Parents Share Tips on When it's OK to Leave Kids Home Alone - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Parents Share Tips on When it's OK to Leave Kids Home Alone

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Columbia County, GA -

Parents of kids at Evans Middle School sit down with Mary Morrison to talk about when it is OK to leave children home alone.

Two sisters, alone in their Chattanooga home when burglars break in.
They call 9-11.
"It's ok, It's ok.  Take deep breaths honey. Try to stay calm honey so they don't know you're there.."
Think this can't to your kids?
Think again.
(Mary Morrison, WJBF News Channel 6)
By this time last year in Columbia County, burglars had broken into to 222 homes.
So far this year: 181.
While your kids may not know the numbers, most are aware of the dangers and for some staying home alone could make them anxious.
(Dr. Eric Lewkowiez, Georgia Regents University)
"If they worry a lot, you maybe should think twice about leaving them home alone."
Dr. Eric Lewkowiez says to know your children and what they're capable of doing.
"There are some 12 year old that are not able to do it, and you gotta wait until they are.
But how do you know? Talk to them.  Recently, we sat down with some students and their parents at Evans Middle School.
(Kerry Goodwin, Mom)
"Some children are more easily scared by noises, outside things or whatever and some children are a lot more confident and not rattled by those things."
Children like this 12 year old,  who knows just what he'd do if someone broke in.
(Charles Boyd, Evans Middle School Student)
"I would try to get the phone, call 911, and try to hide in the closet and not make any noise so they don't come"
For added safety, experts say limit the time kids are home alone,  set some ground rules and stay in touch.
(Sam Knight, Evans Middle School Student)
"My mom and dad are  working but its not long, usually 30 minutes to an hour."
(Katie Grossman, Evans Middle School Student)
"We're not allowed to be outside we just sit and watch tv or something."
(Rhagen McKie, Evans Middle School Student)
"I'm never home alone.  I have an older brother , he's 15.  Feel pretty safe?  Well, kinda..(laughter....)
Need to feel even safer? Turn to technology like this father did.
(Joshua Egbuka, Evans Middle School Student)
"He has cameras set up in front of the house and in the yard and in the house".
(Benjamin Egbuka, father)
" My daughter knows five minutes after you get on the bus, if I don't get a text, I am turning my car around and coming to get you."
After school care can give parents and kids peace of mind.
(Sherita Boyd, Mother)
"I'm a miltary spouse so after care if free for them.  They come and pick them up at school and I pick them up when I get off.
It that's not an option, it's up to mom dad to make sure their kids are safe.
I think it is incumbent on the parent to talk to their children and let them know what they can and can't do.
Mary Morrison, wjbf newschannel 6.

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