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.
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 childs 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.
School Bus Safety Tips… Soon your children will be going back to school. As parents, you will have survived another summer with them at home! In the next several posts on my blog, I will address various aspects of school safety and security. I hope you find these tips useful to your children’s school safety for the coming year.
School Bus Safety
In a few weeks, the yellow school buses will start rolling again. Nationally, 23.5 million children are transported by bus on a daily basis. It is one of the safest forms of transportation. On average there are only seven passenger fatalities each year. Most of these occur during the boarding and leaving the bus.
What about the lack of Seat belts?
People believe that children are not protected in a bus because they have no seat belts. School buses have been designed with a protection system that fits kindergarten students all the way through high school without the use of seat belts. The protection system is called compartmentalization because the seats are strong, closely spaced, high backed and well padded to absorb energy during a crash.
Here is a short video on school bus safety tips. I invite you to watch with your children these bus safety tips. Talk with them about them so that your child has a safe and good experience with their bus trips.
I could address many areas regarding teenage school safety and security. One topic that often flies under the radar is cyber-bullying. Look for a moment at these 2014 statistics on cyber-bullying.
Over half (52 percent) of young people report being cyber bullied
More than half of young people surveyed say that they never told their parents when cyber bullying happens to them
Over half (55 percent) of all teens who use social media have witnessed outright bullying via that medium
An astounding 95 percent of teens who witnessed bullying on scial media report that others, like them, have ignored the behavior
In short, cyber-bullying is happening via social media, cell phones and computers. Parents have little knowledge that it is happening. Cyber-bullying can lead to depression, a drop in grades, self-harming behaviors, and in some cases suicide.
1. Gossip: Posting or sending cruel gossip to damage a person’s reputation and relationships with friends, family, and acquaintances.
2. Exclusion: Deliberately excluding someone from an online group.
3. Impersonation: Breaking into someone’s e-mail or other online account and sending messages that will cause embarrassment or damage to the person’s reputation and affect his or her relationship with others.
4. Harassment: Repeatedly posting or sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages.
5. Cyber-stalking: Posting or sending unwanted or intimidating messages, which may include threats.
6. Flaming: Online fights where scornful and offensive messages are posted on websites, forums, or blogs.
7. Outing and Trickery: Tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information, which is then shared online.
8. Cyber-threats: Remarks on the Internet threatening or implying violent behavior, displaying suicidal tendencies
Standing up to peers is a hard thing to do for people of all ages. But you can make it easier for kids by giving them the confidence and the support they need to do so. Here are some ways parents can help children develop these traits:
• Teach children to be assertive. Emphasize peaceful ways to solve problems and encourage kids to stand up for themselves verbally, not violently.
• Show kids safe ways to help others. Make it clear that you expect kids to take action if they see someone being hurt, or if they are hurt themselves.
• Hold kids accountable. If children stand by and watch someone being bullied, make it clear that their behavior hurts the victim too.
• Get to know their friends. Encourage your children to invite their friends to your home or accompany you on family outings.
• Be a good example. If you see someone being bullied or hurt, help them.
• Build empathy in your kids. If you see examples of people being bullied or hurt in movies, television, or books, talk with your children about how these people must feel. Ask your children how they would feel in that situation and what they would do to make it better. Point out ways characters helped out, or didn’t, and have your children think up different ways to help.
• Help them develop social skills. From a young age, encourage your children to play with others and to be friends with many different people. Have them spend time with people of different ages, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, religions, and mental and physical abilities.
• Young people are using the Internet more than ever and most have Internet access from home. For many children, the Internet isn’t simply a convenient way to research or a fun after school activity – it’s a big part of their social life. Emailing and chatting with friends are children’s most common online activities, after studying and playing games. But like many other social situations, some kids bully other kids online.
As our teenagers are more and more involved in the digital online world, cyber-bullying will increase as a problem. Have a talk with your teenager about cyber-bullying. Listen and learn from them about this world. Then offer your wisdom on the situation.
If you would like a free parent’s guide to cyberbullying, click here Parent Guide.
Keep Your Home and Kids Secure with Remote Video Monitoring
While your kids head back to school, make sure your home is secure for them to come back to and have a peace of mind knowing they are safe inside when they return. We provide various at-home security options that are all accessible from your smartphone, tablet or any web device. With live HD video, monitor the inside or outside of your home and turn your home’s security system off and on as needed. Here are some advantages of remote video monitoring:
Keep the bad guys away: Outdoor security cameras help detect burglars as most thieves scope out the home before they rob it. If they spot your security camera, they will probably think twice about breaking in. This keeps your family and pets inside safe, as well as your belongings and prevents you from being a victim of crime.
Assist police: If a break-in does occur, your security camera will be able to show police what happened, including a description of the intruder. This can help them gather the information needed to locate the thief and maybe even retrieve your stolen items.
Monitor your kids: When your kids return home from school, you will be able to see when they have made it back safely. You can also have a second set of eyes on them if your younger kids are being watched by a teenage babysitter. Being able to check in will ease your sense of worry and allow you to get your work done so you can return home yourself.
Check in on your pets: Now that your kids are off to school for the day and will not be able to tend to your family pets, you can keep an eye on them to make sure they are not getting themselves into any trouble. If something does happen to your belongings, you will be able to see the cause of it and implement preventable actions when you get home, ensuring your animals (and your furniture) are safe. Also, older pets that may need that extra attention during the day can be watched over as well.
Ensure your loved ones are protected with our home video camera systems. Contact us today for more information!