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Keep Children Safe: A Home Alone Guide

Giving children more independence without parental or guardian supervision is a difficult decision. With school breaks and summer approaching, children are often left at home while the adults go to work or tend to other matters. 

Keep in mind that the responsibility of care and control for any dependent under the age of 18 is that of the parent and other adults with legal oversight of the child. It can also vary by age as children develop self-care skills at different stages. 

Before you consider leaving your underage child at home, safeguard all firearms and medications. Also, consider your child’s behaviors. Does your child… 

  1. Accept responsibility by independently completing homework and other household duties?  

  1. Respond to emergencies appropriately, handle conflict with others, loneliness, boredom, and fear

  1. Have access and understanding of how to use a phone and who to call in case of emergencies

  1. Navigate the home and community without physical assistance?  

  1. Exhibit self-control and follow the rules? 

  1. Attend school regularly in accordance with compulsory education laws? These vary by state and country. Ask a School Liaison if you need clarification!  

Curious about installation guidelines for child supervision? Please educate yourself! Any violation of child supervision is considered misconduct and could result in law enforcement, MCCS Family Advocacy Program or Provost Marshall Office involvement. 

Remember, this does not exclusively apply to people who live on base. Anyone on base must follow the rules. Many installation policies provide guidance in the following areas: 

  • day and nighttime curfews 

  • transportation to and from school, including walking. 

  • playing in designated safe areas, including living quarters. 

  • babysitting or supervising siblings

  • specific ages and supervision length of time

  • overseas locations and host country requirements

  • reporting process for unsupervised dependents

  • school truancy and absenteeism

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