Health Tip: Leaving Your Children Alone

When are they ready?

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(HealthDay News) -- It's important for a child to learn to be independent and care for himself. But how do you know when a child is old and mature enough to stay alone?

In general, a child younger than age 10 probably isn't ready. But when it comes to older children, the Nemours Foundation says the time may be right to forgo a babysitter if your child:

  • Feels comfortable with the prospect of staying alone.
  • Shows a sense of responsibility with chores, doing homework, and following rules and directions.
  • Stays calm in difficult or unexpected situations, and knows how to handle them.
  • Clearly understands and regularly follows rules.
  • Knows basic first aid.
  • Knows and follows rules for staying away from strangers.

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