Corliss Battle, a reader from Maryland, offers a suggestion she says "has stood the test of time with my own two children."
Fill a large zip-top plastic bag with all the little things your children might need in an emergency: a flashlight with batteries that work; band aids; cotton balls; mild antiseptic; several quarters; safety pins; at least six direct-dial telephone numbers of relatives, neighbors, or co-workers; a piece of candy or some sugarless gum.
Corliss suggests having your kids help you pack the bag. Talk about each item as you include it. Have your child decide which phone number they'd call first, second, and so on. Then put the bag in a central place that is "easy to reach and easy to remember if the child is a little upset."
Even when children are old enough to be home alone (most experts say that's at least age 10), minor emergencies can crop up.
"I think that having a focal point within the household for emergencies helps the child, and the parent, feel a little more secure," Corliss concludes.
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