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When can you leave kids home alone?

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Posted at 1:20 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 15:20:34-04

Sarah Houser with DCFS answered the common questions of what age can children be left home alone and what to look for in a babysitter.  The state of Utah does not have a designated age; it's based upon the child's maturity age. However, there are some tips on how to know if your child is ready.

Questions to ask yourself if your child can be home alone

  • How mature/responsible is the child?
  • How does the child handle situations?
  • Can they physically handle being by themselves?
  • How safe is the neighborhood? Are there adults nearby that the child can contact?
  • How long and how often will the child be alone?

What to look for in a babysitter

  • Good references - it may seem strange to ask a 14-year-old for references, but we're talking about your child's safety, so don't feel bad about being thorough. Also, actually call the references and ask a lot of questions.
  • Training - any training like first aid or CPR is a great bonus.
  • They show up on time.
  • They interact well with your child.
  • Your child likes them.
  • Have a 30-minute test run and talk to your child to see how it went.