Kids and Keys

What to keep in mind.

BY JASON STEVENS

December 11, 2020

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Giving your child a key to the house is a big step. It gives them a significant responsibility, as well as an added layer of autonomy. A key may provide the kids with a lot of freedom, but it also gives you as a parent a little freedom, too. However, there are a few risks involved. We know that many kids can be careless, and a misplaced key can impact your home security.

As a parent, your job is to watch your kids learn and grow, and giving them a key allows them to put responsibility into practice. Here are some ways to help reduce the chance of lost keys.

Tie it up

An effective way of preventing keys from being lost is to attach them to something much harder to lose — like their backpack. Putting keys on a lanyard and clipping or tying them to their schoolbag ensures that as long as they’re carrying their backpack when they come home, they have their keys. A retractable keychain works very perfectly for this as well. This approach also allows the key to return to the bag once they lock or unlock the door.

Don’t use the doormat

Never hide your house keys under rocks, under doormats, or above the lamp near the garage. Burglars often scout out a house before they break in. They watch for patterns to know when no one’s home or what entries are the least secure — or whether you use that alarm system installed in your home. A burglar eyeing your house may even see kids lifting that rock or lamp cover to grab their keys.

A safer alternative is to give spare keys to trusted neighbors. If you or your kids are ever locked out of the house, you can resort to the trust of a friend rather than a rock. Ideally, since kids usually come home from school during the day, you can look for friends or neighbors who don’t work or stay home.

Have a plan

Planning for all scenarios makes the thought of them less scary, and it’s easier to keep a level head when even a worst-case scenario happens. Create and rehearse a plan with your child for when they cannot find their keys and are locked out of the house. Come up with a list of nearby public spaces where they can safely spend their time until a parent is home (e.g., a library, community center, or shaded park).

Having a plan means your children will know what to do, you’ll know where to find them, and no one will panic if something happens. A mapped-out plan gives both you and your child confidence and peace of mind for this big step.

Contact Brinks Home™ for a full suite of home-monitoring products.

Jason Stevens is a senior writer for Brinks Home. He is a "tech guy" who enjoys sharing home security and automation tips with others.

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