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How To Keep Your Children From Wandering Outside

January 23, 2012

Toddler found barefoot at -24C

Thank goodness, this story posted by the Edmonton Journal, January 17, 2012 had a happy ending, at least when it comes to the safety of the child.

Officers responded to a 911 call about 10:35pm from someone who reported finding a toddler crying outside a west-end apartment complex.

The person took the boy inside and kept him warm….

“It it hadn’t been for this citizen stepping forward, I don’t even want to think what the outcomes would have been”…

The temperatures Sunday night dipped to a low fo -24.3C.

Two year old dead after wandering outside during the night

What terrible news from New Ulm, Minn., January 3, 2008

Lucas Bold was found Wednesday morning in a snow bank about 10 to 20 feet from his home. He had wandered outside his home while his mother slept.

It seems like such a preventable tragedy. Any parent will tell you that of everything in their lives, their kids are the most valuable. No wonder parents spend most of their time worrying about the interests and safety of their children.

What parents need to understand is that a security system is not just about guarding against theft. A monitored security system’s most valuable function is protecting your children.

The most obvious way a security system protects your kids is at night. Before the family goes to bed, activate your alarm system in the “Stay” mode, meaning the perimeter of your home is secured. Now everyone can feel safe and sound. This of course will work best when your security system includes sensors on each and every door and window in the house.

A properly designed security system with tight perimeter protection including door and window contacts, would have alerted Luca’s mother that he wandered away sleepwalking.

Is Sleepwalking Harmful?

Sleepwalking itself is not harmful. However, sleepwalking episodes can be hazardous since sleepwalking kids aren’t awake and may not realize what they’re doing, such as walking down stairs or opening windows.

Sleepwalking is far more common in kids than in adults, as most sleepwalkers outgrow it by the early teen years. It may run in families, so if you or your partner are or were sleepwalkers, your child may be one too.

Kids tend to sleepwalk within an hour or two of falling asleep and may walk around for anywhere from a few seconds to 30 minutes.

How to Keep a Sleepwalker Safe

Although sleepwalking isn’t dangerous by itself, it is important to take precautions so that your sleepwalking child is less likely to fall down, run into something, walk out the front door, or drive (if your teen is a sleepwalker).

  • Try not to wake a sleepwalker because this might scare your child. Instead, gently guide him or her back to bed.
  • Lock the windows and doors, not just in your child’s bedroom but throughout your home. You may consider child safety locks on doors. Car keys should be kept out of reach for kids old enough to drive.
  • Activate the “Chime” feature on your security system to alert you when an outside door opens.
  • Arm your security in the “Stay” mode at night. Any window and door with a sensor will trigger an alarm when opened. It will cause a rude awakening. Better than loosing a wandering child to freezing temperatures.
  • To prevent falls, don’t let your sleepwalker sleep in a bunk bed.
  • Remove sharp or breakable things from around your child’s bed.
  • Install safety gates outside your child’s room and/or at the top of any stairs.

It is time to get serious about keeping our children safe.

Another important way a security system helps keep your kids safe is when they are home alone or with a babysitter during the day. Keeping a perimeter alarm active will provide you with peace of mind knowing they have more than just locks guarding them. If something does happen, you will be alerted immediatley by your security system provider or an event notification on your iPhone.

A security system can even help you keep an eye on your kids when you’re away. If you choose to add video surveillance options to your security system, you will be able to monitor your home from inside your house, or remotely. Ask for options that allow you to access your security system’s video feed from an iPhone, Blackberry or other PDA’s.

A monitored security system can do so much more than guarding against theft. It protects what is most important to you – your children.

Please take the necessary steps to prevent your child from wandering away from your home!

If you don’t have a security system, if your current system is not monitored, or if you are hot happy with your current security provider, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation.

You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986

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