19 Jul Charity voices concerns over children being left home alone in Essex
The NSPCC is reminding parents and carers in Essex not to leave young children home alone as the summer holidays start.
Last August the charity’s Helpline made referrals involving 849 children to police and social services due to concerns about them being left unsupervised by their parent or carer. A third of these were aged five and under.
Throughout 2017/18 there were 7,277 children referred to authorities due to concerns about them being left to fend for themselves, with the problem being most acute in August during the long school holidays.
The NSPCC has warned that although a child may seem responsible enough to be left alone without supervision, parents and carers should think carefully whether they would be able to cope with unexpected situations such as an emergency, a stranger calling at the house, being hungry or if the parent is away for longer than anticipated.
The charity is also encouraging parents to read its home alone guide which includes questions they should ask themselves and their children before deciding to leave a child unsupervised.