Home alone guide

Last updated: 04 Sep 2018 Topics: Parenting

Need-to-know: is my child ready to be left alone?

There is no legal age at which children may be left home alone, but parents can be prosecuted for neglect if it puts them at risk of injury or suffering.

This guide gives sound advice and useful tips to help parents decide in which situations they may leave their children home alone, and what they need to do to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

It explains the risks of leaving babies and younger children unattended, and provides helpful advice on what qualities and experience to look for when choosing a babysitter or appropriate childcare.

There is a quiz for parents and children which explores how the child feels about being left at home alone and what they might do in different scenarios, such as a power cut or if someone came to the door. Parents can fill in the ‘while I’m away’ pull-out with times and contact numbers and stick it on the fridge before they go out.

Also useful for any service or professional offering parenting advice to new parents and those caring for young children or teenagers.

Author: NSPCC
Published: 2015