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What should I consider when deciding whether to leave my child home alone?

ANSWER

  • Do you live in a quiet rural or residential neighborhood?
  • Does the area have a low crime rate?
  • Do you have an alarm system? Does your tween know how to operate it?
  • Can your child understand and follow basic rules, like locking the door after coming inside and not opening it for strangers?
  • Has your child shown good judgment in past situations?
  • Do you have friends, family members, or neighbors who can get to your house quickly in case of an emergency?
  • Has your tween shown signs of responsibility in the past? Examples include finishing homework on time without having to be asked and doing chores around the house.
  • Is your preteen comfortable with the idea of staying home alone?

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:

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

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