Is your child old enough to be left home alone this summer? - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Is your child old enough to be left home alone this summer?

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

With kids out of school, many parents are faced with the tough question, "Is my child old enough to stay home alone?'

Joleen Patton with the Blessing Child Care Center says there's no set age in Illinois as to when children can stay by themselves.

She says it truly depends on the individual child.

But she says before you leave your child home alone, you need to make sure he or she is familiar with the dangers within your home, such as microwaves and outlets.

"Stranger danger is an important topic too, you know what happens if someone comes through the door. I've known parents that have said 'absolutely do not open the door, and under any circumstances go hide. You've got to have that plan in place," said Patton.

Patton says it's also a good idea to test your kids, by asking them how they would respond to situations like a fire, and see what they say.

That's also a good indicator if your child is ready to be left home alone.

"You're going to be looking for responsibility, communication. You can ask a lot of 'what if' questions. What if you smelled smoke in the house? Or what if the fire alarms went off, what would you do if somebody came to the door," said Patton.

 

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