Medicine Hat Safety Expert – Janice Kirchner

When I moved to Medicine Hat from Calgary as a teenager, the population here was 20,000, it was more common to have only one parent than both working outside of the home through the day, and technology – apart from a phone in the wall and a television – did not exist! That is not the case today.

The reality is many children need to stay home alone for some period of time when they are in elementary school, and technology keeps everyone linked to the world – and at the same time potentially more vulnerable to others’ actions. And, when youth start to watch their siblings or others’ children (and even be paid for it as a babysitter), the responsibilities are even greater.

At Safety Connections, we offer both Home Alone (ages 9 and older) and Babysitter Training (ages 11 and older) programs to help not only the children, but also the parents feel more comfortable in these situations. Children learn about staying safe in and outside the home, caring for others and using basic first aid skills, and applying the SOCS or FIND method. They assess a situation, list the options of dealing with it, think about the consequences of their options, and decide how to act to resolve the problem – all while using their “smarts” to decide on the most appropriate plan of action.

Learning basic skills and gaining confidence in knowing what to do when parents are not around are critical for a child to feel safe. We offer our courses monthly at our office, and will also go to the schools. Call for more information or register your child today. We also have gift certificates available – a great birthday or general gift idea!