Leaving Your Child Home Alone

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

How old should a child be to be left home alone?

Elementary aged children should not be left alone but age should not be the only factor in your decision.  Parents should make their decision based on their child’s responsibility and emotional stability. The child should want responsibility, be able to follow directions and be able to solve problems independently.

How can you tell if a child is ready to be left alone?

The answer is to simply ask. The majority of children will tell the truth. If you child turns on all the lights, has the radio or TV on full volume or has nightmares, do not leave your child alone.

How long can a child be left alone?

  • A child should be left alone as little as possible. With older children, three hours a day is enough.
  • Parents should put off their errands until they can come home and take their children with them.
  • Parents should provide emergency numbers and be available by cell phone if possible.

Can a child be left alone with their brother or sister?

No child younger than 10 can effectively supervise other children. If an older child is in charge, younger children should still be taught some self-reliance.

Other suggestions

  • Create a list outlining rules and responsibilities
  • Create a list of important phone numbers including your cell phone number
  • Teach your child when and how to call 9-1-1