Commentary by Isabelle Thibault
Schriever Sentinel Stringer
My name is Isabelle and I am 9 years old. On Friday I was pulled out of school in the afternoon so that I could go to a Safe Kids 101 class. Before this class, the thought of staying home alone made me a little scared, even though I have good neighbors that I could call if anything happened.
When I walked into the classroom, I was nervous because there were a lot of kids there I didn’t know. I got used to it though and now I know a lot more than I used to about staying home alone.
I learned what to do if someone breaks into your house. You get out of the house if you can. If you can’t get out, lock yourself in a safe room with a phone and call 911 immediately. If your door is open when you get home do not go in because someone unsafe could be inside. Call your mom or dad and tell them what’s going on.
I also learned what to do if I choke. I cough as hard as I can. If that doesn’t work, I lean my abdomen (which is two fingers above my belly button) into a firm object like a chair or rail. If I am still choking, I should call for medical help.
The course also taught us what to do when we are out and about alone. For example, if a dog approaches you, let them sniff you. If the dog starts to act up, do not run away. Tell the dog sternly to go home, no or sit. Try to elevate your self above the dog. If the dog continues to act weird, pretend you are a tree or a log and stay perfectly still. If you are bitten seek medical help.
If you are lost, ask a low-risk adult such as a parent with children, security officer or a store manager for help.
You should call 911 if you happen to run into any of these problems: a fire, severe pain, bleeding or if you are having trouble breathing, choking or any life threatening thing. When seeking help you may want to look for some of these emergency lights: red and blue for police, ambulance, and fire; green for security; and yellow and amber for construction vehicles, school buses and tow trucks.
After the Safe Kids class, I feel okay with the idea of staying home alone. I feel like I could maybe stay home alone for an hour or so. I think that the Safe Kids 101 class is a great starter class if you or your child wants to stay home alone and aren’t feeling comfortable. I encourage you to go to the class. You really learn a lot. It’s great and the teacher is really nice.
Safe Kids 101 is used by several groups including the Girl Scouts, schools, recreation centers, community education groups and more. The course is a requirement for all 10-12 year olds who live on base and will be staying home alone for short periods of time.
For more information on the course or the next Schriever offering, call the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 567-3920.