Leaving your kids home alone can be a scary transition for everyone involved. Maybe your kids won’t have to foil a pair of wily burglars or worry about getting lost in New York, but there’s still plenty that could go wrong. Kidz Home Alone educates children ages 10 – 13 about the responsibilities of staying at home without a parent.
“This is a very comprehensive course,” said instructor Judy Merritt, who has taught the program for 14 years. “It gives them the information they need to make wise choices and stay calm in an emergency. It’s difficult to stay calm under stress, and going through the what-if scenarios helps them think clearly.”
When we checked in on Kidz Home Alone, the City of Kettering’s Fire Service Specialist, John Moore, was there to talk fire safety. He ran through helpful prevention tips with the kids – identifying fire and removing fire hazards, plus what to do if a fire starts. He also talked carbon monoxide safety. The lessons were interactive with real-world stories to keep the kids engaged in a serious subject.
Expert guest speakers like Moore are an essential part of the class. “I like the people who come to the class and speak,” said 10-year-old Maddox when asked about his favorite aspect of Kidz Home Alone.
Learning basic first aid is also a major component. “I like the instructor,” said Abby, age 13. “She taught us how to handle choking when we’re by ourselves by using a chair or counter.” Paige, 10, also said the first aid information was her favorite part of the class and added that the class prepared her for injuries a kid can’t handle alone. “We learn when and how to call 911,” she said.
All the students said they had stayed home alone for brief periods before taking the class, but that the information they learned over the two-day period made them feel better about staying home alone in the future. “The value of the program can’t be overestimated,” Merritt said. “Kids need this information, especially in today’s environment. The parents feel more comfortable, and the kids almost always say yes, they feel more secure and comfortable about being home alone.”