It’s a big milestone for kids when they can stay at home alone. Parents also can find leaving their kids at home alone to be beneficially too. However, there are several things to consider before leaving your children at home.
Check out a few things to think about before you do!
How old are they?
Generally, children under the age of 10 should not be left home alone. But there are three states that have specific age requirements before children should be left home alone.
- Illinois – 14 years old
- Oregon – 10 years old
- Maryland – 8 years old
If you live in a state that doesn’t have an age requirement then instead base your decision off of your child’s independence ability and maturity.
How long should they be home alone?
It’s best to start with a short amount of time. Try 30 minutes to an hour. Then gradually increase it as both of you and your child feel more comfortable.
Can they handle responsibility of being home alone?
Your child should know a couple safety and responsibilities before being left alone at home.
Kitchen Safety and Meal Prep
Your child should know some basic kitchen safety rules. Some of the safety rules they should know are how to safely use the oven, stove, and knives. Your child should also know how to clean up after a meal. You might even want to set out snacks or premade meal for your child while you are away.
What if someone comes to the door while your child is home alone? Do they know what they should do?
One of the safest ways is to advise your child not to open the door while you are away. You can also speak to your child and set guidelines as to what you prefer too.
Speak to your child about emergency situations. Teach them what constitutes as an emergency and what steps to take if one should arise. Your child should also know basic first-aid and feel comfortable calling you or 911.