Trooper Rob: Parents should check online sex offender registries

Published 6:18 pm Friday, August 5, 2011

Have you posted the sites for people to look for the sex offender registries in Michigan and Indiana? I was just thinking parents could check their neighborhoods, especially if their kid comes home talking about the “nice man down the street whose dog I was playing with.”
These records are public records and a great tool for neighborhood watch groups also. This should be a website parents can check before leaving children home alone, as described in this week’s parent tip. Most people registered on this list are compliant and follow all the rules about school, daycare and park restrictions. There are many people who are not on the list and may be predators. Suspicious situations may be called in to the police. If you notice any discrepancy with addresses on these lists, please call your jurisdictional police.
For Michigan, For Indiana, .
Parent Tip:  Who is at your house right now? Are you sure? As parents it is up to us to educate and prepare our children to assume the responsibilities of being “home alone.” Each child is ready to assume this responsibility at different times based on his/her maturity level. It is important to set house rules, establish routines, and educate your children about emergency procedures before they are left alone. Lastly, monitoring is very important during this time. Check in to make sure that house rules are being followed and acknowledge your children when they make good choices during this time.
House rules: 1) Don’t allow other children over to your home when you are not home.  2) Establish a protocol on how to answer the phone and door when you are not there. 3) Establish limits on television, phone and computer time.
Set a routine: 1) Lock all doors behind you. 2) Call a parent or designated person at a certain time to “check in.” 3) Help with household chores (i.e. pet care, dishes, etc.)
Emergency procedures: 1) Post emergency numbers and contacts including family members and family doctor’s name and number. 2) Keep a basic first aid kit for emergencies. 3) Go over emergency escape routes, meeting places and plans for sudden illness or injury.
Are they ready? There are things to consider as you are determining whether or not your child is ready to be left alone: 1) Age: Experts believe that 12 is the youngest that a child should be left alone and 15 before they can care for siblings. 2) Maturity: Can they think things through, plan ahead, and make good decisions? 3) Environment: Is the neighborhood safe? Are there people nearby that can be trusted to help watch out for your child? 4) Their feelings: Are they nervous about being alone? If so, they may not be ready. Also think about how long they will be left alone. They may be fine for an hour or two but a whole day may be too long. Check out for more helpful tips.
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