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SAFE COMMUNITIES NEWS

Are Your Kids Ready to be Home Alone?

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One in four children ages 6 – 12 are regularly left home alone after school without adult supervision. Wisconsin children are even more likely to spend time home alone than the national average: one-quarter (1/4) of kids ages 6-12 are frequently on their own during the workweek. One study found that family income often isn’t a factor in the decision, particularly among families of 10-12 year old’s.

Children left home alone before they are ready are especially at risk for injury. Inability to lock or unlock doors, dial the telephone, solve problems independently, feel confident enough to ask another adult for help, or to recognize danger contribute directly to injuries among school-aged children. Most of these injuries occur between the hours of 3:00 and 7:00 pm, when many children are home alone.

There’s no magic age when children develop the maturity and good sense they need to stay home alone. Some children display these qualities around age 12 or even sooner; others do so when they’re older.

As spring approaches and the end of the school year looms, now is the time parents begin planning summer activities and child care. How can parents know if their children are ready to stay home alone? How can families protect children who are home alone from injury?

Parents who would like help deciding whether their child possesses the maturity to be alone can check out the Safe Communities’ brochure, Is Your Child Ready to Stay Home Alone?: Guidelines for Parents. Because there’s no magic age, this brochure includes a checklist that will help parents consider their child’s readiness.

Is Your Child Ready to Stay Home Alone?: Guidelines for Parents can downloaded in English and Spanish from Safe Communities’ website at www.safercommunity.net

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SAFE COMMUNITIES

getting involved

The partnerships built by Safe Communities have created a safer community, with more opportunities for education and awareness. We continue to envision a safer future for the people who live in Madison and Dane County, with instances of unnecessary deaths and serious injuries are infrequent, rather than a daily occurrence.

RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE

Treatment Key

Safe communities has complied a list of abbreviation definitions for finding the right treatment for you.

MAT: Medication for Addiction Treatment.
OP: Outpatient Treatment – person lives at home or in the community, attends. individual and group therapy, these can include or not include MAT.
IOP: Intensive Outpatient Treatment – person lives at home or in the community, attends individual and extended groups, 9-12 hours a week.
Residential: person lives at the facility for a period of at least 14 days, some last as many as 45 days.
PHP: Partial Hospitalization Program is a structured mental health treatment program that runs for several hours each day, three to five days per week.
DBT: Dialectical behavior therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that integrates mindfulness techniques.