Safety for leaving children home alone

Leaving children at home for the first time can be a little scary for any parent.

Some states have laws that require a child to be a certain age before they can be left home alone.

However, parents in the Hoosier state are left to decide based on their child.

“There is no law telling the age for a child to be left home alone but we partner with our prevention partners Prevent Child Abuse Indiana and they actually have some questions that you can ask as a parent,” said James Wide, Deputy Director with the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Wide said that parents can look at a number of factors before they decide to leave their child home alone. This includes evaluating the maturity of the child, deciding if they are comfortable being home alone and if they know how to act in emergency situations.

“Those are some things kids will face when they’re home by themselves. If these questions are kind of answered appropriately then you can gauge and say ‘okay maybe my child can stay home alone for a short period of time,” said Wide.

Children should be able capable of being left alone before they are home alone.

“The vast majority of unintentional deaths, injury-related deaths among children occur in the evening hours when children are most likely to be out of school and unsupervised,” he added.

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