BISMARCK, N.D. (LuWanna Lawrence) – Parents and
caregivers are busy planning their children’s summertime activities
and making child care decisions. During this process, many questions
may arise about whether or not their children are ready to stay home
alone or babysit siblings or neighbor children.
To help parents and caregivers with
their decision, the North Dakota Department of Human Services’
Children and Family Services Division and Prevent Child Abuse North
Dakota have created an informational brochure called “Home
Alone: Is Your Child Ready?” that provides guidance and answers
some of the most common child supervision questions. The brochure is
online at www.nd.gov/dhs/info/pubs/family.html.
“This time of the year, the
department receives numerous calls from parents with questions about
leaving their children home alone, and parents need to know that
North Dakota does not have a state law that dictates a specific age
when a child can stay home alone,” said Marlys Baker, child
protection services administrator for the department. “Children
mature at different rates, and age is not the only factor parents
need to weigh when making their decision.”
Baker said the brochure outlines
several of these factors parents should consider when making child
supervision decisions including age, emotional well-being and
maturity, length of time their child would be alone along with the
time of day or night, their child’s physical or mental limitations,
and the accessibility of a parent or other adults.
Home Alone: Is Your Child Ready?
also touches on other factors to consider regarding self-care, home
safety strategies, and other tips that can help make staying home
alone a positive experience for both children and parents.
“The brochure provides parents and
caregivers with guidelines, so they can take the appropriate steps to
safeguard their children this summer and throughout the year,” said
Sandy Tibke, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota.
“It’s a must-read for parents and caregivers as they decide
whether self-care is appropriate for their children.”
Parents and caregivers can learn about
other parenting resources at www.pcand.org
or by calling Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota at 701-223-9052
or toll-free at 800-403-9932.
Department of Human Services’ Children and Family Services
Division, Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota, the North Dakota State
University Extension Service – Parent Education Network, and other
public and private partners work to strengthen families and promote