have it on his/her own. Always have a safety and first aid kit and teach your child how to use it in case of minor cuts and scrapes. Give your child the number of a trusted doctor in case required.
Candles Torches And Emergency Lighting
Nothing is scarier to a child than being home alone in the dark. Cater for torches, candles and emergency lights and place them where they are accessible to the child. Keep away anything remotely dangerous like guns, cigarettes, alcohol, tobacco, sharp knives, prescription medication, rat poison, insect repellents, car keys and lighters.
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