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September, 2008 Children's Health and Safety

A great deal happens physically, mentally and socially during childhood and adolescence, the sometimes chaotic transition from childhood to adulthood. Join our dialogue about cultural and environmental factors influencing and influenced by growing up in Maine. We'll look at issues faced by children, adolescents, their peers and families.

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Louie Delaware, The Home Safety Guru™, has created his Latchkey Child Safety tips. Below is a sampling of his tips. To view all of his tips in detail, please visit: www.homesafetyguru.presskit247.com/EDocs/Site321/Latchkey_Child_Safety.doc

  1. Give the child a key and let them learn how to use it properly. If you have a remote garage door opener, go through the process of using it. Once in the home, they should quickly close and lock the door.
  2. Have them call you once they are in the home to let you know they are safe. 
  3. If a child comes home to a door that is open, a window has been broken or a ladder is against a wall, tell them to not go in and instead either go to a neighbor’s home or call you. 
  4. Instruct them to not answer the phone unless they know who it is.  If they do answer it and the person asks for their parent or someone else, instruct them to tell them that they are at home but cannot come to the phone.
  5. Tell them to never open the door to someone who they are not familiar with.  If someone does ring the doorbell or knocks on the door, tell your child to be quiet until the person leaves, or if they have to, have them talk through the locked door telling the person that their parent is at home but unavailable at the time.
  6. Discuss the priority of getting homework and assigned house chores done.
  7. Ensure the child knows how much television they can watch, and if they can use computer and video games.
  8. Have a printed list of emergency contacts.  A good one to use is at www.ColoradoChildproofers.com/Library/Emergency_Contact_List.doc. Show the child where the list is always located (preferably on the inside of a cabinet door above the kitchen phone). 
  9. Ensure that your child knows all of your phone numbers where you can be reached.
  10. Make certain that dangerous items are under lock and key, such as firearms, ammunition, alcoholic beverages and the like.

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