Children’s charity offers guidance on when youngsters can be home alone

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Leading children’s charity the NSPCC has published new guidance to help parents decide when it is okay to leave children at home as the school holidays arrive.

Last year, the charity received 86 requests for information on the issue from adults across the North East including three from Hartlepool.

It also has helpful information to help parents deal with their children going out on their own.

The guidance, Home Alone and Out Alone, are available from the NSPCC’s website for parents and carers.

It says things to consider before leaving a child home alone include how mature they are for their age, whether they would be able to fix themselves something to eat and drink, and if they would know what to do if someone came to the door.

The charity says a baby or young child should never be left home alone and check with older children if they are happy to be left alone for short periods and they know who to contact in an emergency.

An NSPCC spokesperson in the North East said: “The summer school break can be great for kids but it’s also a time when they might be left alone for long periods. That’s why the NSPCC has developed its Home Alone and Out Alone guides for parents and carers, to help them decide when their child is ready, and what parents can do if their children are still too young.

“The NSPCC’s helpline is also available 24/7 on 0808 800 5000. It’s available for parents if they want advice, or for anyone who may have a concern about a child who they feel may be too young to be on their own or who is being left alone for too long.”

Go to www.nspcc.org.uk for more information.