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     Your children's well-being and safety are your moral, emotional, spiritual and legal responsibility. If harm comes to a child, authorities have a constitutional obligation to determine how and why the harm occurred. If the harm could have been avoided by appropriate parental supervision, a parent potentially could be charged with child neglect or endangerment (such as, allowing a small child to remain alone in a car during extreme heat, or with the keys in the ignition). In most cases children 14 years and older might be left alone with supervision available. Younger children should never be left unsupervised.

     Home schoolers are usually consciously aware of their children's care. Sometimes, however, familiarity can lead to a parent dropping their guard or good judgment. Always think about your children's safety in terms of preparing them for the day or a time when they may not be with you. Following are hopefully some helpful ideas.

Teach them:

  • To memorize their name and address, including city and state.

  • To memorize their phone number, including area code.

  • How to use telephones to make emergency, local, long distance calls, or to reach the operator.

  • To check in with you or a neighbor immediately after arriving home.

  • To never go into your home if a door is ajar or a window is broken.

  • How to work your home's door and window locks and to lock them when they are at home alone.

  • How to get out of the home quickly in case of a fire.

  • How to answer the doorbell and telephone when they're home alone.

  • Not to go into anyone else's home without your permission.

  • Never to go anywhere with another adult, even one who says you have sent him or her. Adopt a family code word to be used if you have to ask a third party to pick up your children.

  • To avoid walking or playing alone.

  • That a stranger is someone neither you nor they know well.

  • That if they feel they're being followed, either on foot or by car, to run to the nearest public place, neighbor, or "Safe House."

  • To tell you if anyone asks them to keep a secret, offers them gifts or money, or asks to take their picture.

  • To always tell you if something happened while they were away from you that made them feel uncomfortable in any way.


     One can check with their family members and local law enforcement agency to verify their opinion on this matter.

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