Door: When you are home alone, keep the door closed and locked for everyone.
Phone: Let the phone ring, use Caller ID or the answering machine, or work out a system with your parents so that no one knows you are alone.
Internet: Visit only the sites that are parentally approved. NEVER give out personal information to anyone online!
Home Alone skills are not only for the child who is by himself or herself. They also apply to children (especially young ones) who are home with another child or even a parent:
- Maybe Dad is in the backyard cutting the grass or Mom is napping or busy in the basement with the laundry.
- A young child is not capable of making sound and safe decisions about a younger sibling.
- "Keep the door shut and locked" for everyone- neighbor, teacher, PTA parent, Dad's boss, someone in uniform, etc. The only exception is a Safety Person.
- It does not matter if the person knows you are in the house; you still do not need to open the door!
- It does not matter if the person says his car broke down or he has an emergency and needs to use the phone.
- It does not matter if the person is in some type of uniform or looks or acts like an authority figure!
- If the child gets scared or doesn't know what to do, CHECK FIRST! Call a parent at work, call a neighbor, call a Safety Person, call the police.
- "Let it ring! Let it ring! Let it ring!"
- It is not a good idea to answer and say Mom is in the shower. The person may call back several times and know that Mom is not really in the shower. The best thing is to let it ring or let the answering machine pick up.
- If you want your child to answer, the best thing to say is that "Mom can't come to the phone right now. May I take a message and she'll call you back?" That way the child has not lied, but it stops the person from calling again. Bonus: Mom knows who called!
- Discuss with your child what is and is not permitted on television and the computer.
- Discuss kitchen safety with your child. Is she old enough to use the microwave? Can he use cutting utensils?
- Other children should not be permitted in the house when your child is home alone.
- You can check in with your child to make sure everything is OK.
- Keep a list of emergency phone numbers RIGHT BESIDE the phone.
Remember: Check First before you open the door, answer the phone, or give out information online. If you cannot check, then the answer is NO!
The curriculum goes into more detail on this subject.