Brent Mele
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 Here are some safety tips for your latch-key child that we wanted to share with you. 

  1. Keep a house key in their pocket or on their person somewhere, but never let them leave a spare under your doormat or hidden near your home, and do not attach a name or address to the key. If your home security system is equipped with a key fob, don’t give it to your kids. Let them keep the key. Giving a key fob to a kid is a bad choice because (let’s face it) kids lose things. You don’t want your home security (and other information) compromised because the key fob got lost. 
  2. Never enter the home if it appears to have been broken into. Have them go to the nearest neighbor, dial 911 and report the break-in. 
  3. Never to enter the home if someone they don’t know is near them or trying to get near them; instruct them to run to the nearest neighbor and, if need be, make a lot of noise to attract attention. 
  4. Have their key ready when approaching the front door and to re-lock the door immediately after entering. Explain to them that, once inside, if they think someone has been in the home or may still be lurking in the home, they should leave immediately and run to a trusted neighbor. 
  5. Don’t tell others (even friends) that they are or will be home alone. 
  6. Never open the door to anyone they don’t know. Instead, have them look through the peephole or window and, if for some reason your children must talk to them, have them talk through the closed door. If the stranger won’t leave, instruct your children to dial 911 and ask for help. 
  7. Make sure your children know their full name, your full name, address, phone number, how to use the phone, and where they can reach you. 
  8. Don’t take any medicine or do anything that you would not normally let them do in your presence. 
  9. When answering the phone, never give out any information that the other person does not already know. This means never giving the caller their name or phone number, or letting the caller know that they are alone. If the caller asks them for their parents, have them say: “They’re busy right now, but if you give me your number they will call you back.” If the caller won’t give them a number and tries to argue with them, have your children hang up. 
  10. If there is a fire in the home, leave the home immediately and run to a neighbor to call the fire department. Tell them: “NEVER GO BACK INTO THE HOUSE FOR ANY REASON!”