This is my third post on children’s summer safety tips. In this post I will share some thoughts on children home along during the summer.

While there is no law that constitutes Lack of Supervision, Georgia policy stateschildren 8 and under should not be left alone. Children 9 to 12 can be left alone for up to two hours or less. Children 13 and above can be left alone and act as a caretaker (babysitter) for younger children. This depends on the child’s level of maturity (limit of twelve hours).

Obviously there are more considerations than merely the age of the child. There is their maturity and their comfortableness with being along that must be weighted.

Here are some parent and child home alone tips from

Safety Tips for Parents

While teaching your child safety rules for staying home alone, it is important to stress the importance of the safety rules, without unnecessarily instilling fear.
• Post a list of emergency numbers including family members, trusted friends and neighbors, and emergency personnel.
• Make sure your child knows his/her phone number and address. Write these on the list of important numbers. It is very easy for anyone, especially a child, to panic in an emergency. If included on the list, your child can easily read aloud to a 911 operator in case of emergency.
• Keep a first aid kit in the house. Teach your child basic first aid.
• Make sure there are working smoke detectors on every floor of the house and teach your child what to do in case of fire. Practice fire evacuation routes with your children.
• Keep a flashlight and batteries in an easily accessible place in case of power outage. Show your child where to find it.
• Make sure that your child has a way to contact you when you are away from the home, including a cell phone and/or work number. Check your messages often and promptly return your child’s calls.
• Limit the kind of cooking that can be done absent adult supervision.
• Call and check on your child. Always call and let them know if you are running late.
• If you have a home security system, do your children know how to operate it?

Safety tips for children

• Never let anyone into the house. Do not open the door to strangers.
• Use caller id or an answering machine to screen calls. When answering the phone, never tell callers you are home alone. Tell them your mom/dad is busy and will call them back.
• Keep all doors and windows locked.
• If coming home to an empty house – never enter the house if there are open or broken windows or doors, or other signs of forced entry. Leave and get help from a trusted neighbor.
• Stay in the house until parents return home. Do not invite friends over.
• Tell parents of any fears or concerns.

Following these simple tips can mean a safer summer home environment for your children. Many parents are now adding video cams that can be remotely accessed from your workplace. If you would like additional information on this added measure, give us a call to learn more details.