By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — If you have to leave your kids home alone because you still need to work while they don't have school, be prepared to help them stay safe while you're gone.
"If you are still working, be sure you leave some pre-prepared snacks, maybe some sandwiches, things that don't need a lot of work, while they're not being supervised," said Cherie Sage, state director for Safe Kids Kansas.
It's also possible that older kids may have other things that are normally supervised by adults at school that they need to do at home.
"Kids that are a little bit older, some of them may have regular medication they have to take," Sage said. "They may be used to having either someone at school or a parent doling that out. Make sure that you talk to kids about the importance of, if you are self-medicating, how to do it properly, how to document so you don't take too much."
The Safe Kids Kansas website at safekidskansas.org has a special section for home safety.
"There are some good childproofing checklists so you can go through your house," Sage said. "It's hard. There are so many different potential hazards in the home. We know that's the number one location that injuries happen for children. That just kind of helps you go room by room and find out what those hazards are so you can take care of them. Also, there is a link with suggested guidelines as far as what age is it safe to leave children at home. Also, when kids are old enough to be home alone, what are the conversations that you need to have with them to get them prepared for that responsibility."
This includes questions like what do you do if the smoke alarms go off, what do you do if there is a tornado warning and many more.