“Many children today are taking care of themselves with both parents in the work force,” said Sheriff Reuel A. Todd of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Because it is such a big responsibility, the Sheriff offers some tips children can follow:
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Alert your children on how to reach you at work and what to do in case of a fire or other emergencies.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Point out all the local emergency numbers ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ fire, police, hotlines, poison control centers ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and post them near the phones in your home.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Be sure your children know how to use the telephone correctly ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ both push button and dial ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and how to make local, long distance, and emergency calls, and how to get the operator.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Have your children check in with you or a trusted neighbor as soon as they get home.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Make sure they know how to work the door and window locks and be sure they lock the door after they’re in the house.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Stress to your children that when they are home alone, never to open the door to anyone they don’t know well or are unsure of.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Have them check the identity of service people by calling their office before letting them in.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Don’t let unfamiliar callers know they’re home alone.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Teach your children safety tips to follow if they feel like they’re being followed on their way home from school.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Tell them not to go home ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ go to a store, back to school, or to the nearest “safe house.”
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â With your children, select a safe place to keep a key or keys and money for lunch or emergency phone calls.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Warn your children not to go anywhere with another adult, even one who says he or she has been sent by you.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Your and your children may even want to adopt a secret “code word” as a signal if another adult has to pick your children up.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¢Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â If anything happens to your child while they’re alone that makes them feel uncomfortable, let them know its okay to tell you or an adult they trust.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Always.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Every time.
“Going over these safety tips with your children will teach them how to react carefully in each case of an emergency and will give you the peace of mind knowing your children are prepared to take care of themselves,” concluded Sheriff Todd.