Virginia Cooperative Extension

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Safe at Home

Safe Alone

Youth Book

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Table of Contents

Safe at Home/Safe Alone


How to Use This Material

Pretest: What If Stories

Section I: Preparing to Stay Home Alone

Chapter 1: Are You Ready?

Chapter 2: Making Family Rules

Chapter 3: Creating a Safe Home

Chapter 4: Using the Kitchen

Chapter 5: Dealing with Emotions

Chapter 6: Planning Your Time

Section II: Safety Suggestions

Chapter 7: Basic Safety Rules

Chapter 8: Key Safety

Chapter 9: Telephone Rules

Chapter 10: Computer/Internet Safety

Chapter 11: Answering the Door

Chapter 12: Stranger Safety

Section III: Handling Emergencies

Chapter 13: Mini-, Maxi-, or Non-Emergency

Chapter 14: Emergency – Dial 911

Chapter 15: Medical Emergency and First Aid

Chapter 16: Weather Emergencies/Disasters and Emergency Preparedness

Chapter 17: Fire Emergency and Fire Escape Plan

Section IV The Final Review

Summary of the Safe at Home/Safe Alone Program

Team Game: Review Questions

Post-test: What If Stories

Safe at Home/Safe Alone

A 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences Curriculum for 9 to 11 Year Olds


Safe at Home/Safe Alone is a Virginia Cooperative Extension program designed to help families develop the life skills they need when the decision is made for a child to stay home alone.

At some point, you will be able to stay home alone. You and your family will decide together when the time is right for you and for how long. It is best to start with short peri- ods of time. For example, you would stay home alone for one hour during the day and gradually increase the length of time.

When this time comes, you are considered in self- care. Self -care means taking care of yourself without any adults in the house. You will need to be very responsible when you are home alone, and this book will help you. It is filled with information and activities to explain the skills you need to be a competent kid who can stay home alone safely.

How to Use This Material

Safe at Home/Safe Alone is a workbook created to help you get ready to stay home alone. There are four sections for you to complete. They are: Preparing to Stay Home Alone; Safety Suggestions; Handling Emergencies; and the Final Review. You will need to spend one to two hours on each section. You can break each section down into half-hour or 15-minute study sessions if you find them too long.

There is also a leader’s guide to go along with your youth workbook. An adult will need to guide you and answer your questions. If the leader is from your school or a community club and not your parent, be sure to mark the information you want to discuss with your family when you get home. The answers to the pretest and post-test are in the leader’s guide, as well as answers to all activities

throughout the youth workbook.

After you have completed the program, keep this book in a safe place where you can go back and read over it from time to time. It will be a great reference to keep.

Pretest: What If Stories

Please read the following “What If ... Stories” and decide which answer best describes what you should do if you were home alone. You will find the Answer Sheet to write down your answers on the page following the questions.

  1. Your family decides you can stay home alone after school, but you are scared and not sure you want to. What should you do?

    1. Talk to your family about your fears.

    2. Go to a friend’s house every day so you don’t have to stay alone.

    3. Stay at home and never say anything.

D. Talk to your friend and not your family about how you feel.

  1. Your family rule is, “no friends over when you are home alone,” but you are bored. What should you do?

    1. Keep calling your parent to ask if you can please invite a friend over.

B. Watch TV for the whole time.

C. Sneak a friend in the house and keep it a secret.

D. Make a daily time schedule to keep you busy when you are home alone.

  1. You arrive home, but your key is not in your pocket, or you forgot your code. What should you do?

    1. Sit on the step for 2 hours until your family gets home from work.

    2. Try to break a window to get into your house.

    3. Go to a trusted neighbor or friend’s house who keeps a spare key to get it, or call someone who has your code.

D. Walk around the neighborhood.

  1. You are home alone after school and hungry. You want a grilled cheese sandwich, but the family rule is you cannot use the stove. What should you do?

    1. Call a parent at work and beg to use the stove this one time.

B. Use the stove carefully to prove you can do it safely.

C. Go next door and ask a trusted neighbor to fix a grilled cheese sandwich for you.

D. Choose another snack food that does not need cooking.

5. Your phone is not working. What should you do?

A. Nothing.

    1. Go to a trusted neighbor’s house to call your parent.

  1. Take the phone apart and try to fix it.

  2. Just wait until your family comes home to take care of it.

6. A man calls and asks to talk to your dad. What should you do?

A. Tell him your dad is busy and take a message from him.

B. Hang up.

  1. Give him your dad’s number at work.

  2. Tell him you are home alone and your dad is at work.

7. You are on the computer chatting with your friends and someone comes online who you do not know. He wants to meet you after school tomorrow. What should you do?

A. Give him your name and phone number instead.

  1. Ask him for a picture so you can see what he looks like.

  2. Shut down the computer and tell your family what happened.

D. Pick a place to meet him after school.

8. A woman you do not know comes to the door. She has had car trouble and wants to use the phone. What should you do?

A. Tell her your parents are not home and you do not know what to do.

B. Unlock the door and let her in.

C. Go outside to see if you can help her with the car.

D. Tell her through the door to go to the next door neighbor’s house.

9. You are walking home from school and notice someone is following you. What should you do?

A. Turn around and ask the person, “Why are you following me?”

B. Walk quickly to catch up with a group of kids and walk with them.

    1. Run into the woods to lose the stranger.

    2. Throw rocks at the stranger.

10. You need to make a 911 emergency phone call. What should you do?

A. Say, “I am in danger, please come quick.”

B. Say your name and address and hang up.

  1. Say what happened, your address, your name, and your telephone number and stay on the line with the operator.

  2. Say, “I can’t find my dog, can you come here?”

11. Your little brother has fallen from the second floor. He is lying motionless at the

bottom of the steps. What should you do?

A. Pick him up and carry him to a trusted neighbor.

B. Call 911 and give them the emergency information.

  1. Call your mom at work.

  2. Throw some cold water on him to wake him up.

12. You are watching TV and an emergency warning comes on and announces a severe thunderstorm in the area. What should you do?

A. Turn off the T.V., stay away from the windows, and get out the flashlight.

  1. Call a friend to talk until the storm passes because you are scared.

  2. Go outside to see if you see the storm coming.

  3. Take a bath.

13. You are doing your homework and smell smoke, but don’t see any flames. What

should you do?

A. Continue doing your homework until you see flames.

  1. Go to your phone and call 911.

  2. Go outside your house to call 911 (from a trusted neighbor’s or on a cell phone).

  3. Wait until your mom comes home in 15 minutes.

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