Staying Home Alone Checklist

FRESNO, California

When kids are out of school for the summer you'll find many teenagers, dropping in at a local park or cruising the mall -- but parents say there is no magic age for kids to stay home without supervision.

Charmel Cozad says her girls began staying home at the age of 12 -- that's the same age that many parents consider letting kids run the house while they are away.

The Fresno Council on Child Abuse Prevention website -- or fccap -- gives parents and kids nearly 20 items to consider when making their decision. They suggest parents and children answer the questions separately, compare answers then discuss them.

Julia Moreno-Vega with the fccap says kids comfort level with answering the door, phone calls, and internet usage are good indications of their maturity. She says families should also practice safety tips.

According to the fccap, nearly 45 percent of accidental injuries and deaths of children 14 and under happen at home and that number increases when teenagers are left to take care of younger siblings.

If left home alone, experts say make sure kids know their address and phone number and have emergency contacts available.

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