Children expected to abide by curfew



by Christopher Kratzer
Air University Public Affairs


10/28/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Parents and children on base may not be aware, but the installation imposes a curfew on children ages 13-17. Security forces expects all children to be inside by 11 p.m.

"Aside from good order and discipline, (curfew is) to ensure the safety and proper adequate supervision of children," said Master Sgt. James Taylor, security forces plans and programs.

While breaking curfew is not a common occurrence, security forces does have a plan of action for children who are out to late.

"A field interview card is completed, their parents or guardians are contacted and custody is turned over to them, and a blotter entry is made," Taylor said. "If there are any charges or crime, a SFMIS report is completed."

Parents should also be careful when leaving children unsupervised. Very young children should not be out of the line of sight of an adult, according to security forces.
While security forces is equipped to handle children, James encouraged parents to remember safety starts at home: "No rules can make up for the interest parents have in what their kids are doing, regardless of age."

Are children ready to be left alone?

Taken from Maxwell AFB Instruction 34-801 are general questions parents should ask when assessing the readiness of children to be left unsupervised:

· Does the child consistently act as mature or as responsible as the majority of children in his or her grade at school?
· Has the child acted impulsively in the past several weeks in a way that has placed the child in danger (for instance, playing with fire or sharp objects, getting into the medicine cabinet without permission)?
· Is the child able to recite name, address and phone number to another adult if necessary?
· Does the child know the parent's or guardian's name, phone number and workplace?
· Does the child know what an emergency is and how to contact emergency services?
· Does the child know the name, phone number and address of a designated alternate adult if a parent is not available? Is he or she comfortable asking this alternate caretaker for help?
· Does the child know how to exit the house from every room in case of a fire?
· Does the child know where to go or what to do in case of a tornado, (for instance, shelter in a center room like a bathroom or closet without windows and cover up with pillows or bedding)?
· Can he or she make a simple sandwich, pour a glass of milk or fix a bowl of cold cereal?
· Does the child know the rules about bicycle safety, and does the child use a helmet without having to be reminded?
· How will the child handle a stranger calling on the phone or knocking on the door?

This is not intended to be either a comprehensive list or to take the place of good parental teaching and judgment. For information, call Family Advocacy at 953-5501.