Raising North Dakota: Home Alone

At some point in time all parents are bound to ask themselves, ‘is my child ready to be left home alone?’
With that being said, only three states currently have laws regarding a minimum age for leaving a child home alone, and North Dakota is not one of them.

In this week’s Raising North Dakota, we cover what parents may want to consider before leaving your children home alone.
 
Some thoughts to consider include … does your child know his or her full name, address, and phone number, as well as yours?
Is your child good about following safety rules?
Does your child know basic first aid and know who to call in an emergency?
While you may feel your child is ready to be home alone, your child may not feel the same way.
To help with that, a program called “Home Alone: Are YOU Ready?” addresses everything from basic first aid to kitchen safety.

4-H Youth Development Extension Agent Amelia Doll says there are some important topics to consider when leaving your child home alone, such as an evacuation plan, when to answer the door and simply knowing how to contact authorities.
 
Doll said, “So growing up we had a landline and you learned in kindergarten how to pick up a phone and dial 911. Most cell phones have a passcode, you can get to an emergency dialer but do your kids know how to do that. Do you have a way for your kids to call not only you but 911. What I hear from a lot of parents is they have an iPad and can facetime me, great, but they can’t facetime the police. Making sure they have access to assistance should they need it.”
 
The “Home Alone: Are YOU Read?” program is offered by the NDSU9 Extension-Burleigh County on February 19 from 1:15 to 4 p.m.
It is geared to kids 9-13 and you can contact Amelia Doll at 701-221-6865 or email her for more information or to register
The program is limited to the first 100 youth and spots are filling quickly!

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