Keeping Your Child Safe





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Halton Region no longer offers At Home Alone family workshops

What age can I leave my child alone? (external PDF file)
Halton Children’s Aids Society strongly recommends that no child under the age of 10 should be left home alone.

At Home Alone
family work
book

At Home Alone Family HandbookAt Home Alone - Family Handbook (PDF file): A handbook for parents and children to help assess child readiness and take necessary preparations to be left home alone safely.

Developed by Toronto Public Health and Partners in Prevention

At home alone

Getting ready to have your child stay home alone is a big milestone for families. The aim of the Family Workshop Handbook (featured on the right) is to help you get ready. Using the handbook, families can develop a personal safety and injury prevention plan that is tailored to meet their unique needs. In your discussions as you go through the exercises, remember to:

  • Take time to listen to what is really being said.
  • Encourage mutual respect by speaking politely to each other.
  • Decide on 2 or 3 simple rules stated in a positive way. “Lock the door when you get home”, instead of “don’t leave the house unlocked”.
  • Keep a positive attitude. Reward good behaviour to help ensure this behaviour will happen again.
  • Change the rules as he or she becomes more responsible or if more direction is required.
  • Spend time with your tween; take an interest in their day. This will help evaluate his or her home alone experience.
  • Be open and honest and always keep your sense of humour!

Safety courses for youth

Home alone courses

Babysitting courses

First aid and CPR courses

Resources

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Helmet FAQs (external link)

Wearing a properly fitted helmet helps to protect your brain from absorbing the force from a fall at any age. In fact it can reduce the risk of serious head injury by up to 85%. (Safe Kids Canada). Tips to help you find the right helmet::

  1. Get the right kind of helmet (external PDF file) for the right activity.
  2. Make sure the helmet meets safety standards (external link).
  3. Make sure the helmet fits properly. Have your child shake her head from side to side and from front to back. The helmet should not move around when she shakes her head.
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Walking to school

Walking to school is a great way for children to be active. To do this safely, children need to know the rules of the road.

As a parent you can help your child learn about walking to school safely:

  • Be a good role model. Demonstrate road safety rules with your child (e.g. looking both ways when crossing the street). Here are some more pedestrian safety tips (external PDF file)
  • Plan a walking route and assess for potential hazards with your child. Remind your child about personal safety, including not talking to strangers.
  • Check out Active and Safe Routes to School, a provincial initiative that strives to create an environment that is conducive to, and supportive of, safe, walkable communities.
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A concussion is a common form of brain injury and can be caused by a direct or indirect hit to the head or body (for example, a check to the boards, a hit to the head or car crash). This causes a change in the brain function, which results in a variety of symptoms. With a concussion there is no visible injury to the structure of the brain, meaning that tests like MRI or CT scans usually appear normal. (Think First Canada)

Parachute: Injury prevention organization

Parachute (external link) is a national, charitable organization dedicated to preventing injury and saving lives. Parachute's injury prevention programming and advocacy efforts are designed to help Canadians reduce their risks of injury while enjoying long lives lived to the fullest. It was created from the amalgamation of four leading Canadian injury prevention groups:

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Enjoying swimming and water play is a fun way to maintain an active lifestyle, but it doesn’t go without risks.

Top five tips to keep your child safe:

  1. Always stay within sight and reach of your child when he is in or near water.
  2. Get trained in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), first aid, water rescue and swimming skills. If your child was to get into trouble while you were supervising, water safety training could help save her life.
  3. Research shows that four sided pool fencing around a pool could prevent seven out of 10 drownings to children under five years of age.
  4. Young children under five years of age and weak swimmers should wear lifejackets when they are in, on or around the water. You and your child should always wear lifejackets when riding in a boat.
  5. Swimming lessons are a good way for children to gain confidence around water.

Resources:water safe

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