If you are a parent that has children that are about old enough to start being allowed to go places by themselves, you are going to need to think about giving your children their own keys. This is important because it will allow your children to come and go without you necessarily needing to be there to let them in or lock the door behind them. However, you might worry that your child might forget his or her key and become locked out. Here are some tips for dealing with this possible problem.
1. Hide a Key
One option is to hide a key somewhere on the outside of the house so that your child, should he or she forget his or her key, can still get into the house. The problem with this method is that, if your child can find a key, there is a decent chance that a potential burglar could also find the key. This is a security vulnerability that you will have to think carefully about before risking.
2. Leave a Key With a Neighbor
A slightly better option than hiding a key outside is to leave a key with a neighbor. You want to be sure that you choose a neighbor that interacts with your children regularly and therefore knows what they look like. This neighbor can give your children a key to the house should they forget theirs. This is better because there is a reduced chance of a burglar stealing the key and being able to use it. However, it would be a problem if your children forgot their keys and the neighbor that you gave the key to was not home. You could mitigate this problem by giving a key to a second neighbor.
Make sure that you get your children in the habit of giving the key back to the neighbor immediately after using it to open the door.
3. Create a Contingency Plan
If the neighbor or neighbors to whom you gave the key are not there when your children get locked out, you need to make sure that there is a plan in place so that your children have somewhere to go. One option is to have them go to a nearby public building, such as a library, and call you. Another option is to have them wait in the yard if the weather is good. Make sure that you have a plan so that your children know where to go and can stay safe.
For more information, talk to a company that specializes in lockout assistance. They might have some clever ideas for making sure that your children can get into the house.