Children Home Alone

Home Alone NSPCC

How to decide when it’s safe for your child to be home on their own, and what you can do if they’re too young

There are lots of things to think about. Plus, there are no hard and fast ‘home alone’ rules or laws because every child is different. Whether you or your child are comfortable with the idea will often depend on how mature and adaptable your child is – and we all know how much this can vary from child to child.

What the Law says

There is no legal age at which children may be left home alone, but parents can be prosecuted for neglect if it puts the children at risk of injury or suffering. This means that they can be fined or sent to prison if they are judged to have placed a child at risk of harm by leaving them at home alone, regardless of where in the UK the child lives.

There might not be a specific legal age to leave children alone but it’s safe to say babies, toddlers and young children should never be left alone, even if it’s just while you pop down the road. Even if they’re sleeping peacefully when you leave they could well wake up and get very upset when you’re not there to look after them. They would not be able to protect themselves in an emergency and may even try to leave the property to find you.

Facts and Figures from NSPCC

  • April 2017 to March 2018 there were 7,277 children referred to the authorities over concerns of them being left unsupervised; with the problem being more acute during August
  • During August 2017 the NSPCC received 558 contacts where children had been left unsupervised. As a result of these contacts 378 cases involving 849 children were referred to the authorities

Guidance from NSPCC


Click into the guide above for help and advice on deciding if your child is ready to be left home alone

Click into the above NSPCC questionnaire to help you decide

Further Help and Advice

If a child or young person is at risk of harm, please report it to the Wirral Integrated Front Door Team at: [email protected]. If you need help yourself you can also use these numbers.

Mon-Fri, 9:00am – 5.00pm Tel: 0151 606 2008

Outside of these hours Tel: 0151 677 6557

Contact the NSPCC direct on: 0808 800 5000 or visit the NSPCC website here


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