Preparing to Leave Your Child Home Alone

Preparing to Leave Your Child Home Alone

Halton Region no longer offers At Home Alone family workshops

What age can I leave my child alone? External Linkpdf file
Halton Children’s Aids Society strongly recommends that no child under the age of 10 should be left home alone.

At Home Alone Family Handbook

At Home Alone - Family Handbook pdf file241KB: A handbook for parents and children to help assess child readiness and take necessary preparations to be left home alone safely.

Developed by Toronto Public Health and Partners in Prevention

At home alone

Getting ready to have your child stay home alone is a big milestone for families. The aim of the Family Workshop Handbook (featured on the right) is to help you get ready. Using the handbook, families can develop a personal safety and injury prevention plan that is tailored to meet their unique needs. In your discussions as you go through the exercises, remember to:

  • Encourage mutual respect by speaking politely to each other.
  • Decide on 2 or 3 simple rules stated in a positive way. “Lock the door when you get home”, instead of “don’t leave the house unlocked”.
  • Keep a positive attitude. Reward good behaviour to help ensure this behaviour will happen again.
  • Change the rules as he or she becomes more responsible or if more direction is required.
  • Spend time with your tween; take an interest in their day. This will help evaluate his or her home alone experience.
  • Be open and honest and always keep your sense of humour!

Safety courses for youth

Home Alone courses

  • SOS4Kids – Home Alone Safety for Kids External Link
    A course to empower children aged 9 – 12 with confidence and skills to care for themselves when home alone
  • City of Burlington - Home Alone External Link (holiday camps for ages 9 - 12)
    A course designed to prepare children to stay home alone or with a sibling for a short period of time. Call 905-335-7725 (registration line) or visit www.burlington.ca External Link for more information.
  • St. John Ambulance - Home Alone External Link
    This course is designed for the 9 and 10 year old group, to help prepare them to deal with unforeseen emergencies and staying safe in times where they may find themselves alone for short periods of time.

Babysitting courses

  • Canadian Red Cross babysitting courses External Link
    Participants learn how to provide care to younger children in a variety of age groups, and how to prevent and respond to emergencies. For ages 11 and up.
  • SOS4Kids - Red Cross Babysitting course External Link
    Provides the Red Cross Babysitting program where participants learn how to provide care to younger children in a variety of age groups, and how to prevent and respond to emergencies. For ages 11 and up
  • City of Burlington babysitting training External Link
    Youth will be trained in childcare, child development, safety, their rights and responsibilities and more. Call 905-335-7725 (registration line) or visit www.burlington.ca External Link for more information.
  • St. John Ambulance - Babysitting Basics External Link
    This course is designed for ages 11-14 and teaches new babysitters the skills necessary to care for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. It emphasizes safety, dealing with emergencies and first aid basics.

First Aid and CPR courses

Resources