How to know if your child is ready to stay home alone

EAU CLAIRE (WKOW)- School is out for the summer, which means more kids will have to stay home alone while their parents work, but how do you know if your child’s ready for that responsibility?

Staying home alone for the first time can be stressful and scary for kids, and their parents.

Our affiliate WQOW reports Eau Claire YMCA Youth Development Director Jen Swicky said you should prepare your child to start staying home alone by running short errands without them.

As for what age to start allowing your child to stay home alone, Zwicky said that all depends on how independent your child is.

“A lot of times we see kids who are getting around the age 10, 11 and 12 start being able to be independent enough to be home alone,” Zwicky said. “Especially the responsible ones end up babysitting for others too whether that’s younger siblings or neighbors.”

Zwicky said if your child is home alone while you’re at work, it’s important for them to know how to get a hold of you, so give them backup numbers to call if they need something.

She said it’s not a bad idea to also have a neighbor or relative check up on them during the day when they start staying home alone, to make sure they’re doing okay.

Emily Friese

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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