At What Age Should You Leave Your Child Home Alone?
Important advice for parents
31 July 2013
To begin with, we cannot stress enough that babies and toddlers should NOT be left home alone, ever.
This means not even a trip to the shop next door, down to the lobby of your building or a visit to your pool. Absolutely anything could happen whilst you are away from a fire to a fall and accidents happen in the blink of an eye.
You will know when you child is mature enough and responsible enough to be eventually left home alone by taking the following into consideration and these points should demonstrate that a toddler would not be able to be left home alone:
Age and Maturity
There is no agreed-upon age when all children are able to stay home alone safely. Because children mature at different rates, you should not base your decision on age alone.
You may want to evaluate your child's maturity and how he or she has demonstrated responsible behavior in the past. Ask yourself the following questions to see if the child is ready.
When and how a child is left home alone can make a difference to his or her safety and success. Ask yourself the following questions to see if your child is ready.
In addition to age and maturity, your child will need to master some specific skills before being able to stay home alone safely. In particular, your child needs to know what to do and whom to contact in an emergency situation. Knowledge of basic first aid is also useful. You may want to consider enrolling your child in a safety course.
The following questions may also help:
Tips for Parents
Once you have determined that your child is ready to stay home alone, the following suggestions may help you to prepare your child and to feel more comfortable about leaving him or her home alone:
You will see from the above that a baby or toddler would not be able to be left at home and you may be looking at the age of 14 or 15 or even older before your child could cope home alone. This is not something to be rushed and you should look into alternatives for home child care such as baby sitters, maids, nanny, trusted friend, family member etc.