School has been back in session for about a month, and many parents are still at work when their kids get home from school.
If you are one of these parents, have you taken time to talk your kids about what they can to do stay safe until you get home?
According to South Bend Police, one of the most important things is to make sure your child knows how to call 911 and how to give directions to your home in case of an emergency.
"What's nice is the name and location of each parents work place and they know exactly how and what to use to summon police or emergency medical services or the fire department. What phone to go to, if they have a cell phone, is it okay to use a cell phone or would it be better to use home phone," South Bend Police Captain Phil Trent said.
Another thing, make sure your family has a plan. That means knowing your child will check in with you or a neighbor immediately after getting home.
Teach your children how to use window and door locks and your alarms system, especially if it has a panic feature, and tell them to never let anyone into your home without your permission. A good thing to remember and teach your children to say is, 'mom or dad can't come to the phone or door right now, may I take a message?'
"If you call the police and a police officer shows up, then of course you called us and we are there now. It’s okay to open the door. But, until we get there, until someone gets there, or a family friend, somebody you actually know, do not open door for anybody," Trent said.
While most of these ideas cater to what your child can do, you as a parent have some responsibilities as well. If you are going to be later than usual, call your child and keep them informed so they don't panic.
On top of all of that, one Michiana mom says they never keep the same routine. She says they always change it up. She says between her families schedule and activities, that has never been a problem.