When your children get home from school, you want them to be safe. However, many parents are unable to get home as early as their children. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of home invasions happen between 10 am and 3 pm because that is the time most homeowners are away.

By teaching children about after-school security, they can keep themselves safe until a parent or guardian gets home. Review these tips on what should kids do after school to ensure they are safe and secure.

Safety is a Crucial Part of an After-School Routine

When leaving school, kids shouldn’t be alone. Depending on the distance between their home and the school, they may take the bus or walk. When walking, they should try to remain in a group or a pair at the very least.

Children who depart from the bus should go home straight away. They may not need to be inside the house, but discourage them from straying too far from home on their own. Depending on their age, you may not be ready to hand a set of keys to your child—instead, use a smart lock to unlock it remotely for them.

Once inside, they should keep all windows and doors locked, especially the front door. Reiterate the importance of not answering the door for strangers. And if there is an emergency, they should contact you immediately and know how to call 911. It’s also necessary to remind your children when you expect to be home, particularly if your schedule changes often.

Knowing What to Do In Case of a Break-In

Remind your children to never enter the house if it looks suspicious. They should immediately turn to a trusted neighbor (with whom you’ve discussed this protocol beforehand if a suspected break-in occurs). They should also be able to know how to spot if their house has been burglarized. Clear signs of burglary include:

  • Broken windows
  • Open doors
  • Ransacked living spaces

Although a break-in while at home is a frightening scenario, it’s a topic you must discuss with your kids. If they are ever home while one occurs, their first instinct is to get out of the house and get to safety. Staying and hiding is an unsafe idea. Their next move should be to find a way to contact authorities. Consider giving your oldest child an emergency cell phone if they’re not old enough to have a regular cell phone. If they don’t have a phone, they should try and contact a trusted neighbor for assistance.

What You Can Do as An Adult

As an adult, there are ways you can better protect your children after school. For one, you can schedule rides home from trusted family members or friends. You can also have them stay at a friend’s or neighbor’s house until you get home, or schedule a babysitter to watch them.

Installing an alarm system is an effective way to protect your home and child and give you peace of mind. With an alarm system, you could:

  • Teach your children how to use your security system. Place the keypad in an area they can reach, but out of view from the windows; you don’t want potential intruders to view the code as it’s entered.
  • Use an alarm system with remote alerts. There are many uses for a security app linked to your home, but knowing when the kids get home is a reassuring one.
  • Let your kids hear the alarm go off, so they know what it sounds like and how to shut it off. Find a security system that is monitored in real-time—if there is an emergency, you know others are looking out for your kids.

Video and doorbell cameras are also a great way for you to see your children coming home from school. You can set triggers so alerts are sent to your mobile device once they come through the door.

The experts at Vector Security are here to help keep you and your family protected. If you would like to learn more about the security solutions we can provide, feel free to contact us today.