Ensuring safety for latch key kids

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – There are new warnings for parents now that the kids are back at school. Popular social media sites are creating new concerns for those latch key kids who, after school, come home to an empty house.

You want to protect your kids when they're home alone? Well there's a lot more to teach them besides simply not answering the door to strangers.

Most parents share the same ideal when it comes to safeguarding their kids.

"I just don't think you can be too safe, too cautious," said Stacy Pawluk.

You already know to tell the kids to never say "Mom and Dad aren't home" when answering the phone. Rather, say they're busy. Don't accept any package deliveries, lock all windows and doors and never leave the house.

But social media is bringing up new concerns. The American Red Cross advises: Children should never post on sites like Facebook or Twitter that they're home alone, and never "check-in" and give away their location.

"They have the ability to tell you where your location is, and especially if a child is posting on these sites that they're going to be home alone, that could potentially signal to somebody that want to harm children that they have access to a house without a parent in," said Jonathan McNamara from the Red Cross.

The American Red Cross offers training for babysitters. If you're an older sibling, or just a neighborhood babysitter, it's a good way to learn CPR, basic child care and first aid.

Contact the Red Cross at 804-780-2250 for more information.

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