Whether it is for two hours or an entire day, millions of tweens (children ages 11 to 13) will be left home alone this summer, despite their parents’ concerns that they may not have the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe at home.
Many parents worry that their at-home tweens do not know how to safely use kitchen appliances, where to go to stay safe during a severe storm, or that they should not give out personal information online or over the phone.
Yet, one in five parents polled say that they have left tweens home alone for an entire day.
“There is no magic age at which a child can be left home alone. It typically depends on a parent’s judgment about how mature that child is, and how ready they are to take on the responsibility of being home alone,” says Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., director of the National Poll on Children’s Health.
“Regardless, when parents decide to leave their children home alone, there are several common at-home safety concerns they need to consider and address with kids ahead of time.”
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