4 rules for kids home alone to safely enjoy spring break

by Tom Simplot

Mar 15, 2015

There have been a number of national stories recently about “free-range” parenting and how parents are responsible for watching their children every moment. We certainly want our children to learn independence and confidence.

Arizona law is not specific about the age children are permitted to stay home alone, but other states’ guidelines range from 8 to 14 years old. Every child is different, and most parents have a good sense of their child’s maturity and abilities. Spring-break season can present a challenge for parents who work.

Set specific rules for youth

Based on your own house rules, outline a set of specific rules in the context of community amenities your kids are able to use and when.

Review safety tactics

Talk with your children about what to do in an emergency. Review safety procedures about when they are allowed to open the door and when they should call the apartment manager or security. Post your work number and other emergency numbers for them.

Enforce noise rules

Most communities have lease clauses and rules saying occupants may not run in the hallways and common areas, make loud noises or disrupt other residents with rowdy or loud behavior. Talk to your kids about how to behave at home and in common areas of your community.

Community pools

Most communities require children under a certain age have supervision at the pool. If your teen is going to be home alone or with friends and plans to use the pool, be sure they clearly understand the rules of your community pool.