Most parents realize that it’s not safe to leave a small child at home if they need to run out to the store. But the lines become more blurred when it’s an older child, say, around 10 or 11 years old. Can an older child be left home alone for a short time? How old is old enough? Will they be safer with home security monitoring?
No Age Minimum for Being Left Alone in Texas
In the state of Texas, there is no minimum age that a child can be left home alone. Some states do have minimum ages that range from 8-10 years old. This means that legally, you cannot leave a child that is younger than those ages without adult supervision. But in the state of Texas, there is no such law, so it’s up to you to decide what is right for your child and your family.
You are Responsible for Supervising Your Child
Texas law does state that parents are responsible for supervising and caring for their children. If you do leave your child home alone and something happens, like a fire or serious injury, it’s possible that you could be paid a visit from Child Protective Services.
It’s also possible to be charged with a misdemeanor for neglect or lack of supervision, so do make sure that your child is prepared for small emergencies. If you don’t think they could handle one, it’s a sign that they are not ready to be left alone.
Installing a Home Security System
What many families decide is that when their child does reach a certain age and is mature enough, a home security system offers the security and peace of mind for this transition. A home security system can prove helpful if your child needs to be home after school by themselves, or if you need to run out for errands.
Now is a good time to teach your child some basic safety skills as well, so be sure to go over the following:
- Never answer the door or home telephone when you’re not home
- No playing outdoors when a parent is not home
- Memorize full address and phone numbers
- Be observant when returning to the home (i.e., look for doors or windows that are open)
- Know how to arm and disarm the alarm
There will come a time when your child is comfortable being alone and you’ll be confident in giving them this independence. Give your family the peace of mind you deserve with home security monitoring of your Austin TX home. This way, you know that your child is taking the steps to becoming more independent without compromising their health and safety.