Tag Archives: children

Safety for School Days: 9 Rules for Safer Travels to and from School

Although we no longer have kids living at home, and the first day back to school is now on college campuses without mom needed (or wanted) to send anyone off, I still see all the first day of school pictures posted by friends on social media. And that reminds me once again of the importance of safety rules for kids getting to and from school.

No matter the age of your children, if they are going to and from school, they need some rules. And the sooner you instill those rules in them, the sooner the rules will become habits—habits that can last a lifetime.

To get you started, we offer nine rules for safer travels to and from school below:

Rule 1: Stick to the sidewalk
For those kids who walk to the bus stop or to school, they need to stay on the sidewalk. No walking out behind cars or in the road, or even in people’s yards. The sidewalk is there for a reason. Stay on it.

Rule 2: Avoid shortcuts
Shortcuts are a no no. Your kids should take the same route every day, and walk with other kids whenever possible. Talk to other parents with kids taking the same route to get all the kids traveling as a group, even if they’re just walking to the bus stop up the street.

Rule 3: Be careful when crossing the street
Kids are kids and, at any age, they can be careless when crossing the street. Remind your kids to look both ways, make eye contact with the drivers of the cars they assume are going to stop for them, and use crosswalks. Then remind them again.

Rule 4: Put the phone away!
Kids really should put their phones away when going to and from school. If they don’t, they are more likely to be distracted and step out into traffic, trip and fall, or not notice suspicious activity. If they are teenagers who drive, they most definitely should not be on their phones! Kids can send you a text when they leave the school, put their phones in their backpacks, and then pull their phones out to let you know they’re home. Period.

Rule 5: Stay safe at the bus stop
For kids who taking bus, the rule is to stay in the designated bus stop area. After school, they should go directly from the bus stop to their home or their daycare.

Rule 6: Don’t be too early
Although teaching kids to try to arrive early to events is a good habit to teach, many schools don’t have supervision outside the building until shortly before the school day starts. That leaves kids who arrive really early unsupervised by adults. Teach kids early is good, but too early is not safe, and have a designated time for your child’s arrival, when you know the school will either be open or have supervision.

Rule 7: No dawdling
Also make sure your kids know not to dawdle after school. They need to head straight to their next destination, whether that’s home, practice, daycare or somewhere else.

Rule 8: Know the rules of the road
For kids who ride their bikes to school and those who drive, reiterate the safety rules of each.

Rule 9: Have a password
Especially for younger kids, have a password. That password would be used if someone had to pick up your child unexpectedly, say if you were in an accident, for example. If your child is approached by a stranger who claims you sent them, the child should be taught to ask for the password. If the stranger doesn’t know it, the child should be taught to yell for help.

These days it seems fewer kids walk to school because parents are driving them in cars. But kids are still getting to and from school, and still need safety rules for doing so. And since the rules can apply to almost any situation, consider making one of the first lessons of this school year safety first.

When May Means Graduation, Give Gifts to Keep Them Safe

May has definitely become the month that kicks off graduation season, with both May and June seemingly full of elementary kids moving up to middle school, and middle school to high school, and then high graduates going off the college and college graduates going off to life! Oh my!

If you have friends or family moving into a next life stage—with a transition into or out of college—consider giving gifts that put safety first, because it’s an uncertain world out there. Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be a suit of armor or anything overly pricey. There are several ways you can give the gift of safety and security with ease…

For the kids headed to college in the fall For those graduates heading off college dorms, look for gifts at DormSmart.com. They sell “dorm room essentials” and have a section of their website focused on safety and security, including both items for sale and helpful hints. (Read more about dorm safety and security here.)

For those who will be driving, consider car safety kits, or this emergency preparedness backpack kit sold by the Red Cross. Other good ideas include gift cards for car maintenance or oil changes, so they can prepare their cars for the road trips to and fro.

For the kids headed out into the world
Not all kids are headed to college. Some will be entering the military while others go straight into the workforce (an increasingly popular choice these days). And even those going off to college won’t necessarily live in a dorm, as many choose apartments instead. (If you’ve ever had dorm food or tried to sleep in a building full of immature 18-year-olds away from home for the first time, you might not blame them!)

For those new graduates who are moving into an apartment or a home of their own, an emergency preparedness kit like the one mentioned above makes a great gift. Or pull together a few basic items they probably won’t have, like flashlights and batteries and a hand-cranked radio, and make a gift basket with those. Or make a gift basket with canned good and a can opener, in case the power goes out. These can be very clever but very useful gifts, because they help prepare the new graduate for an emergency but also get them thinking about being prepared.

And of course either the car safety kit or the emergency backpack mentioned above make great gifts for your new graduate, no matter where they are headed.

More than anything else, however, make sure you talk to them about staying safe and secure. It is a scary world out there. Talk to them about intangibles like identify theft and password concerns. Be honest with them about the importance of staying safe on campus or while out at night. Prevention really is worth a pound of cure, and their schooling probably didn’t teach them how to stay safe in the first place. So now’s your chance…

9 Ways Your Home Automation System Can Keep Kids Safe When They’re Home Alone

Following the high-profile abduction cases that led to pictures of missing children on milk cartons and much more diligence on the part of parents, studies show that far fewer kids are home alone these days: The number of grade-school American children who spend time at home alone has plunged by almost 40% since 1997.

Yet there are still those situations when kids will be unattended, at least for a short while, as much as parents would like to avoid it. Or the kids will be old enough to be unsupervised, but haven’t quite proved they are trustworthy before that day comes.

In either case, your home security system can help. Below are nine ways you can use your home security or home automation system to keep your kids safe and your sanity intact when your children are home alone:

  1. You can get alerts when a code used to unlock the front door, so you’ll know when your child has arrived home. If you’ve ever sat there waiting for a child to return a text message to you, letting you know they got home safely, you’ll know how nice this can be!
  2. Window and door sensors can alert you when a window or door is opened, so you can check in with your child.
  3. A video camera at the front door can show you (or your child) who is knocking.
  4. If you’ve said no video games, you can monitor the room that has that tempting distraction with a video camera to make sure rules are followed.
  5. A security video camera can also be used to monitor the yard (which is also helpful for those families who must leave a mischievous pet home alone).
  6. If your child is too young or your teenager too forgetful for properly monitoring the heating or air conditioning, you can use your home automation system to regulate the thermostat.
  7. Your home automation system can also be used to turn lights on automatically, either to make sure the house is lit when your child gets home on a dark winter afternoon, or to make sure your house is lit when you get home at the end of the day—because teenagers simply won’t think about it.
  8. As a parent with a child home alone, you can also get peace of mind knowing your home security system offers fire, carbon monoxide and flood monitoring.
  9. And if your kids need to leave the house, you can lock doors remotely should they forget.

Views about how much latitude children should have and at what age have changed drastically over the past 70 years, especially in the past 20 as we have turned into helicopter parents. (You can find a fascinating breakdown of changing parental attitudes over the decades by reading the results of this Slate study.)

My own kids are all grown and gone now and in their own apartments, and I still worry about them and wait for replies to texts so I know they’re okay. I guess some things never change, but at least technology makes it easier to keep an eye on them even when we’re not around.

Making Your Home Safe for Kids

Maybe you’re expecting an addition to your family sometime soon. That’s great, and congratulations! Or maybe you’re expecting family members to come stay for the weekend, and you need to make some quick adjustments to make the home suitable for the kids. There are a few things you’ll want to consider before both of these scenarios arise. But where do you start? Here are some things that we recommend:

A new addition

First and foremost, make sure your baby is never unattended. Take turns with your partner keeping an eye on your new bundle of joy and make sure that the baby is comfortable. Also, keep things out of baby’s reach to prevent choking. This becomes imperative as babies get older and learn how to crawl. Keep floors and surfaces clean of debris and small, chewable objects.

Second, you’ll want to consider investing in a security system. There are a lot of home security companies out there that offer a slew of different packages and pricing options, but above all, make sure you pick one with a high level of customer satisfaction. As of right now, SafeStreets USA has an impressive 7.6/10 rating according to Best Company and nearly 150 customer reviews. Contracts start at 36 months with lower monthly fees than more well-known industry competitors.

For a full guide to how home security systems work, click here.

Occasional visitors

Toddlers and small children are much more mobile than your new baby, so this is where things get complicated. There are a handful of particular things you need to protect children from, including the following:

  • Drowning
  • Electrical
  • Poisoning
  • Guns
  • Fires

Drowning isn’t much of a threat unless you have a swimming pool. If you do, you should know to keep it covered during winter months and drained if you’re not using it. If you have kids at the pool, always make sure that they’re supervised and equipped with age-appropriate flotation devices.

With electrical concerns, make sure that the wiring in your house has been done correctly. It’s not a bad idea to bring in an electrician if you’ve moved into a new place and you find that some of the light switches aren’t working correctly. Keep wall outlets covered with a plastic plug if they’re not already in use. Make sure electrical items in the kitchen and bathroom are kept out of reach.

So many things can classify as poison, from mouthwash to cleaning products. Common items that can be considered poisonous include medicine, cleaning products, mouthwash, toothpaste, or alcohol. Take them out of easily-accessible cabinets and put them in a place that will be hard to find and out of reach. If you find that a child has ingested dangerous substances, contact the National Poison Center Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

Keep guns out of the reach of children at all times. If you insist on owning a gun, keep it hidden away in a closet or in a locked drawer or safe. Instruct kids not to touch a gun if one is found, but instead to report it to an adult.

Fires can be easily made inside or outside depending on what’s available to kids. When cooking, keep pan handles pointed toward the back of the stove so kids can’t reach up and grab them. Keep kids away from the range when items are baking. Keep matches and lighters in a safe place that isn’t easily accessed.

 

Don’t Trust an Old Sack for the Perfect Gift: Questions to Ask Before Buying That Toy

Gift giving season is upon us, and for little ones, that means toys. Sure, teens and adults are happy with gift cards or cash, but children are rarely thrilled by something so abstract, preferring the immediate satisfaction of a toy they can play with right away. Even if you don’t have children to shop for, with so many children in need, many of us buy and donate to a toy drive. So it seems most of us are probably toy shopping at some point this time of year!

And that can be stressful. Walking down the toy aisles at your local supercenter may seem a bit overwhelming with all the options, and with all the new technology, toys are far more complex than they were 20 years ago. When confronted by all this variety, safety may be at the back of your mind, but it shouldn’t be.

John Hopkins Medicine released statistics showing that over 200,000 children are treated in emergency rooms every year for toy-related injuries, and 3% of those require hospital care. Although the majority of incidents involve riding toys such as tricycles or scooters, other injuries can be caused by choking, drowning or suffocation. Choking in particular is a risk for children under three years of age, as young ones are more likely to put small pieces in their mouth and their airways are smaller.

Yes, these are scary statistics, putting a damper on that toy shopping, right? But the toys you pick out this year don’t have to be a part of these statistics or put anyone in the hospital. Check out the simple questions below to keep in mind during your stroll through the dolls and dinosaurs, and you’ll be sure to err on the side of safety while shopping:

  • What is the recommended age? Keep in mind the age of all the children in the house, because you never know who might be able to get their hands on that toy.
  • Does it have sharp points or edges? When kids play rough you don’t want anyone poking an eye out.
  • Are there any long cords or strings? This may not be the first safety concern to come to mind, but cords or strings could get wrapped around someone and cause serious injury or suffocation.
  • Is it small enough to fit in a mouth? Or are there small pieces that could break off? Especially with toddlers, if it can go in a mouth, it will go in a mouth.
  • Are the magnets safely secured in plastic? See the previous question, since swallowed magnets can be even more dangerous than swallowed plastic.
  • Is it loud, and can the volume be turned off or lowered? Toys with without adjustable volumes aren’t just annoying; they can damage hearing as well.
  • Is it nontoxic? Some countries have stricter regulations on materials than others, so make sure any toy you pick up is made safely and reliably by checking where it was made.
  • If it’s made from fabric, is it washable? Spills happen all the time, and no one wants a favorite toy ruined forever by a favorite juice, plus fabrics can harbor bacteria in a way plastic can’t.
  • Are the batteries securely screwed in? If you can pry them out without a screwdriver, it might be best to put the whole toy back.
  • Perhaps most important, was it recalled? Doing some research online may save you from giving a toy that shouldn’t be sold in the first place.

Yes, this is a lot to think about for just a simple gift. But if you ask yourself all these questions while shopping, you’ll walk away with a safe, reliable, well-made toy that can last for years. And if you practice by questioning toy purchases, think of how many other purchases you could make with the same safety principles, creating established, lasting habits of safe buying?

On the Spookiest of Nights, Safety Still Matters: How to Keep Kids Safe This Halloween

Always check your children’s Halloween candy to see if it has been tampered with, right? Stories of poisoned Halloween candy being randomly handed out to kids have circulated in October for years. In 1982, after the Tylenol tampering scare, candy poisoning hysteria hit its peak. Some hospitals even offered to X-ray Halloween candy for free to check for anything unusual.

We heard those rumors in our own youth, and it’s something we look for in our children’s candy hauls. You never know if one of your neighbors has decided to play the cruelest trick of all on the treats they hand out…

…except these stories aren’t true! There has never been a police report of randomly distributed poisoned Halloween candy. Although there have unfortunately been cases of specifically targeted poisoned Halloween candy and cases of harm befalling children after they’ve eaten their Halloween treats, none of these support the rumors of a devious homeowner purposely passing out modified candy on Halloween night. (Read this Snopes article if you do want a couple of chilling examples of Halloween harm…)

So if you don’t need to worry about poison or razorblades, everything’s just fine for October 31st, right? Well, not quite. It’s still a night that requires a diligent eye on the part of the parent. Here are some other items you can check for on the spookiest of holidays…

In the bag

  • Check nutrition labels on treats to make sure there are no ingredients that your child is allergic to.
  • Check goody bags for anything that could be a choking hazard, like small toys, hard candy and even gum.
  • Check to make sure your child isn’t hungry before venturing out on their candy hunt. They shouldn’t be eating any treats until they get back home so you can inspect them, and if they’re hungry, it will be harder for them to stay out of the candy.

On their costumes

  • Check to make sure your child can move in their costume, be it stepping up and down stairs or just walking without tripping over fabric.
  • Check to make sure you can see your child in the dark. Reflective strips can be attached to candy bags and their costume, or you can even find reflective costumes that look like any other normal costume—until the light shines on them, that is!
  • Check to make sure any products going on the skin, like face paint or makeup, are non-toxic and test them on a small patch of skin first prior to Halloween. If non-toxic and your child’s skin doesn’t react to it, face paint or makeup is a safe alternative to a mask, which can slip down and obstruct your child’s vision.

Out on the streets

  • Check for electronics. If a child is trick or treating without an adult, make sure they have a cell phone to use in case of an emergency. But along with the responsibility of having the phone is making sure they know to look up and pay attention to their surroundings while they’re walking. Have that talk!
  • Check both ways before crossing the street. Children are twice as likely to get hit by a car on Halloween night than on any other night. This caution goes for adults that are driving as well: Be extra cautious and on the lookout for any child darting out from behind a parked car. (And see the point above about kids looking down at cell phone screens—they can be oblivious!)

Back at home

  • Check your outside lighting, making sure your front porch is well lit as well as your yard and walkway.
  • Check your inside lighting. Indoor lights can make your home look more inviting for trick-or-treaters, as well as show any tricksters that someone is home.
  • Check for tripping hazards on your porch, in your yard and across your walkway. Even jack-o-lanterns should be placed out of the way to prevent tripping and so no loose fabric can get too close to a candle.

Although you may not be checking for poison or razor blades in your children’s treats, there are plenty of other safety factors to check before and after setting out on a candy quest. Have a happy and safe Halloween, practicing these safety tips and passing them on to your dinosaurs and storm troopers!

It’s Never too Early to Start Teaching Safety Habits—Start With These 8

With school back in session, the past month has probably been full of buying new school clothes, stocking up on essentials like pencils and notebook paper, and at least one trip to the store for an important piece of a school project put off until the last minute (because that’s how kids roll).

But despite all of the new school year tasks, keeping our kids safe is as important as ever, and it’s never too early to instill (or reiterate) good safety habits. To make sure your child’s safety precautions aren’t tucked in the back of their closet with their summer sandals, take some time to review these eight safety tips with them, to keep your children safe all throughout the school day—from the beginning to the end.

Getting to school

  • Don’t be too early: Most schools have a set time when there will be supervision in the building, on the playground, and even in the parking lot. If your child walks or is driven to school, make sure they arrive after this time, as any child who arrives earlier is at risk since they could be unsupervised and even possibly alone.
  • Stay safe at the bus stop: For children who take the bus, stress the importance of staying in the designated bus stop area. Wandering off could mean missing the bus, and running around chasing other kids could lead to injuries.
  • Stick to the sidewalk: Remind your children to stay on the sidewalks and crosswalks—and out of the road—and to be paying attention to where they’re walking. A phone is a common distraction, and looking down playing a game on a smartphone could mean running into another person or crossing the street without looking both ways. Maybe make it a rule that the phone is in their pockets until they get to the school property. This applies as much before they get on the bus as when they get off, if they’re not walking to school.

At school

  • Lock your locker: Whether your child carries everything in their backpack, stores belongings in a cubby, or has access to a locker in the hallway, be sure that valuables are being left at home. If your child’s school has lockers, teach them to lock their locker every time they use it, even if all that gets left inside is their lunch and jacket. An unlocked locker could mean an empty stomach later in the day if someone has the opportunity to steal that brown paper bag (or really cool Spiderman lunchbox!).
  • Gather all belongings before leaving the classroom: Even without a locker, everything brought into a classroom should leave the classroom with your child. Jackets, books, homework assignments, even a cell phone could get lost if left behind during the next period. Remind them to pack everything up before moving on to their next class or leaving for the day.

Leaving school

  • Have a password: Especially for your younger kids, mutually agree on a password that someone would have to use to pick up your child unexpectedly. Teach your child to ask anyone who says they were sent to pick them up for that password. Remind them not just to ask strangers, but even family friends or relatives who should know the password if you sent them. If your child is traveling to or from school and someone claims they are there to pick up your child but they don’t know the password, teach your child to yell for help.
  • Don’t dawdle: Taking extra time to talk to friends on the playground or hanging out in the parking lot could mean missing the bus or getting home or to daycare late. Set a schedule with your child of when they need to leave the school and when they need to arrive at their after-school destination so if they don’t arrive it’s not because they hung around school too long, and you’ll know it’s time to worry.
  • Tell only parents when home alone: If your child gets home and you aren’t there, make sure they communicate with you and only you. Remind them not to answer the phone and say their parents aren’t around, and not to post on any social media that they’ve got the house to themselves. This includes not telling friends, as information is easily broadcast with today’s social networks.

The age of your kids, where you live, and how your kids get to and from school will all influence the kinds of safety and security measures you’ll need to take as the new school year continues on its way. Taking these safety steps can help ensure your child stays safe and you stay sane…and instill personal safety habits that will last a lifetime.

Home Alone Again? Guidelines for Setting Expectations When Kids Are Home Without You

Although the number of latchkey kids has dropped dramatically in recent years, there are still kids coming home to empty houses, if not every day, at least on occasion. Those days of kids home alone can be particularly stressful for the parents. Yet parents can worry a little less if they can be sure they’ve gone over rules and scenarios with their children in advance. But what should those rules be? What unknowns should be covered?

Every family has a different situation with kids of varying ages and capabilities, so it’s unreasonable to make a set list of rules or guidelines that every family adheres to. However, we can suggest what your agreement might include, based on research and personal experience.

Here’s our summation below. Perhaps your family can draw on these suggestions to create a written document that parents and kids agree to and sign, to make sure everyone is clear on expectations and no one can claim “I didn’t know.”

  • Being on time: If your child has a tendency to dawdle on the way home from school, you might want to have a set time by which they need to be home and checking in with you.
  • Checking in: In what way should your child let you know they are home?
  • Neighbors: Which neighbors can/should your child go to and under what circumstances?
  • Protocol: Once your child is home, what should the safety routine be? It might be lock the door, set the alarm, turn on the porch light, put the dog out, and let mom/dad know they’re home, for example.
  • The thermostat: Is your child allowed to turn the heat or air conditioning up or down?
  • Doors and windows: Can any doors or windows be left open on hot days or for another reason?
  • Kitchen: What is your child allowed to do in the kitchen? Use the microwave? The stove? What are the expectations about cleaning up after?
  • If something goes wrong: What should your child do if there’s an emergency? Where should they go? Whom should they call? What counts as an emergency?
  • Chores and homework: Which chores are to be done and by when? What are the expectations around homework?
  • Fun: Is your child allowed to go to a friend’s? Can a friend come over? What are the rules regarding video games or computer time, or even time spent screwing around on their phones?

In addition, make sure you have all necessary phone numbers printed out and easy to find, like next to the phone or on the refrigerator. I don’t know about your kids, but mine are constantly telling me their phone died, so they need access to phone numbers without their cell phones too, just in case.

Also hold yourself accountable as the parent. If you’re going to be in a meeting and unavailable from say 3:30 to 4:00, for example, or you’re going to be late getting home from work, let them know. You’ll be giving your child peace of mind, but being a role model for how this arrangement should work as well.

And if your kids are sometimes home alone, now might be the right time to get a home security system, for more peace of mind than an agreement can provide.

Review These 4 Pool Safety Reminders Before the Kids Start Splashing

Summer is officially here at last! If your kids haven’t been splashing around in pool water yet, chances are they soon will be. And as part of our ongoing effort to keep you and your loved ones safe and secure, we offer four crucial reminders about pool safety. Just remember to review them before the swimsuits go on and the kids go in!

One: Always keep an eye on your kids when near water, always
Keeping an eye on your children is your responsibility. Period. There might be lifeguards, friends or family nearby, but it’s not their job to keep constant watch, it’s yours. And things can go horribly wrong fast, so put your phone away when poolside. Thinking you’ll quickly glance at your phone and no harm can come from it is misguided. Only looking away for a minute puts your kids at risk. Your phone can wait. Facebook can wait. So can Twitter, Snapchat and every other social media app. Oh, and your email and texts too.

Every year, over 200 young children drown in backyard pools. Constant supervision is a must to prevent these tragedies.

Two: Make sure your kids can swim
It’s not just toddlers and other young children who are at risk of drowning. Tweens, teenagers and even young adults are at risk. I have also heard stories, and I’m sure you have too, of older children and teens drowning. I have a dear friend whose son drowned in his early twenties because he didn’t swim well.

Learning to swim is a lifelong, lifesaving skill, and it’s one your children can begin to learn at any age. They’re never too young nor too old to learn to swim.

Three: Keep kids away from the pool
Because kids are fast and sneaky, you’ll need to make sure your pool cannot be accessed when you’re not around if you have one at home. To do this, you’ll need a 4-foot fence, a gate that can’t be unlatched by kids, and an alarm system that goes off when someone enters the pool.

When you’re away from home but near a pool, you’ll need to rely on constant supervision to keep them safe.

Four: Know, teach and practice pool safety rules…and CPR
Have pool rules such as no diving or running, stay away from the drain, and other rules that make sense for your family, whether these rules are for your pool at home or a public one. Know what to do if someone is in trouble, and definitely know CPR. The Red Cross offers a two-hour online class on pool safety and maintenance that you can find here. Invest the time to review the course. Then go over all of the rules and what to do when something goes wrong with your kids—repeatedly throughout the summer, until it becomes second nature for you and for them.

Private and public pools aren’t the only risks. Kids can also drown in hot tubs, spas and above-ground pools, so follow these guidelines whenever your children are around water, whether that water is in your backyard, at the local park, or at the hotel you’re staying at while on vacation.

3 Ways to Keep Kids Safer When They’re Home Alone This Summer

As the school year comes to a close and parents face the prospect of summer break—and keeping kids occupied while the parents are at work—many parents are scrambling to make plans for their kids. Although summer camps can provide some relief, kids can’t spend all summer at camp. They need some downtime at home too, plus camp is costly, and many parents end up leaving kids home alone as a result.

As many as 1 in 10 grade school children might be home alone during the summer months while parents are at work. If your kids are among those children who will have unsupervised time at home, here are some ways to keep them safer and you saner during this long break from school.

Review and enforce safety tips
Your children should know the basics behind being home alone, such as don’t answer the front door, and if they answer the phone, they should not tell the caller they are home alone. They should also know to keep doors and windows locked, and the garage door closed and locked.

In addition, they should know what they can and cannot do. Can they have friends over? If so, which ones? Can they go to a friend’s house? What is the protocol if they do? Do they text you to let you know that’s what they’re doing? Can they play outside? Front yard or back yard? As far as outside, your swimming pool and trampoline should probably be off-limits when kids are home alone, as well as any other similar play equipment.

Have snacks and meals at the ready
Although your kids do need to know how to cook, the younger ones probably shouldn’t cook while you’re not home, so make sure you leave the fridge and pantry well-stocked. Also go over guidelines about what they can and can’t do in the kitchen when you’re gone. Maybe toasting a piece of bread is okay but boiling up water for pasta is not. Have a rule for knives as well. If you leave plenty of food handy, they’re less likely to get into anything they shouldn’t.

My youngest is an adventuresome cook who tried deep frying one day while I was gone. I got the phone call from her after the fire department had left: She had started a grease fire that quickly got out of control. It could have been much worse, but all we had was smoke damage, thank goodness. However, it had not occurred to me that I needed to place limits on what kind of cooking she could tackle while unsupervised. I learned my lesson!

Invest in a home automation system
If you’ve been considering a home security or home automation system, perhaps now is the time to get one set up, before the kids are out of school for the summer. With a home security system that offers automation features, you can:

  • Use video monitoring to ensure kids are way they should be—when they should be.
  • See who is at the front door when the doorbell rings.
  • Automate the thermostat so the kids aren’t messing with the air conditioning.
  • Lock doors remotely should the kids forget to do so.
  • Have the peace of mind that comes from knowing a sign in the yard is a deterrent to potential burglars.

Leaving kids home alone during the summer break can be worrisome for parents, making it even harder to focus on work during those hours. Taking proactive steps, having strict guidelines or even rules, and investing in a home security system can all help to decrease the worry for you and increase the safety for them.

View all of our security plans and features!

Customer Reviews

I feel so much better knowing my family is protected! I spoke with SafeStreets USA in the evening and a technician was able to come install the system for me then for my parents first thing the next morning. Very impressed with his knowledge and care!

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We had our ADT system installed by SafeStreets USA and were really impressed with the service we received from our technician. He was very friendly and answered all of our questions on the system and how it worked. He set everything up in a couple of hours and was a real pleasure to talk with []

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