If you have pets, ask yourself if it is safe to leave your child unattended with them at home. When your kids go out, make sure you know all the details, including where they are going, who they are with, what they will do, and how far they will travel. Westerman added, «This will help you make the right decision.» Often, it`s a good idea to leave your child for a short time and develop them longer as you get older. Parents can be prosecuted if they leave a child unattended «in a way that could cause unnecessary suffering or damage to health.» READ MORE: Homeless families after devastating Hillfields apartment fire see them in makeshift shelters For most children, if you have to leave them, it`s best to leave them with someone, especially if they`re nervous or have complex needs. If you decide to leave your child alone, leave a spare set of keys and make sure they can get food or use the bathroom if they need it. «Consider if there is anything that could hurt them and how you could reduce that risk,» Westerman advises. Use your judgment about your child`s maturity before deciding to leave them alone, such as at home or in the car. Westerman says the charity has been contacted more than 21,000 times in the past four years because children have been left unattended, with nearly half of the contacts taking place during the summer months, Wales Online reports. She also advised children under the age of 16 not to be left alone overnight. Parents should consider children who have additional needs and, if possible, be supervised by an older sibling. Here, Westerman shares tips for parents and caregivers to help them make the right decisions about whether their children stay home alone or go out unattended during the summer.
Parents may wonder how young they are to leave their children home alone, and we have the answer for you. Westerman says the charity has been contacted more than 21,000 times in the past four years because children have been left unattended, with nearly half of the contacts occurring during the summer months. She added: «As children get older, it`s common for them to want more freedom and learn to be independent,» she says. It`s an important part of growing up, but we know there can be a lot of things parents can think about. Since every child is different, we recommend developing independence at their own pace and connecting with them to make sure they feel safe. «With school holidays approaching and hundreds of working parents currently juggling a single child, this could be a question many moms and dads are asking. If you don`t trust your child yourself, they shouldn`t be left alone with a friend. While there is no law that determines the age at which a child can be left home alone, there are legal consequences that can result from leaving a child alone at home if you feel it was unsafe for the child or put them at risk. Fearing a new surge this summer, the charity is launching a new campaign – the «Home or Out Alone» campaign – urging parents and caregivers to think carefully about leaving children alone or unattended at home. Since there are no laws that dictate the age at which children can be left home alone, it is up to you as a parent to decide when your child is ready to be abandoned.
Age is less important than maturity: for example, a reasonable 12-year-old may be more mature and responsible than a somewhat stubborn 14-year-old. You may want to consider things like: If you have neighbours you trust, tell your child where to go in case they need to evacuate the house and who to talk to. Kellie Ann Fitzgerald of the NSPCC said: «At NSPCC, we know that deciding whether your children are willing to stay home or go out alone can be difficult and will vary from child to child. There is no legal age for a person to care for children. Age should not be used alone to assess when you can leave a child alone at home. You should also determine if the child is mature enough to deal with an emergency and how long the child will be left out. It`s a good idea to discuss the possibility of being left alone with the child and ask how they`re feeling. «Ask yourself if they can manage the risks, if they will behave responsibly, will they be safe?» asks Westerman.
«And perhaps more importantly, what does your child think of this idea?» Don`t leave them alone with a friend for the first time, as this can encourage dangerous or bad behavior, although this may seem helpful. Much of the guidance comes from parents` social expectations and trust in their children. Parents are also advised to understand what aspects of being alone at home may worry a child, such as: Fear of the dark so that possible worries can be resolved if possible before a final decision is made. This means that parents can decide if their children are mature enough to be home alone. Being left alone is an opportunity for your child to experiment with things like alcohol or drugs (as unlikely as it sounds), so make sure they understand the consequences of their actions and how to deal with an emergency. Children under the age of 12 are rarely mature enough to deal with an emergency and should not be left home alone for long. Even a short period alone can be distressing and lonely for a child, and most children under the age of 13 would not be able to cope with an emergency. Although the law does not set an age at which children can be left alone, it is illegal to leave a child or children alone if doing so puts them at risk of harm.
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to decide, according to their own discretion and common sense, what is important part of each child`s growth. «As the summer holidays begin, we want to encourage parents and caregivers to think carefully about leaving children alone or unattended at home, and also remind the public to care for children in their communities,» said Kam Thandi, NSPCC`s National Director of Services. «During the pandemic, we saw an increase in the contacts we received on this topic, as many people were at home and more aware of what people around them were doing. In certain circumstances, parents can be prosecuted if their child is injured while a babysitter under the age of 16 is being supervised. The law states that parents should not leave little ones alone at home or in the car if they are likely to be exposed to risks, but this also does not indicate an age. Although there is no age set in the law for children to be left alone, parents can still be prosecuted if they leave children alone. They say that babies, toddlers or toddlers should under no circumstances be left alone. Children across the UK are now on summer holiday for the next few weeks. With children at home, parents need to think about how to entertain their children during their break. This is true not only if you leave them alone at home, but also if you leave them alone in your car while you walk to the shops.