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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Home Alone Safety for Kids course now offered in Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, CA, SEPTEMBER 10, 2014 - A new safety course designed to prepare children to be on their own at home or elsewhere for short periods of time is being introduced in Santa Barbara.

There are fewer stay-at-home parents, so there comes a point where independence becomes part of development. “Some kids are fearful staying home on their own and some parents are fearful of making that first step,” said Justin Haagen, owner of Safety Matters Certified Training. “There’s a planning process the entire family needs to be committed to, to ensure the child’s safety.”

One of the program’s key components is cyber safety. “We show kids how easily anybody can pull up enough information to find them. We ask them to tell us why certain comments, pictures or videos posted on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram or YouTube are dangerous or inappropriate” said Haagen. “It really does open their eyes.”

Another critical learning piece is first aid training, Haagensaid. “We teach them what to do in the event of choking or accidental poisoning, for example, and when to call 911”.

She noted age isn’t a fair assessment to determine a child’s readiness to stay home alone. Only three states have laws governing when you can leave a child alone, California is not one of them. Parents should talk to their children and make that decision as a family. “One 10-year might be ready to stay home alone whereas another 12 or 13 year old might not. The more proactive families are in keeping their children safe, the safer our community will be,” Haagen said.“Our No. 1 goal is to help educate families and help keep children safe. With or without this course, these children are going to start staying home alone. There will come a time when a parent is either not able to make it home, schedules collide so neither parent can be at home or finances just won’t allow for paid after school care any longer. We want families to feel confident when they leave their kids home alone.”

Home Alone Safety for Kids course will be offered by Safety Matters Certified Training, the first class session will begin September 29, 2014. The class is approximately 4 hours and will be offered in two formats, in two after school sessions from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. or in one 4 hour Saturday or In-service day session.

The course uses digital technology and interactive tools to teach children aged nine to 12 about internet safety, people safety, street smarts, house rules, injury prevention, fire & emergency safety and first aid.

Safety Matters Certified Training (www.SAFEkidsinsb.com), a fully insured local company, specializes in providing CPR/AED, First Aid, babysitter training, safety and occupational training for businesses, organizations, community members and health care professionals in Santa Barbara County. For more information, contact Justin Haagen at Justin@Safekidsinsb.com or call her at 805-705-9222.

If you would like more information on this topic or would like to schedule an interview with Ms. Justin Haagen, please contact Safety Matters at www.SAFEkidsinsb.com or call 805-705-9222

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