Program Prepares Children to Stay Home Alone

Aug 8, 2014

Young Person Cooking
Credit Leo Hidalgo / Flickr

As kids grow, they gain more and more independence.  But how do you know when it’s OK to let your child stay home alone?  A program next week will help you decide.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

In Charge at Home is set for next Tuesday night (8/12) from 6 to 8 at Cox South.  It focuses on how kids can make good choices when they’re home by themselves.  Denise Vaughan is a nurse educator at CoxHealth.  She says the classes are a good way for families to determine whether children are ready to stay home alone.

"We like for them to have some scenarios put out there for them so that those families can start those conversations and really think about those choices that the children may be faced with before they're out there to face it on their own," she said.

Vaughan says sometimes kids don’t make the choices parents think they will.  The program teaches them the right choices to make in different situations.  She says the class covers a variety of topics.

"First and foremost is what family house rules that the families need to agree to and put in place beforehand, what to do in emergencies, what to do when there's bad weather, what to do in the case of a fire, what do to when a stranger comes to the door, and then we talk about child safety--everything from cooking safety there.  We really want the families to think about all the situations that can be out there," she said.

The In Charge at Home class is designed for kids 9 to 14-years-old, and the cost is $5 per family.  A limited number of scholarships is available.  You can sign up by calling 269-LADY.