Can Your Child Stay Home Alone?
Many parents first consider leaving their children home alone after school begins in the fall. Knowing when your child is ready for this added responsibility requires careful consideration.
First, contact your county social service agency and ask for local guidelines on the age children legally can be left alone. However, keep in mind that age alone will not determine if your child is ready. You also need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Can my child lock and unlock the door?
- Can my child use the telephone?
- Can my child prepare a snack?
- Can my child read and write?
- Can my child follow directions?
- Does my child use good judgment?
- Is my child confident?
- Is my child fearful?
- Is my child stressed?
- Can my child reach me in an emergency?
- Do I have a backup person my child can contact if I cannot be reached?
- Does my employer allow me to make personal phone calls to check on my child?
- Do we live in a neighborhood where my child will be safe and feel comfortable?
- Is there someone my child can go to in the neighborhood in the event of an emergency?
Reprinted with the permission of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Reprinted with the permission of the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. © 2008 Children's Hospital and Health System.
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