The law on leaving your child on their own
The law doesn’t say an age when you can leave a child on their own, but it’s an offence to leave a child alone if it places them at risk.
Use your judgement on how mature your child is before you decide to leave them alone, eg at home or in a car.
- children under 12 are rarely mature enough to be left alone for a long period of time
- children under 16 shouldn’t be left alone overnight
- babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone
Parents can be prosecuted if they leave a child unsupervised ‘in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health’.
One case you can quote that was never brought to court ! Our Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha forgot their daughter aged 8 when they both departed and left her all alone in a busy pub for around 20 minutes before they remembered her existence and went back to fetch her ! That was ruled OK and no laws broken …….