WASHINGTON - In emergency situations, kids often rely on adults to keep them safe. But if they're alone, do they know what to do?
The unfortunate truth: Probably not.
The Allstate Blog says four survival skills are key.
The first instinct of a lost child is to search for family, but this could further exasperate the problem. Kids should stop and sit as soon as they realize they're lost, says Allstate.
Children also should be assured that even if they're scared, you're searching for them. Equipping them with an inexpensive cellphone and a backpack with water, a whistle or other survival items is also an option if possible.
Answering the door
The best strategy for a child home alone: Don't answer. Once the door is opened, a child can easily be overpowered. Train children to keep doors and windows locked and keep a TV or radio on for noise, says Allstate.
Allstate advises teaching kids to use 911 for emergencies at a young age - and practicing.
Calls should be rehearsed so children know how to explain information and listen to instructions. Turning on lights if it's nighttime or locking up pets are also good training methods if emergency workers come to the home.
And for children age 9 and up: Get CPR classes.
A good lesson for car rides is to have kids describe buildings and passing cars and even help you out by giving driving directions to familiar locations.
Learning through games helps children learn observation skills without scaring them. Checking plate numbers and describing surroundings with their eyes closed also can be fun.
- More kids visit ER for accidental medication ingestion
- Apps to keep you safe when an emergency strikes
WTOP's Dick Uliano contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)