With a new school year just around the corner, many parents are wondering if their child is ready to handle staying home alone – especially for those few hours after school before mom or dad get home.
“Determining whether your child is ready to stay home alone depends on his level of maturity and ability to accept responsibility,” said Lisa Pardi, RN, MSN, injury prevention coordinator at Akron Children’s Hospital. “In general, school-age children need adult supervision, and some teenagers are still not ready.”
Pardi provides this checklist to help you decide whether your child is ready to stay home alone after school:
Once you’ve decided with your child that he’s ready, make sure he understands basic rules, such as calling you when he gets home, and never letting anyone in the house, even people he knows, without permission. Provide a list of important numbers in case of emergency. Role-play with your child about what to do in various situations.
“With parental support and guidance, staying home alone can be a very positive experience for children, as they take on more responsibilities and gain confidence,” Pardi said.
A checklist to help you decide whether your child is ready to be home alone
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