Parents want their children to remain safe, including in their own home. However, a parent may wonder when it is safe for a child to stay home alone without adult supervision. There are things to consider about making sure that children are responsible enough to remain home alone.
Do You Live in a Safe Area?
While there are possible dangers in any region, there are some neighborhoods that have a higher crime rate than others do. If you live in a city that has numerous home invasions, then leaving a child home alone will seem more frightening. Think carefully about the time of day or night that you are leaving a child home alone along with understanding if there are neighbors nearby who can offer assistance during an emergency.
What Are the Laws in Your Region?
You should understand the laws in your region before leaving a child home alone. Some cities have regulations concerning the age of children who are left home alone or the amount of time that a child can stay home alone. Breaking one of these regulations can lead to losing custody of a child while you are investigated for child neglect.
Can a Child Keep Track of a Set of Keys?
If you are going to permit a child to come home from school to stay alone for a few hours, then you should contact a locksmith to make an additional set of keys. Your child must have enough responsibility to use the keys properly without losing the items if they are responsible enough to stay home. Caring for the set of keys includes making sure that someone can’t find the items in a backpack that has the home’s address, making it easy for someone to break into your home.
Is Your Child Ready to Stay Home Alone?
Each child is different, so you must determine if your child is ready for the responsibility. Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to understand if your child is ready to stay home alone for several hours. Begin with small amounts of time, such as only a few minutes while you visit with a neighbor or while you go to the supermarket to buy milk. You can also test your child’s abilities to stay home alone by having friends help you with the process. A friend who your child doesn’t know can knock on the door or make a telephone call to the house to determine how your child reacts.
Last, it is possible to install surveillance cameras so that you can monitor a child from a computer or a smartphone.