Parent Guides

Need-to-know: Is my child ready to go out alone?

Getting the balance right between allowing children their independence and ensuring their safety when away from home can be difficult.

This guide provides advice and practical tips to parents on judging if a child is ready to be out on their own and how to prepare them for different situations such as walking to and from school by themselves, attending sports or holiday clubs, or going out to play with friends.

It explains the importance of parents talking to their children from a young age about the risks and how to stay safe when they’re out alone, such as what to do if they’re approached by a stranger, are bullied or get lost.

There is also a pull-out that parents can fill in with important information on their child’s club, such as who they can talk to if they have any concerns. 

Also useful for any service or professional offering parenting advice to those caring for young children or teenagers. 

Author: NSPCC
Published: 2015

Need-to-know: Is my child ready to be left alone?

There is no legal age at which children may be left home alone, but parents can be prosecuted for neglect if it puts them at risk of injury or suffering.

This guide gives sound advice and useful tips to help parents decide in which situations they may leave their children home alone, and what they need to do to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

It explains the risks of leaving babies and younger children unattended, and provides helpful advice on what qualities and experience to look for when choosing a babysitter or appropriate childcare.

There is a quiz for parents and children which explores how the child feels about being left at home alone and what they might do in different scenarios, such as a power cut or if someone came to the door. Parents can fill in the ‘while I’m away’ pull-out with times and contact numbers and stick it on the fridge before they go out.

Also useful for any service or professional offering parenting advice to new parents and those caring for young children or teenagers.

Author: NSPCC
Published: 2015