At what age can we leave our children alone at home?
My children are still very young, but one of them asked me yesterday: 'Mom, when will you let me go to school only?' I looked at him surprised because it is something that I do not even think about yet, but he already wants to do things like the older ones. My son's question led me to think about wh
My children are still very young, but one of them asked me yesterday: 'Mom, when will you let me go to school only?' I looked at him surprised because it is something that I do not even think about yet, but he already wants to do things like the older ones. My son's question led me to think about when I would be ready to do it and at what time should the children be left alone at home without it being a danger.
When the child is ready to be home alone
A study published by the Spanish Association of Pediatrics and the Mapfre Foundationindicates that almost 10% of children under 12 years of age have been left alone at home at some time and This increases the risk of having an accident at home.
The legislation that protects minors varies from country to country, but in general, it is considered negligence on the part of parents to leave a child alone at home, either to go down to make a quick errand or to take more time , if he is left in a helpless situation. The child who is only at home faces dangers such as falls and blows without an adult being able to attend to him. In addition, a stranger could knock on the door and the child could open it, putting him in grave danger.
Currently there is no consensus on the age at which children can remain alone at home. Each child is different and develops at their own pace or acquires habits of autonomy according to their maturity or education, so it is understood that parents are responsible to know when they can leave leaving their child at home.
Not only depends on the child's age, but also on their evolution and maturity. It is the parents who know their children best and can decide if the child is ready to be home alone. However, Child Welfare Information Gateway, an association that looks after the safety of children, proposes a series of questions to assess the maturity of the child and whether or not we can leave him alone:
- Can he take care of himself? from a physical and mental point of view? ¿- Do you obey the rules and make good decisions?
- Do you feel safe or afraid to stay home alone?
- How long are you going to be alone?
- Will it be during the day, in the afternoon or at night?
- Will the child have to prepare something to eat?
- How often will you have to take care of yourself? How many times per week?
- How many children stay with him at home?
- Do you have a safe house or do you have risks?
- How safe is the neighborhood where you live?
I believe that leaving a child under 10 at home alone is a risk, perhaps also because I am a mother of small children. I suppose the answer is that each one of us must know our children and value always thinking first of the child and his / her well-being.