Page 11 - Mossley Browser June 2021
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Adver sing feature

      At what legal age can A common-sense approach is always best.
      children       be    left    home    Consider what the potential dangers are

      alone?                               and how your child would deal with the
                                           situations that may occur in your absence.
                                           If in any doubt about your child’s ability
      A question that I am often asked -   to cope on their own, don’t do it! Take
      especially as school holidays approach -  leave from work if you need school
      is, at what age can a child be left home  holidays to be covered or arrange for
      alone?                               another adult or child care facility to care

      When parents separate, it can become an for your child. Don’t risk leaving them
      issue as each parent can have different alone.
      ideas. Some find it acceptable to leave a  If a child has been left alone and their
      teen home alone during school holidays to  safety and wellbeing has suffered, then as
      avoid the cost of child care, whilst the  a parent you can be taken to court for child
      other parent would never dream of doing  neglect and could face having your child
      such a thing.                        removed from your care, in addition to a
      What surprises most parents is that the law  fine and/or custodial sentence. You also
      does not specify what age is appropriate.  risk it being raised by the other parent as a
      But it makes it an offence to leave a child  reason you should not spend time with
      alone if it places them at risk. It is at the  your child.
      discretion of the child’s parent to decide  If you have
      what is best for them taking account of  any
      their maturity. The law and guidelines are  concerns
      not particularly helpful and may leave you  about child
      even more confused.                  related

      The NSPCC published guidance provides:  issues
       “Children under 12 are rarely mature  following
      enough to be left alone for a long period  separation
      of time.                             from   your
      Children under 16 shouldn’t be left alone  child’s parent, contact Gianna Lisiecki-
      overnight.                           Cunane of O’Donnell Solicitor’s for a no
      Babies, toddlers and very young children  obligation appointment on 01457 761883
      should never be left alone.”         or email

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