Parents to consider questions when they decide to keep their kids alone at home

How long will I be gone?
If you are not working but have to occasionally go out to run some errands then confirm whether your child is comfortable with the idea of staying alone at home. A child who isn't quite ready to be alone from the time school's out to when working parents get home might be ready to stay alone while a parent runs a few quick errands.

Is my child emotionally ready?

Find out whether your child is emotionally ready to stay alone or not. Don't impose anything on the child. If a child is afraid to be left alone, he or she isn't ready and thus you have to give your child more time.

How would my child react in an emergency?

Children need to know when and how to call for an emergency. Teach your child how to operate fire extinguishers, and how to follow their family's fire escape plan.

Does my child exercise good judgment?
Parents need to be confident and sure that their child will follow directions on answering the telephone and door, on allowing playmates and strangers in the house, on computer and television usage, and on getting along with siblings. If your child is not confident enough to handle himself as well as take proper care of the safety of the house then it is not time to leave your child alone at home and you need to give more time to him.

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