School districts across the country are delaying school start times to optimize sleep for students in response to a policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Studies have shown that teens with school start times before 8:30 am suffer from chronic insufficient sleep, as they have a natural sleep cycle that makes it difficult to fall asleep before 11:00 pm. Later school start times allow teens to achieve optimal sleep and perform better in school.
As schools transition start times to begin – and end – later for teen students, many parents who previously relied on high school aged children to provide after-school supervision for younger siblings find themselves wondering what to do for child care. Traditional after-school programs are a great option for parents that have the financial resources as well as program availability in their area. However, some older school-age children may not need or want to attend a structured after-school care program. As a parent, you want to support your child in his desire for independence, but you also need to know your child will be safe while home alone after school.
Now you can prepare your child to stay home alone safely by leading him through a 90-minute program called Safe@Home. Safe@Home, developed by Safe Sitter, Inc., prepares children in grades 4-6 to stay home alone safely. Children learn how to practice safe habits when indoors, outdoors, online, and with others. They also learn how to prevent injuries, and what to do when faced with potentially unsafe situations such as power failures or weather emergencies.
Each booklet contains a First Aid Chart for children to reference should an injury or illness occur to themselves or a friend they are with. Your child will learn to call 9-1-1 should he face a serious and urgent illness such as a broken bone, call a parent or back-up adult for a serious but not urgent injury such as a chipped tooth, and to handle injuries such as a scraped knee himself.
As a parent, you can easily lead your child through the booklet, using the Facilitator’s Guide that is included with each purchase. The Facilitator’s Guide contains a script to follow that will lead you step-by-step through the program. The script is designed to help you lead a guided discussion, and includes planned questions and common answers. Your child will discover new concepts as they complete the program with you.
As a parent, only you know if your child is ready to stay home alone, based on the age, maturity, skills, experience, and confidence level of your child. Leading your child through Safe@Home will help you measure his readiness, as well as teach him to practice safe habits, handle common household emergencies, and address common illnesses and injuries.
Order Safe@Home for your child and consider ordering extra booklets for his friends so that they can join you in completing the program. Your child will love having friends to join him in the discussion and their parents will thank you for taking a vested interest in the safety of their children! For more information on the program, visit Safe@Home.