Article by Esther Friedman, ABC House Forensic Interviewer
Spring is full of vacations and outdoor activities. Plan ahead to be sure your child enjoys springtime safely!
- Home: Is it safe for your child to stay home unattended? Although Oregon has not established a specific age when children can remain unattended, child neglect laws suggest that a child can be home alone at age 10. But many children aged ten or older are not ready to take on the responsibility of being home alone. Factors to consider:
- Is your child mature or young for their age? Is he calm or easily panicked?
- Is the house “childproofed?” Are there dangerous things the child could access, such as firearms?
- Do you have parental controls on computers, tablets and televisions? Can your child access social media?
- Traveling: take precautions to make sure your child stays in contact with you at all times.
- If you have a teen who is ready to go off on their own for a bit, set time limits and specific destinations
- Make sure your child knows your full name, phone number and address
- Group Activities/Sports: if your child is on a team or attending a camp or class:
- Ask about the program’s policies on background checks and one-on-one adult child interactions. Are there always at least two staff present?
- Ask about pick-up policies. Do they require a parent pick-up? Do they use a sign in/out sheet? Do they check ID when non-parents pick them up?
- Periodically check in with your child and ask how the program is going. Are they enjoying themselves? Do they have any concerns? How are staff and other children treating them in the program?