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What age can a child be left alone through the day at home?

(29 Posts)
Toothache Fri 05-Aug-05 11:54:36

Please settle an argument!!!!

I remember a thread a while back that some people stated that in the UK there wasn't a legal age as such.

BUT a guy in my office is insisting that his BIL is a Social Worker and says that it is against the law to leave a child at home unattended until they are 16!!!!

Please give me some Ammunition.


Toothache Fri 05-Aug-05 11:56:07

PS: I'm really keen to disprove this as when I said I didn't think that was right he said "Look I don't want to argue about this.... I know I'm right!"

Surfermum Fri 05-Aug-05 11:56:26

What we were told was that is isn't illegal. However, if anything happens to the child the parent could be prosecuted.

lilibet Fri 05-Aug-05 11:56:45

I was pretty sure that there was no legal age, but can't give you any proof

Surfermum Fri 05-Aug-05 11:57:21

We weren't thinking of leaving dd btw, we were enquiring in relation to someone else leaving their children while she went out!

Toothache Fri 05-Aug-05 11:57:34

More MORE !!!!
I'm going to print this thread out you see.

kid Fri 05-Aug-05 11:57:46

here you go, hows this?

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) advises that no child should be left alone under the age of twelve, or overnight under the age of sixteen. Even a short stretch without a parent or another adult around can be distressing and lonely for a young child. Most eight to thirteen year olds, even if they feel happy about being left, may not be ready to cope in an emergency.

Janh Fri 05-Aug-05 11:58:00

There is literally no legal age at which it is OK to leave a child unattended. However if a young unattended child has an accident then it is decided retrospectively if it was criminal or not.

Mosschops30 Fri 05-Aug-05 11:58:06

Message withdrawn

Toothache Fri 05-Aug-05 11:58:58

Kid - You're a star!

But how do I approach him now without looking really sad that I've put in this effort to prove him wrong???

kid Fri 05-Aug-05 12:00:23

I would tell him you knew he was wrong so investigated it.

I do that all the time, if someone tells me something which I am convinced is wrong. If it turns out I am wrong, then I don't bring the subject up again with them!

expatinscotland Fri 05-Aug-05 12:00:50

I was 14 before I was left alone.

Was left overnight at that age w/18-year-old sister who lived at home.

Toothache Fri 05-Aug-05 12:01:12

lol kid - Me too! I hate being wrong.... that probably comes across in my MN posts too though.

Toothache Fri 05-Aug-05 12:02:37

My brothers are 13(nearly 14) and 16,5 yrs old. They are left alone all day during the hols coz my Mum and Dad both work fulltime.

THis guy was basically saying that my parents could be reported for that!!

Kelly1978 Fri 05-Aug-05 12:03:00

Show him this link and tell him you did a quick search because you thought otherwise.

Surfermum Fri 05-Aug-05 12:09:37

Tell him you felt you had to look into it further because you didn't want your mum and dad to get into any trouble.

Toothache Fri 05-Aug-05 12:10:11

Thanks Kelly. Just spoke to him. And he kept saying "I don't want to argue about this.... I'm jsut telling you what my BIL said"...

er.... why say something like that if you're not opening up a discussion about it???

Anyway, I laughed at him coz he was getting really flustered. In the end he said "Maybe we are both right then" and walked away flapping.

kid Fri 05-Aug-05 12:10:47


Janh Fri 05-Aug-05 12:10:57

Now show him this story , Toothache!

Toothache Fri 05-Aug-05 12:11:50

Janh - How could anyone???

Kelly1978 Fri 05-Aug-05 12:12:20


Janh Fri 05-Aug-05 12:13:01

It asks a lot more questions than it answers, doesn't it? God knows - there are some strange people around.

Kelly1978 Fri 05-Aug-05 12:13:13

lol at toothaches flappy friend, not the second link.

Surfermum Fri 05-Aug-05 12:13:33

Poor bloke. He'd never have picked an argument with you if he'd known you had us lot to back you up!

Kelly1978 Fri 05-Aug-05 12:14:45

One of my mates at school moved out of home at 15. She was a bit of a tearaway and in the endher parents just let her, otherwise she would have jsut run off. No 15 year old should be livign alone though.

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