Whenever a parent or set of parents have children, there are a number of monumental decisions made. Children are the epitome of positive challenge, as people from all walks of life aim to raise youth that will end up contributing to society in a positive way. This takes work, but it’s all worth it in the end.
As the training wheels come off and parents increase the freedom surrounding their children, it’s important to make sure the environment is safe. A specific part of this issue worth focusing on involves the house. A vital crossroads that parents inevitably face along the parenting journey is the moment in time when they decide to leave their children at home alone for the first time. Although this decision should and will happen, it’s important to make the environment safe. Below I list specific ways to fool proof a house for an unleashed child!
1. Hide any medication.
A first step to a child being left alone is to make sure any prescriptions or over the counter medicines are out of sight. In the younger years, any consumption of medication would most likely be accidental or of a curious nature. Regardless of potential intent, it’s extremely critical for parents to remove potential hazards from the reach of unsupervised children. Oftentimes, when a child is left alone for the first time, parents overlook certain hazards because they seem completely unlikely. Any medication that could cause injury upon consumption should be very secure and hidden.
Bottom line: Prescriptions or over the counter medicines can be dangerous to adults, and even more hazardous to children. Parents who are leaving their children unsupervised at home for the first time must consider this when assessing the safety of the house.
2. Make sure that the house is secure.
Even if a parent is simply running to grab a few groceries, the house should be secure to both unwelcome exit and entry. Whether this means engaging an alarm system, or simply double checking the locks, children should not be able to exit without permission. Similarly, the house should be set up to prevent any unwanted access from the outside. This issue cannot be overstated when it comes to unsupervised children. For one, there are many hazards immediately outside homes including but not limited to busy roadways.
Bottom line: The place that a child is left unsupervised needs to be secured in the sense that the structure is restrictive of any unwanted access, both internal and external. Regardless of the specific area, the children need to be safe from outside access, and they need to be contained from exploring too much!
3. Rethink property features.
Everything in a house becomes more dangerous the second a child is left alone. Many property features are often overlooked when it comes to the protection of unsupervised children. Two specific examples are jagged counter edges and faucets. Jagged edges become sharper when a parent isn’t hovering around anymore. It’s helpful to fool proof extremely sharp edges when an adventurous child is lurking, even if it means padding them with a towel. Faucets are tremendously unsafe when young people are concerned. Taps without any temperature control can cause severe burns and injury if not operated appropriately. Faucet spouts that control temperature are highly recommended when the possibly of unmonitored children operating them is present.
Bottom line: It’s a high priority to safe proof the features of a house that would normally go unrecognized. The most harmless appliances and furniture edges can become risky the moment a child is left alone.
Leaving children at home alone can either be a parent’s dream (more free time!) or a parent’s worst nightmare (something happens!). It’s important for the parental figures in America to safe proof their house and set their child up for unsupervised success. Nothing is more rewarding than raising an independent child that makes great decisions. Leaving them home alone is the first step toward this achievement.
Naomi Broderick is a professional writer who’s secure in her abilities and even more confident in her parenting. When she’s not juggling her three children in the front yard she writes for ProtectYourHome.com, a leader in home security.