Home Alone Checklist
For families with older children, we have developed a list of questions parents may want to consider before leaving their child home alone. A printable version can also be downloaded for use at home.
Physically, is your child able to:
- Lock and unlock the doors and windows of your home?
- Do self care tasks, such as making a sandwich, using the phone and writing a message?
Mentally, does your child:
- Tell time?
- Understand clearly what “stranger” and “emergency” mean?
- Recognize danger and know when to get help?
- Consider how their actions affect others?
Socially, does your child:
- Solve conflicts with brothers and sisters with little help from adults?
- Talk easily to you about what happens at school and about their feelings?
- Feel confident enough to contact an adult if a problem arises?
Emotionally, does your child:
- Feel confident and secure when you leave?
- Seem willing to stay alone for short periods? For longer periods?
- Know how to handle fear, loneliness or boredom?
- Know how to handle responsibility, such as getting to school on time?
- Know how to look out for younger brothers and sisters?
Before you leave, show your child:
- Where things are in the house and how they work.
- Things in the house that may make strange noises.
- Where the flashlight and first aid kit are located.
- How to be safe in the kitchen, including turning off the stove.
- Who to call or where to go if there is a problem.
- What they need to do as soon as they get home (i.e. lock the door).
- What gas smells like when it is leaking (if applicable) and what to do.
Practice with your child:
- Safe ways to answer the phone and door.
- How to get out if there is a fire.
- Locking and unlocking doors.
Prepare for your child:
- A phone list of people they know well who they can call if needed.
- A list of house rules (for moments when friends arrive at the door).
- Healthy snacks they can eat without cooking.
- An extra key hidden outside in case they lock themselves out.
- Fun things for each of them to do when they get home.
Protect your child:
- Lock Up All Medicines, alcohol and weapons.
- Put up smoke detectors and make sure they work.
- Let them know what time you will be home; call if you’ll be late.
- Ask them how things went; allow them to suggest changes in these plans.
If your child is not ready to be home alone, contact our office at 801-626-7837 to find an appropriate provider.