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What age do you start leaving children alone?

Somewhat unbelievably, there’s not a law stating at what age’s kids can be left alone.  However, the NSPCC have issued guidelines advising that children under the age of 13 shouldn’t be left alone.  If a child is left alone before they are confident enough, it can be a lonely, frightening or dangerous experience for them.

As a child grows and becomes more and more responsible, leaving them alone for short periods, say after school or during the day, is considered acceptable only so long as the child feels comfortable.  However, it is still important for them to know where a parent or carer is and who they should contact in the case of any emergency.  Many children feel excited at the prospect of being left alone and say that they really don’t mind.  However, it is considered that children under the age of 13 cannot possibly fully understand the risks they may face and how to deal with them.