Home Alone: Safety Tips For Teens

That time between when you get home from work and your teenager gets home from school, you can’t be sure of what he or she is really doing. Sure, they call and tell you they are home doing their calculus homework. But are they really? It’s important to have safety guidelines for your teens while they are at home alone. It’s a little different than setting rules for your little ones. Teens above the age of sixteen have a driver’s license. They have a car. They have friends they can go see. They can invite people over without you knowing. Follow this set of safety tips to make sure your home, and your teen, stays safe while you are stuck at work.

Call on the hour, every hour.

If you have rules that your son or daughter is to never leave the house while you aren’t home, then call the house phone every hour. This ensures that they are home and you can rest assured that they are safe. While this annoyed me as a high schooler, I can understand now why my mom did it. Protect your child with a simple phone call!

Numbers on the fridge are always a good idea.

Put every number on the fridge, just in case your son or daughter forgets your work telephone number. That way, if there is an emergency, they can quickly find the number to call your work or cell phone to get ahold of you. It’s also a good idea to make sure they have your emergency numbers saved in their cell phone.

Name, address, and phone number.

Go over the basics of dialing 9-1-1 with your teen. While it might seem like a no-brainer, some kids don’t know that you need to have your full name, address, and telephone number to report an emergency. Make sure they have this information down before you leave them home alone.

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Back-up emergency number.

If for some reason your teen can’t reach you on your phone, have a back-up person to call. This can be a family friend, relative, or anyone else you see fit to call. Be sure your teen knows their phone number and understands that it is perfectly fine to call in the event of an emergency.

Pizza or no pizza?

Give your teen a list of appliances that are acceptable to use while you are still at work. If you don’t trust your child to operate the oven, then making frozen pizzas is off-limits. Be sure they understand how important it is to abide by your list to prevent a fire from sparking while you are at work and they are home alone.

Alarm app.

If you have an alarm system, download the alarm.com app. This handy app gives you access to each corner of your home. So even after you make your hourly call to your home, you can still view your video surveillance footage of your teen right on your smartphone or computer at work.

TV shows that are acceptable.

Though you can’t prevent your teen from learning vulgar things from his or her peers at school, you can monitor what they watch at home. Provide a list of TV channels and shows that are alright for your teen to watch. If you don’t trust that they will follow this set of rules, call your cable provider and block certain channels.

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