In some cases, it is appropriate for young children to stay home alone. These reasons are not only valid, but also necessary most of the time. Sometimes it can also mean the difference between the child`s long-term safety. Every child is different. Before parents can leave them home alone, they must prepare their children for certain circumstances that may arise. This action requires mentoring children by asking certain questions and teaching them specific information, such as: According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, the national SAFE KIDS campaign recommends not leaving children alone until age 12. It also states that older siblings should not supervise younger children until age 15. *Age is recommended but not required by law. ** Although New Mexico does not have a state law that imposes the minimum age for a child to stay home alone, an ordinance from the city of Albuquerque states that children under the age of 11 cannot be left home alone. Many parents face the dilemma of knowing at what age children can stay home alone, especially after school or in the summer. Before you consider leaving your child unattended, make sure they are reasonably mature, able to take care of themselves, and fully prepared for emergencies. Set ground rules, review basic safety policies, and establish routines that will keep your child healthy and safe. Our iMom, printable with 10 rules of solitude at home, is a good place to start.
Maj. John Budensiek of the Martin County Sheriff`s Office said the state of Florida doesn`t have a hard and fast rule about when it`s okay to leave a child alone. PERSONALLY, I remember my wife and I were struggling with this problem not so long ago. We often wondered, “Are our children old enough to stay home alone without a babysitter?” For some time, the answer has been, “Not yet.” We wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing. The first question for us was whether we felt they had the ability to survive a few hours on their own without any problems. If the answer was yes, the next question was, “Can we legally leave them alone?” “Install a system in your home where you can see your kids all day and talk to them all day, and then get your kids ready,” he said. What happens to this change if a parent is convicted of leaving their child alone? The charge would be a second-degree offense. This means that the police would have the right to remove the child if they were left unattended for a few minutes, but if the officers cannot find the parents, they could hand the child over to the Department of Children and Families.
With this mechanism, parents could quickly lose their child if they leave them unattended in a vehicle, even for a minute. This could be a very traumatic event for the child. Law enforcement said they would respond to worried calls about children left at home. The national SAFEKIDS campaign recommends leaving no child under the age of 12 alone at home. It is important to note that no two children are the same and parents must decide on a case-by-case basis what is best for their child. Therefore, in addition to the general guidelines listed above, a parent or guardian should consider the following before leaving a child alone at home: One of the reasons why the penalty for leaving a child in a car for a while is due to the number of times a child has unfortunately died due to overheating in a car. It is clearly state public policy to prevent further child deaths due to overheating a car. These devastating and preventable situations sometimes happen because parents may forget their child is in the car in the first place. If a parent`s routine is different on a given day, the parent may not notice or remember that their child is left in the car. Unfortunately, this has happened more than once. Therefore, the change in regulations leaves no room for an unattended child in a car.
It can be difficult to know if the child has only been in the car for a few minutes or for much longer. The Florida legislature is considering passing a bill that criminalizes leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle, even if only for a short period of time. Currently, Florida regulations state that a child can be left alone in the vehicle for about 15 minutes. This rule applies to all persons under the age of six (6). The regulation before us will change that to criminalize the fact that a parent leaves their young child alone in a car for long periods of time. This means that even if a parent leaves their child alone for a minute, they could be charged with a crime. For instructions on how to leave your children home alone, you can visit the Florida Department of Children and Families by clicking here. “It`s up to parents to judge their child`s maturity,” he said. “I can`t leave work, `OK, I have to go home and homeschool my child.` And I`m not going to leave their home alone, and that`s another concern for parents,” said Gloria Tucker, a mother.