Now that school's back in session, many kids will be coming home BEFORE their parents do. They're called latch key kids. Channel 4's Staci Spanos talked with our crime and safety analyst to find out what rules need to be in place for kids home alone, or those taking care of younger siblings. 3 0 - 7 42 - 48 200 - 214 years ago, channel 4 crime and safety analyst ken jefferson did what millions of kids did ...walked home from school and arrived to an empty house. 1.02.49 I DID HAVE TO LET MYSELF INSIDE AND WAIT UNTIL MY OLDER SIBLINGS GOT THERE OR MY PARENTS GOT THERE." But as ken will tell you...1.02.56 THOSE DAYS WERE A BIT DIFFERENT THAN THEY ARE NOW. It's estimated more than one million grade schoolers are so- called Latch key kids -- or kids who come home to an empty house. Ken says it's important to educate them about the realities of the day and age we live in....Ken Jefferson: 1.03.54 Sexual offenders are real.they're out and about. and to do a dry-run of the child's walk to school.á1.04.12 "you have to walk your child to school the first week or so. Show them the route. Show them where not to venture out.Look for suspicious person walking by or riding by. Teach them what to do if someone tries to grab them and put them in a vehicle." we showed ken this video channel 4 shot showing children veering off the sidewalk and cutting through woods on their way home from school.1.07.21 " what do you think when you see things like that? they're cutting through the woods, they're kicking the ball. They're stopping. some of the same things I did as a child walking home from school. What I think is the parents need to teach their children to be on task." a good way to keep them on task -- accding to ken, give them a reward. 1.08.05 give them a special allowance or something for staying on task doing the right things they're supposed to do. You've got to keep them engaged with it. And for older children taking care of younger siblings.1.08.51 get that younger sibling inside the house safely. Lock the doors, put the alarm system on if you have one, contac the parents let them know they've arrived safely. The older sibling has to take on the responsibility of the parent. 1.14.13 "it's tough being a parent these days, but experts say as long as you keep an open line of communication with your kids, it can go a long way in heading off some of these problems. In spring park, SS, Channel 4, The Local Station"