The NSPCC is urging parents to think carefully before leaving their children home alone during the summer holidays. It may be very tempting to leave children while you pop to the shop but you never know what may happen, circumstances over which you have no control. If you had an accident and were not conscious, would anyone know your children are home alone? It may sound farfetched but these things do happen.
So when can you feel safe leaving children alone at home?
The law does not give a minimum age for leaving children alone at home but it’s against the law if it puts them at risk. Children mature at different ages – some will understand about not opening front doors or answering the phone at an early age, some older children will not grasp the implications. You just cannot make assumptions and parents need to know how their children feel about being at home without an adult present.
The NSPCC give this advice on leaving a child at home
If you are leaving older children at home alone you should make sure:
Although some children thrive on being given a measure of independence and trust, others are less confident and you should always take this into account.