With the school summer holidays fast approaching, parents often ask us about the appropriate age to allow children to stay home or out alone.

Every child is different so there’s no one rule for all, but between work, appointments and other family commitments, it’s inevitable that there will come a point when parents have to make decisions about when is the right time to leave their child home alone.

As children get older, they’ll also want more freedom and independence, which brings new concerns for parents too.

It’s a difficult decision for parents and carers to make, but the NSPCC’s new campaign ‘Home or Out Alone’ aims to provide families with advice and guidance to help parents make the right decision for their child. The new guide includes the following advice:

• Things to think about before parents decide if their children are ready to be independent or not.

• Advice for leaving children under another trusted adult’s supervision

• Extra support to help parents make decisions

This, and a lot of other useful information, is available at www.nspcc.org.uk/safe-alone. But don’t forget the NSPCC Helpline is always available on 0808 8005000 to offer further support and help you make the right decision to help keep your child safe.

The campaign has also received support from Blakemore Retail, who have donated £50k to the cause and will also be displaying posters and flyers in their SPAR stores throughout the South West.

Emma Motherwell

South West Local Campaigns Manager, NSPCC