Tips for After School Safety from American Red Cross in Ark.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — As children around the state return to school, many of them will find themselves home alone for a few hours after school until parents are home from work.

The American Red Cross encourages parents and children to discuss safety tips to make after-school hours safer and less stressful.

“Decide if your child is mature enough to be home alone and if they are comfortable being alone,” suggested American Red Cross in Arkansas spokesperson, Brigette Williams. “If the answer is yes to both, include the kids in designing a family home safety plan.”

Letting an adult know students have arrived home is a first step. “It’s a good idea to have your child call you at work to check in when they get home,” stated Williams. “With an older child, additional ground rules such as whether other kids can come over when you’re absent and if they can leave the house may be needed.”

Cooking is another point of concern.  “Discuss if they are ready to use the oven, stove or microwave and if they understand how to be fire safe,” added Williams. “With kitchen fires a major cause of home fires safety it lifesaving.  Arkansas is number three on Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) fire fatality list with children under 12 the majority of the victims.

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