As a parent summertime can mean a lot of things, some good and some not so good. One of the good things is that you get to have your kids around the house all day. You can spend time with them, and teach them and watch them goof off-it can be a lot of fun. One of the not so good things is that: the kids are around the house all day-that means you have to worry about their safety in and around the house all day too. This situation is even more heightened for parents whose kid is on the autism spectrum. There is a lot that has to be considered, but with some careful planning and proper communication between the family parents can have peace of mind and not have to worry every second about the safety of their child who struggles with autism spectrum disorder.
To make the planning easier, we came up with a few tips on how to prepare your home for summertime safety with a child on the autism spectrum. We hope that by going through parents will feel a little bit of the load lifted from their shoulders.
Ordinarily, bodies of water such as swimming pools, bath tubs and such like pose a safety hazard to kids when not supervised. However, it becomes even more dangerous in homes with autistic kids because of the fascination that water holds for those on the autistic spectrum. To keep them safe it is important that you drain bath tubs immediately after use. Put sprinklers away after use. Pools of any size should either be covered when not in use or drained. Keep gates securely locked. Keeping gates locked is important if your neighbour happens to have a swimming pool. Consider using a hook-and-eye lock that lies well out of the child’s reach.
If your child on the autistic spectrum tends to wander, make sure that doors and other exits stay locked at all times. Have a talk with other family members about the importance of making sure that this rule is followed at all times. You can give your child a GPS locator to wear. Consider installing motion sensor alarms on doors and windows. You can also spread your net wide by asking neighbours to keep a look out and call a given phone number should they see your child wandering about unsupervised.
Make sure all alarm systems like fire alarms are in perfect working order. Teach your autistic child what the alarms mean if he hears them especially if he or she are affected by sounds. Practise an evacuation plan with the entire family and set a meeting place safely away from the house where everyone can flee too in case of any emergency.
In Case of Bad Weather
If you live in an area that is at risk of inclement or deadly weather such as hurricanes you want to secure windows and screens. You also want to put aside supplies: torches can openers, batteries, bottled water and so on for any weather emergency. Go over an emergency plan with the whole family and make sure you keep abreast of any weather updates concerning your area via radio, the internet or your smartphone.
In Case of Stranger
Make sure your kids are informed about the difference between strangers and acquaintances. This is particularly important for your child on the autism spectrum who may have trouble interacting with people. Go over the rules about opening the doors or answering the phone, and instruct them on what to do when they are approached by someone whom they do not know.
Do you know any other tips to keep the home safe? Share with us below!