Safety Tips For Kids Left Home Alone After School

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With school about to start, many parents will make the decision to let their kids remain home alone when class lets out for the day. The Nagelberg Bernard Law Group has important tips for parents hoping to give their kids the tools necessary to avoid the myriad personal injury threats that can exist in the home.

...simply talking to your children can go a long way toward setting them up with the tools they’ll need to stay safe.

Kids will soon be headed back to class, and many parents may decide that this will be the year they let their children stay home by themselves for a couple hours at the end of the school day.

Coming to this decision won’t be easy, and parents will no doubt be a bundle of nerves once they finally make that leap. The Nagelberg Bernard Law Group wants to set parents’ minds at ease by offering a few vital tips.

Larry Nagelberg, who heads up the firm’s Los Angeles personal injury branch, understands how tough it is for parents to cede some of the responsibility for safety to their children. But he also knows that parents have options when it comes to teaching kids about safety.

“Just because you’re not home doesn’t mean that you as a mother or a father can’t protect your kids,” said Mr. Nagelberg. “You may not be there yourself, but simply talking to your children can go a long way toward setting them up with the tools they’ll need to stay safe. Discuss the following personal injury matters with your kids and the hours after school won’t need to be a constant worry.”

Here are the Nagelberg Bernard Law Group’s tips on talking to kids about after-school personal injury dangers:

1. Cooking Dangers- Parents might take it for granted that their children know how to make basics that require an oven. Teach kids the proper way to cook straight-forward things (think mac and cheese) using an oven or establish a rule that kids are not to use the oven while parents are away. And if kids are going to cook, they should be taught to deprive grease fires of oxygen rather than try to put them out with water.

2. Lockdown- Parents should explain to kids that they are to go home immediately after school, following the proper rules of traffic related to pedestrians and cyclists as they do. Once kids arrive home, they should lock the doors at once to prevent random persons from getting in.

3. Sibling Chivalry- If parents feel that their kids are responsible enough to act as a babysitter for their younger siblings, they should offer guidance in this regard. The older sibling should be informed of various hazards that may not necessarily affect them but that will affect their brother or sister.

4. Rules With Friends- Rules need to be laid out regarding who a child is allowed to have over when a parent is not around. If a parent permits a child’s friends to drop in, some activities should still be expressly forbidden. Jumping on a trampoline, going for a swim, and other activities that create readily apparent dangers must be avoided when parents aren't available, whether the child’s friends are there or not. Drowning and falling risks increase dramatically when parents are not around.

5. Internet Supervision- Rules should be enacted regarding computer usage within the home. Parental controls should be used so that a child won’t have access to websites with adult content. Furthermore, parents must speak with their kids about the proper usage of social media websites.

6. Stranger Danger- Kids shouldn’t let anyone they don’t know into the home. And when answering the phone, they should never tell the person on the other end of the line that they’re alone.

7. Emergency Action- Should some sort of injury take place despite all precautions, children must have access to emergency phone numbers. In addition to knowing how to dial 911, other important numbers (like that for a Poison Hotline) should be in plain sight. Parents should be available to answer the phone at all times, and a child should have at least a minimal understanding of how to use first aid. Finally, should a fire grow out of control, kids should know how to exit the home in an expedient and safe manner.

The Nagelberg Bernard Law Group represents the victims of numerous types of personal injury situations, including automobile accidents, dog bites, slip and fall incidents, defective products, and wrongful death in any of the above. They have guided injured persons through the legal process for more than 30 years and their efforts have helped secure more than $400 million in compensation for clients. Interested persons can follow this link to the Nagelberg Bernard Law Group’s Los Angeles personal injury website to receive a free consultation.

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Larry Nagelberg
since: 04/2010
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