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What basic house rules should I set before leaving my child home alone?

ANSWER

efore you leave for the first time, establish a few basic house rules that cover different situations:

  • What to do if the doorbell rings
  • What to do if the phone rings
  • Whether it's OK to have friends over, and if so, how many friends can come over
  • What kinds of snacks they can eat
  • Time limits on watching TV or playing computer or video games, and a list of approved programs and games.

SOURCES:

KidsHealth: "Leaving Your Child Home Alone" and "When Can I Stay Home Alone in the Daytime?"

American Academy of Pediatrics.

University of Michigan Health System: "Babysitter Safety -- What Parents and Sitters Need to Know."

Child Welfare Information Gateway: "Leaving Your Child Home Alone."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on October 20, 2018

SOURCES:

KidsHealth: "Leaving Your Child Home Alone" and "When Can I Stay Home Alone in the Daytime?"

American Academy of Pediatrics.

University of Michigan Health System: "Babysitter Safety -- What Parents and Sitters Need to Know."

Child Welfare Information Gateway: "Leaving Your Child Home Alone."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on October 20, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

How should I prepare my child to babysit?

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