October 23, 2020

Is My Child Old Enough to be left at Home Alone?

Deciding to leave your child home alone for the first time is a big decision to make as a parent. It is completely natural to worry about it and question whether your child is ready. However, with some careful planning and a set of rules in place, you and your child will feel much more comfortable about this new experience.

To help you decide if it is the right time to leave your child home alone, here is some great advice from an Independent school in Shepperton

What is the legal age?

You may be surprised to learn that there is no legal age requirement to leave your child unattended at home.  However, child protection experts say that ‘it is an offence to leave a child alone if it places them at risk.’ Therefore, it is crucially important to evaluate your child’s readiness. 

Is my child old enough to be left at home alone?

Is your child ready?

You know your child better than anyone, so take into consideration their maturity level and problem-solving skills, as well as their feelings about being left on their own.  If you are unsure, you could try a short practice run while you are nearby.

How can you prepare?

Make sure that your child is capable of safely preparing food and drink on their own.  Can your child confidently operate the kettle, cooker or microwave without adult supervision?  If you are worried, then you could prepare their meals or snacks in advance. 

Make sure your child knows what to do in case of an emergency.  Discuss potential situations, such as a power cut, a fire or a stranger at the door and explain what they should do in each scenario. 

Let your child know what time you’ll be back and who to call in an emergency.  Leave all your contact numbers and also give them family and neighbours phone numbers in case they can’t reach you.

Discuss cyber safety

It’s also a good idea to talk about what they’re going to do while you’re out. For example, if your child has access to the internet or social media channels, it is important to explain cyber safety and ensure that they do not mention to anyone online that they are going to be home alone.

Thanks for reading xxx

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Hi and welcome to The Willow Tree. I’m Michelle, also known as Shel and I am a mama to three beautiful crazy kids – I have two handsome boys and a wild and wonderful girl.

I really wanted a concrete place to share my love for travel, in particular Disney and offer my readers a chance to gain some knowledge around what we love to do as a family of 5.

I share our family adventures which include days out, travel advice and tips, holiday reviews, restaurant visits and of course, our love for Disney, including Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World.

Life is about creating memories, and here we are sharing them with you




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