Are You Okay?

This, from the city this morning:

“Are You OK” program available in La Vergne

R U OK takes the fear out of being alone.

Rutherford County students return to school this week and many step off the bus, then go home to empty houses. Spending time at home alone can be a scary experience for children, but they don’t have to feel vulnerable.

The La Vergne Police Department offers a free program called “Are You OK®?” that checks on latch-key children, along with the elderly, disabled, and the homebound with a daily phone call.  The nationwide telephone reassurance system calls individuals at a specific time each day to ask, “Are you okay?”

The system can call subscribers more than once a day, and/or at different times on different days. Additionally, various messages are available including medication reminders.

If a regular “Are you OK” call is made and there is no answer or a busy signal after a defined number of retries, a police officer will be dispatched to the residence to see if the resident is okay.

“Are You OK takes the fear out of being alone,” said La Vergne Police Chief Mike Walker. “We urge people who might be at risk – whether it’s from extremely hot temperatures or a child being home alone – to call and subscribe to ‘Are You OK?’”

To subscribe to “Are You OK?” locally, simply call the non-emergency phone number of the LaVergne Police Department at 793-7744 and give the name and phone number of the person who needs the service.

12 comments for “Are You Okay?

  1. Alicia Hibbs
    August 9, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Well Done La Vergne!! Sounds like a wonderful program!!

  2. Shelly
    August 9, 2011 at 11:45 am

    What a great idea!

  3. Jen Strange
    August 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    there’s some debate amongst my friends and I when a child is old enough to be left alone for any period of time – 5 minutes, 2 hours, etc. Any thoughts on when a child is old enough to leave him at home so I can drive to Chick-fil-a for 5 minutes? 🙂 (My sisters and I were left alone a lot growing up, but it was a small town and a different time, apparently.)

    • Ivy
      August 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      Legally, a child cannot be left alone until they are 12 years old.

      • Angie
        August 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm

        Actually the state of TN doesn’t have a law that states a legal age for children to be left alone. It strongly recommends not leaving kids home alone younger than 10 years old. But sadly no law.

        I was like you and thought it was against the law till I did some research. I personnally believe you have to determine what is right for your child based on maturity/responsibility etc.

        Per http://www.tncourts.gov...

        “There is no legal age for children to stay at home alone. Parents are advised to use their best judgment, keeping the child’s maturity level and safety issues in mind. Younger children have a greater need for supervision and care than older children. Obviously, young children under age 10 should not be left without supervision at any time. In most cases, older teenage children may be left alone for short periods of time.”

        • Jen Strange
          August 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm

          interesting! thanks, guys 🙂

        • Ivy
          August 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm

          Interesting, I had called the police department a couple of years back and they told me 12.

          • Sherry
            August 10, 2011 at 11:48 am

            I remember that too, Ivy. I left mine alone for a few minutes when she was 11 and I specifically recall that I was breaking the law for about 15 minutes.

        • Sherry
          August 10, 2011 at 11:20 am

          “Older teenage children may be left alone for short periods of time?” I would certainly hope so. I know many older teenagers whose parents leave them alone overnight or for a few days. My only fear is that they’d throw the party of the year while I was gone!

        • Ken Austin
          August 11, 2011 at 11:14 am

          Dear Ms. Strange…..
          My Wife and I read your guest columnist piece this morning in the Daily News Journal. She would like to drop you a note of “Thanks” for your kind and encouraging words. My wife is a 3rd Grade Educator at Cason Lane Academy in Murfreesboro. Would you mind supplying us with your email address?
          Thank You Ms. Strange. It is nice to know there are people like you out there that realize the critical importance of our teachers.
          Sincerely,
          Ken Austin
          austin434@comcast.net

          • Jen Strange
            August 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

            awww! thanks 🙂 I just noticed that

            it’s jenstrange@gmail.com 🙂

            tell your wife to have a great school year!!!

            jen

  4. Gary Baggett
    August 10, 2011 at 7:01 am

    This is a great idea by the city to begin implementing!
    Regarding leaving your child at home alone, Angie is correct in that their is no state law pertaining to how old a child can be. It’s really up to your discretion and common sense, I believe.

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