There’s no denying that back to school will be very different for students and families this year. COVID-19 means that most kids are at home, learning virtually, instead of in a traditional classroom setting. One thing hasn’t changed though. Parents and their children still need to discuss how to remain safe while at home.
If your child will be home alone, parents should have an age-appropriate conversation with them. Be sure to include these topics:
• Children should check in with a parent or a trusted neighbor at set times throughout the day. We recommend a check-in at least every hour. Try to check in with your child through video chat as well.
• Teach them how to call 911 and make sure that they know their full address.
• Know how to use the door and window locks, and to lock them when they are at home alone. Use the alarm system if there is one in the house.
• Never let anyone into the home without asking parents for permission, and never let a caller at the door or on the phone know that they are alone. Teach children to stay away from the door when someone knocks or rings the doorbell, and call a parent or trusted adult immediately.
• Know how to escape in case there is a fire.
• Never enter an empty house or apartment if things don’t look right — a broken window opened the door, or a car not recognized parked in the driveway. Instead, call a parent.
• Let parents know about anything that scares them or makes them feel uncomfortable.
• Never go into anyone else’s home without parental permission.
• If your household uses a camera doorbell, or has Wi-Fi enabled security cameras, it is a good idea to have those up to date and to turn your phone’s notifications on to alert you if there is any activity.