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Security is a main issue for parents when they leave their children to work or have some alone time. When the child is not old enough to be left home alone, parents worry about their babysitters being the right fit. When the child can be left home alone, they worry about their safety. It’s a never ending cycle of worry and it can be overwhelming when trying to balance work and home life. While many parents would prefer to just stay home with their children, this simply is not an option in many cases. Thus, here is a look at 5 tips that can help to keep your children protected while you are away for long periods of time every day.

1. Never Completely Trust Your Babysitter

Whether they are a friend of a friend, a close friend’s child, or a highly certified professional care-taker, it can be dangerous to think that they can do no wrong. They are, first and foremost, human, and are prone to lapses of judgment from time to time. Do background checks. If they come to your home to babysit, discretely set up nanny cameras throughout your house. You should also make sure that you constantly talk to your children in order to make sure that nothing suspicious might be happening.

2. Home Security

This is an important safety precaution, even if there is a babysitter present at your home when you are gone. There are three types of home security monitoring systems open to you: land-line based services, internet-based services, and cellular-based services. Land-line based services use phones lines to connect to the central monitoring station. Internet-based services use your internet connection and cellular-based services use a wireless satellite connection. The safest way is to go wireless, because the others can be easily disabled from the outside by intruders. Home security systems will not only protect your children from outside harm, but some systems allow for you to control cameras and other interior home systems from your phone or computer, which will give you constant access to your children and everything that is happening in your home.

3. Keep Others Informed

Make sure to let family, neighbors that you trust, and close friends know your work schedule. Let them in on what you know of the babysitter if there is one. The old phrase, “it takes a village to raise a child,” rings true in this situation. Children need a strong support system to keep them healthy and safe. By keeping others informed about your situation, they will be able to periodically check on your children and they will also be available if there ever happens to be an emergency.

4. Research Day Cares

It’s the same concept as never trusting your babysitter, but on a larger scale. It can be a bit harder to find the right day care center, and even harder still to monitor how they treat your child when you are not present. If there is a real concern, pay close attention to how your children react to the day care providers. It is also important that your day care provider provide some sort of webcam that parents are able to access at any time of the day, since this will allow for you to periodically check in on your child and make sure that everything is going well.

5. Never Completely Trust Your Children

Children will lie and try to find ways around the rules that you lay down. Their little acts of rebellion can lead to catastrophic results. Make sure that you are monitoring their activities as much as you would a babysitter’s. Their naivete can also lead to bad decision making, so make sure that they never order out when you are gone. Make sure to have an ample supply of ready-to-eat foods available. The idea is to not have anyone you don’t know on the premises when you are gone. You should also never fully trust your children if they start accusing your sitter of things. Any accusations that are given out by a child should be handled seriously, but the child should not be blindly trusted.

This list may not cover everything there is to avoiding mishaps when parents are at work, but it’s a good start. As always, raising children is a learning process and there is no one way of going about it, but a parent’s duty never changes. Safety is always the priority.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to keep their children safe.