Being home alone can be a scary proposition for kids and parents. Many parents who work all day are faced with the daunting task of making sure their children are safe and protected before and after school. By following the tips listed below, parents can ease some of the anxiety associated with leaving their children home alone as well as general child safety advice.
- City of Albuquerque Ordinance states that children ten years or less can not be left home alone. Children eleven years or older can legally be left alone. However, regardless of age, make sure your child is mature enough and can comprehend rules to your satisfaction before leaving them alone.
- Can your child be trusted to go straight home after school, easily use the telephone, locks, follow rules and instructions, and stay alone without being afraid?
- Parents should teach kids basic safety rules and house rules. They should also know where their children are at all times, what they're doing, and who they're with.
- Instruct your child to check in with a trusted neighbor or call you as soon as they get home.
- Make sure they know how to call 911 in case of an emergency and post important numbers.
- Do they know their telephone number, address, and directions to the home?
- Establish a pre-arranged code word in case someone has to pick them up for you.
- Do they know how to operate all doors and window locks as well as an alarm system?
- Install eye viewers at a level comparable to your children's height.
- Explain to your children to never let anyone into the home or let them know that they are alone.
- Establish set rules about having friends over or going somewhere without your permission.
- Children should never carry their house/apartment key in full view. Place the key in a shirt pocket, sock, or other secure place.
- Teach them never to go into the home if signs of intrusion are noticed (broken windows, ripped screen, open doors).
- Establish a fixed route to and from school and walk that route with your children. Point out designated locations they can go for help including neighbors.
- Encourage them to walk with friends at all times.
- Avoid danger spots like alleys, wooded areas, construction zones, public restrooms, empty buildings and remain in well lit, active locations. Avoid locations where strangers are present.
- If a stranger (any one they do not know) attempts to follow or grab them, teach them to scream, +Stay away from me" or "This person is trying to hurt me," and run to an established safe place.
- Regularly communicate with your child about unusual incidents, contact with other people, or any event that makes them uncomfortable.
- Children should practice making an emergency call. Rehearse their full name, address, and phone number including area code
- Teach your child to contact a store clerk or security officer if they are separated from you.
- Teach your child that no one, not even a friend or relative, has the right to touch them in a way that makes them uncomfortable.
- Teach them to never accept a gift or ride from people they do not know.
APD Crime Prevention 924-3600