Advent Security

Latchkey Kids Can Cause a Security Concern

Gain some peace of mind with these Advent systems and some practical tips to ensure their safety

With kid’s back in school this month, many of them are latchkey kids – those children arriving home from school with no one at home who go unsupervised because the parents are at work. According to Advent Security Sales Manager Tim Fagan, there are a number of things parents should be concerned about with regard to their latchkey children.

The first is simply ensuring that they arrived home safely. “It’s a question of how do we know they got home okay unless there is some communication through a phone call or text,” Fagan said. Another concern is, once they arrive home, did they get in the house safely?

“You want to know they got in the house okay and whether someone followed them home – whether a friend or not – and did someone enter the house with them,” continued Fagan.

As a parent, you also want to know that kids have secured themselves in the house after they’ve entered, as well as what they’re doing once they’re home. Are they doing homework? Cooking dinner? Or are they engaging in some activity that you would rather they didn’t?

“Advent can install an interactive security system that will answer all those questions,” said Fagan.

The system will tell you when your child arrived home and whether the door is secured and locked behind them. The system also has a live video feature, so you can see for yourself that they arrived and got in safe and that they activated the security system after they’re inside the house. “With some smoke detectors and other devices we offer, as a working parent, you’ll know your kids are home safe,” Fagan said. “And you can have that peace of mind without the need for contact, because, you know, sometimes kids forget to call.”

Additional Home-Alone Safety Tips for Latchkey Kids

Check your state’s restrictions: The age guidelines vary, though most experts say a child should be at least 12 to be left on his own.

Safeguard your home: Lock up alcohol, poisons, and firearms.

Review the rules: Talk about what you expect your child to do — and not do — and create a schedule for her to follow (such as homework, chores, and then TV). Check in regularly, and consider getting her a cell phone for the walk home.

Practice together: Have him stay alone for 30 minutes, then build up to an afternoon. Don’t ask if he knows how to lock the door behind him; have him show you. Also role-play different situations and how to handle them (such as if someone on the phone asks where Mommy is).

Be prepared: Post important phone numbers on the fridge, quiz her on different scenarios (such as what to do in case of a fire), and ask an adult in the area to be on standby.

Stay positive: If you display unease about leaving him alone, he’s more likely to be nervous about it too.

Source: Parents Magazine

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