Home Alone Safety Tips

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Home Alone Safety Tips

Have you ever wondered what age parents leave their kids home alone? The answer is not simple as it depends on their maturity level. Whether it's leaving them alone for an hour after school to a whole night, there are many things to think about to keep your children safe.  

General Rules 

  • 0-9 should never be left alone 
  • 10 -12 (if mature) may be left alone for 1- 2 hours 
  • 13-14 could be alone for up to 5 hours 
  • 15-16 can be left alone for a day if trusted (but cannot loiter between the hours of 12 am to 6 am) 

Leaving kids home alone is a very controversial topic as the age ranges are sometimes unclear, this decision is very much a discretionary choice as the parent or guardian has to feel confident in the decision they make when leaving. When you feel comfortable leaving your child home alone, you may want to consider courses to inform them of the dangers in the home such as "home alone and stranger safety program". 

Here are a few points to help keep your children safe:

  • Lock all doors and windows 
  • Do not use medicine cabinets, sharp knives, stoves, lighters or matches 
  • Do not cook unless detailed instructions are left and permission is granted 
  • Know where fire extinguisher is 
  • Know where a flashlight is 
  • Turn on outside lights at night, this makes the house less attractive to  
  • robbers 
  • Do not answer the door unless you know for sure who it is 
  • If you hear unfamiliar noises outside call a parent or guardian 
  • If the phone rings don't answer unless you know who it is 
  • If you are allowed to answer the phone never tell people outside your safety zone that you are home alone 

In the eyes of a child staying home alone can be scary, giving them instructions and things to do creates less worry and can make the experience a lot more enjoyable. Checking in from time to time not only creates a slight comfort for the kids but also can reassure the parents or guardians that everything is okay. Ensuring all precautions are taken can result in a trouble-free home alone excursion. 

Click the link below for a book on how to ensure safe home alone measures. 

http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/350/350-523/350-523_pdf.pdf 

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