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With no one-hundred-percent certainty if the kids will be going back to school anytime soon, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office has stepped up to provide a few key safety tips in the case when your children need to be on their own for a few hours or most of the day.

First of all, Sheriff Rob Maciol stresses the importance of frequent check-ins with your kids and establishing local contacts on who to call if such a situation were to develop. Of course, make sure your kids know to call 9-1-1 only if it is an emergency.

Kids should never make it known to anyone that they are home alone and they should lock all doors, the sheriff says.

Make sure to show and ensure your children know where the fire extinguisher is and how to use it. The same applies for a first aid kit.

To keep your kids occupied, Sheriff Maciol says it would help to give them a list of things to do, such as household chores, keeping up with any school work and etc.

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