As students across Mississippi have returned to the classroom, the American Medical Response, Inc. (AMR) has provided some safety tips for youth who return home from school while their parents are not present, also known as latchkey kids.
With inflation and the current state of the economy being a burden on many Mississippians, a lot of parents are unable to afford after-school care for their children but are also uncomfortable with the idea of leaving their kids at home unattended.
Eric Phillips with AMR sat down with us and discussed how parents and children can best be prepared to ensure the youth’s safety at home while an adult is not present in the home.
“The biggest thing is to have kind of a plan and a known way to act when they get home, specifically that the kids go through different scenarios and stuff that may go on,” Phillips said in an interview on The Metro.
Phillips gave the following list of recommendations for parents to teach latchkey children in order to maximize the kid’s safety in the home:
- Know how to call 911
- Know how to use the phone
- Know how the door locks work
- Know how to enter the home safely
- Restrict any cooking to simplified meals that only require a microwave
- Have a first-aid kit
- Be in communication with one another
- Have a Wi-Fi-connected device that allows messaging
- Have a neighbor or trusted person communicate with parents
“If you do have those good routines down, if you are a working parent, and you’re not there when your child comes home, make sure that you have a way for them to call you,” Phillips said adding, “That’s a primary, but if you’ve got that routine already in place and you’ve already got it, make sure that you have a backup. If you’re at work and something happens and you’re not there and they call and they cannot get you, make sure that there’s somebody else that they can call and say, ‘Hey, I’m home.'”