What age can you leave your child at home alone? – The Sun

WHEN is it safe to leave your child home alone?

Here's everything we know.

How old do your kids have to be before they can be left at home on their own?

UK law doesn't give a set age on when it is legal to leave your kids at home alone.

But the law does state that you shouldn't leave little ones alone at home or in a car if they could be exposed to risks.

This means parents can be left to decide if their kids are mature enough to be home alone.

It is thought that because mums and dads know their youngsters best, they can make the best decision on whether they can manage on their own.

What are the guidelines given to parents about leaving their children on their own?

The NSPCC has drawn up their own advice and guidelines on when children can be left alone.

They say that under no circumstances should babies, toddlers or young children be left by themselves and children under the age of 16 should not be left alone overnight.

Children under the age of 12 are rarely mature enough to cope in an emergency and should not be left at home alone for a long period of time.

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The charity says you should never leave a child home alone if they don’t feel ready, or if you don’t feel they’re ready.

Sometimes it’s better to leave them with someone – particularly if they’re nervous or have complex needs.

Infants and young children aged 0-3 years old should never be left alone – even for 15 minutes while you pop down the road.

This applies not just to leaving them home alone but also in your car while you run into the shops.

Make sure that any potentially dangerous things like tools, knives and prescription medicines are safely out of harm's way before you go out.

If they have allergies, be careful that there's nothing in the house that could trigger a reaction.

If you have pets, think about whether it's safe to leave your child home with them unsupervised.

Being left alone is an opportunity for your child to experiment with things like alcohol or drugs (however unlikely it might seem) – so it's a good idea to have a conversation about safety and what to do in an emergency.

Can parents be prosecuted for leaving kids at home on their own?

Even though there is no set age in the law on when children can be left alone, parents can still be prosecuted for leaving kids alone.

If it is deemed that kids have been neglected because there are no adults around, criminal proceedings can be brought against the parents.

And if they are found guilty of neglect, they can face a fine or even a prison sentence.

In 2014, dad Tim Haines, 53, was prosecuted for leaving his sick two-year-old daughter, Iset, alone in a car for five minutes while he ran into a chemist to buy some Calpol.


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