Moody Air Force Base, Ga. --
During this month, parents should remember that no parent is perfect. All parents can supervise carefully and take simple steps to keep kids safe. This includes keeping a close eye on who your child is communicating with at home, in the neighborhood and on social media. Parents can access information on local sexual predators through www.theoffenderlist.com. There are numerous websites available to assist you in monitoring online safety to include: www.safesocial.com.
Parents should be knowledgeable of the Georgia Lack of Supervision standards. Children 8 years old or younger should not be left alone, even for short periods of time. Children between the ages of nine and 12, based on level of maturity, can be left home alone for brief periods of time. It is strongly discouraged for parents to have children 13 years old or younger to baby sit infants, small children, and children that require special attention due to medical conditions. Children 15 and older can be left alone overnight, depending on the level of maturity of the child.
Safety considerations include the following: Do not leave the child responsible for food preparation that involves the stove, have a neighbor or relative check in regularly or have the child check in with an adult and make a safety plan that includes 911, and rehearse it with your child.
Keeping kids safe also involves balancing daily activities to reduce distractions and prevent accidents or injuries. Seconds can make the difference. According to the U. S. Department of Transportation, there were 3,154 people killed in distracted driving crashes. Many of these victims were teens and children. Information on how to prevent distracted driving can be found at www.distraction.gov.
Another way to ensure safety is to prevent accidents by making your kids' environment both clean and child-friendly. Install safety latches on all cabinets and drawers to keep children from household products. Anything you know to be poisonous or dangerous, place out of reach of children and lock it up. Store household products and medicine away from food. Information on childproofing your home can be found at www.kidshealth.org.
If you are juggling a lot and need help, remember support is available from the Family Advocacy Program. To report a suspicion of child abuse and partner abuse or receive information on prevention programs, please call the Family Advocacy Office at 229-257-4805. Family Advocacy is located in the 23d Medical Group.