(HealthDay News) -- If your child is going to be home alone, it's a good idea to have the child check in periodically, says the American Red Cross.
For older children, ground rules about having friends over and cooking should also be established.
The Red Cross mentions other steps parents should take:
- Post an emergency phone list where a child can see it.
- Practice emergency plans with your child.
- Remove or safely store dangerous items, such as guns and power tools.
- Make sure medicine is out of a child's reach.
- Make sure your home has working smoke alarms.
- Install safety covers on unused electrical outlets.
If your child is not responsible enough to stay home alone, the Red Cross reminds parents that there may be other options, including child care programs at schools and youth clubs.