Now that school is in full swing and all of us are beginning to set our regular routines, you probably are starting to recognize a few blinds spots that you didn’t notice while preparing for back to school. All the kids' binders may be well organized, the driving schedules are probably set, the Crockpot dinners are in the freezer and prepped, however, you may not have considered the plan for when your children get home from school.
Whether your kids walk home, take the bus, or are dropped off by someone you trust after school lets out, it’s always a smart idea to think ahead about what happens when they get to the front door. While many people think their children are safe at home during the day, it’s important to know that most burglaries occur during the afternoon before parents return home from work. Having a plan is vital to your peace of mind and also your family’s safety.
Knowing where your children are, and what their daily routines are, is essential to ensuring their complete safety. Listed below are a few tips to make sure they get to and from school without harm every day.
1. Know Your Children's Route
Planning the most direct path can help your children avoid unnecessary dangers while walking to the bus stop or walking all the way to school. Including your child in this plan will help him or her understand the importance of obeying all traffic laws, why they should not talk to strangers and also why they need to stay on the planned route.
2. Have Your Children Memorize Your Phone Number
While most children have cellphones these days, it is always a good idea to have them memorize close family members’ numbers in case of an emergency. We also recommend teaching them how to call 911 and then explaining to them when 911 should be called versus when a family member should be called.
3. Start a Calendar
Know where everyone is during the day! Draw up a calendar with your kids so the entire family knows where everyone is during the week. You can even make this fun by using stickers or allowing the kids to color on the calendar. Make sure to add all after-school activities and social engagements, as well.
While these little tricks are helpful, it’s vital to inform your children of the dangers of engaging with strangers. Most of us laugh at the commonly-used term “stranger danger,” but we need to remember that all of us were taught to have a healthy fear of people we do not know at some point—this does not come naturally to children who typically tend to trust most adults. We suggest starting up a conversation at dinner tonight about strangers and general safety.
We also recommend going beyond just having a conversation about strangers. Sit your children down and talk about how their natural curiosity could lead them into trouble. Come up with a plan and ask them questions about what they would do if they came home after school to an open front door or broken window. This will help you get a better idea of how your children think and how they may respond in a situation like this one.
After getting a feel for how your kids may respond, talk about where they could go and who they would call if anything ever felt suspicious. Make sure to explain how they should never explore a sketchy situation on their own. Having these conversations with your children and asking them questions is an excellent way to make sure the entire family is on the same page.
Security System Features
If you don't feel comfortable overly emphasizing how dangerous the world we live in is with your children, you can take some of that burden off them by installing a security system. Not only do home alarms keep burglars away and secure your home’s premise, they can also detect fires, gas leaks, floods and other disasters. Monitored systems will even give you a call and dispatch the Police Department and/or Fire Department if necessary.
Another amazing feature some security systems have is notifications. These systems notify you when your children have arrived home. Your kids can punch is a special code that will disarm your system and will immediately send you a notification that they made it inside safely. After they are inside, they can easily rearm the system themselves. You can also install a camera inside the house so you can keep an eye on your kids while you are away. If you see them playing with the stove or doing something they are not supposed to be doing, you can quickly give them a call and resolve the issue.
There are some amazing systems that include these features and a few even have live-answer options that allow you to answer your front door no matter where you are. All of these high-tech features are sure to protect your entire family 24/7.
What Should You Do Next?
Plan a time when your entire family can sit down and talk about after-school safety. Make sure to have some questions ready and allow your kids to answer on their own so you can see what they would do in a given and potentially dangerous situation. After, come up with a plan together that you all feel good about. Plan your daily routine, write down the weekly activities on the family calendar, speak to them about the seriousness of safety and maybe start having them memorize your numbers.
If you want to take things a step further, call us here at Am-Tec Security at 800-609-2527. One of our friendly employees can help you find alarms, doorbells, locks and security cameras. Whether you want something simple, or the works, we have got you covered.