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How To Decide When It Is Safe To Leave A Child Home Alone


There will be a point in any parent or carers life when they pose the question ‘What age can a child be left home alone?’.

There are 671 million children under the age of 5 in the world, each day 35.5 million of them are left without adult supervision. That’s more than all of the 5-year-olds in Europe!
With families in the UK paying more than 30% of their income on Childcare, as a proportion of income, that is the highest in the developed world! It can sometimes put parents in a very difficult situation when deciding if your child is old enough to be home alone. Gauging if your child is old enough to be left alone is a very hard and serious decision, especially since there is little guidance on the appropriate age for a child to be left unaccompanied at home.

Firstly, there is no law that specifies an age at which a child can be left unattended.

Rather than specifying an age, the law states that a parent could be prosecuted for neglect if they are placing a child at risk of harm if left home alone.
We have scoured the web and found a fantastic tool from NSPCC to help parents and carers to make an informed decision when it comes to deciding if their child is capable of being left alone at home, even for a short period of time. Take a look here:

NSPCC Home Alone Guide


When looking at figures obtained by the BBC, they suggest more than 500 people were arrested from 2014 to 2015 for leaving children unattended. Most of the arrests made relate to children aged 10 years or younger, but it must be noted the ages did range from six weeks old all the way to 15 years.
If you are still undecided ‘Family lives’ gives great free, professional and non-judgemental advice on family life. Get in touch here

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About the Author Alice

Alice is the Futures Group's Marketing Officer and takes care of our website, social media, and marketing.