The summer season is here, and that means most kids are out of school for several months.
Not all parents are able to stay at home with their children during their time off. That could leave some parents in a difficult scenario; deciding whether to leave the kids home alone.
Many parents question what the right age is to let the kids stay alone or start taking care of themselves. According to the Federal Children’s Bureau, only three states mandate a minimum age for children to be left home alone. Children must be 14-years-old in Illinois to be left alone, 8-years-old in Maryland, and 10-years-old in Oregon.
When you do feel it’s the right time for kids to be left on their own, here are several tips to keep in mind:
- Have an emergency plan and make sure the children know how to use it, including designating a safe room.
- Don’t forget about the danger of some cleaning supplies that might have to be put out of reach or locked up.
- Take care of guns and always make sure they are locked up.
Another thing to keep in mind are electronic devices. Sure, they can be a great way to keep the kids occupied during the day, but make sure they know the dangers of posting on social media and who could be viewing them.
Experts say calmly make the kids aware of the realities. There is no need to terrify them. Make sure they are ready for the responsibility of being left alone.