When Is It Legal to Leave a Child Home Alone in Ontario

December 11, 2022

When Is It Legal to Leave a Child Home Alone in Ontario


An important and often overlooked aspect of home security alone is the focus on comfort and trust. How does your child feel when home alone? If teens are scared or nervous, they won`t safely intervene in an emergency. Guide them through the important steps to becoming independent by fostering a deep respect for the privilege of being alone at home and the expectation of being offered more independence and responsibility. There is no legal age at which a teenager can start babysitting. As a parent, you need to ask yourself if a teen is responsible enough to provide a safe environment for your young children. As a parent, you are responsible for ensuring adequate supervision of your children at all times. Parents and guardians are ultimately responsible for the safety of the children in their care. Being able to be alone at home is a process that should be initiated through gradual and supervised phases. Although Vancouver does not have a minimum age for unsupervised children, the issue remains unclear when it comes to public transit.

Last year, the province ordered a local father and parental blogger to stop allowing his children aged 7, 8, 9 and 11 to take the bus to school alone. She was told that a child under the age of 12 could not be responsible for young companions without parental supervision. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) does not have a policy for unsupervised minors – the decision to let children ride the bus, tram or subway rests with the parents. Barbara Morrongiello, a professor of child psychology at the University of Guelph, adds that any contact between children and their friends should be supervised by an adult, as having two children left unattended in a home can be a recipe for problems. “As a very general starting point, age 10 seems like a good place to start,” Smith says, but parents need to consider a number of other variables, including temperament, maturity, willingness to follow rules, and comfort with being alone. Child care is expensive, but there may be options to help you pay for it, you can find more information about paying for child care on the Ministry of Education website. According to the Children`s Aid Society of Durham, you can leave a child alone for a short time starting at age 10 unsupervised. Remember that every child is different. Children`s movie tickets from Cineplex, the country`s largest movie theater chain, are available for children ages three to 13.

Unsupervised teenagers in this age category are allowed to purchase tickets for a G-rated film. While there is no official policy regarding the age at which a child should attend a film alone, Sarah Van Lange, Cineplex`s director of communications, says there are safety guidelines in place to help young guests who are not supervised. Canadian parents may still be juggling arrangements for a single week of vacation in March, but it will soon be time to decide how to keep their kids busy all summer. “Age is important, but it`s not the only factor” that makes it possible to leave a child home alone safely, says Lewis Smith of the Canada Safety Council. This “allows the older child to take on a very legitimate responsibility and increases their supervision,” Morrongiello says. To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names appear on every submission to CBC/Radio-Canada`s online communities (except in communities focused on children and youth). Pseudonyms are no longer allowed. “You want to make sure the house is as safe as possible,” says Smith, who recommends good locks on doors and an answering machine so kids don`t have to answer the phone and let people know they`re home alone. You may be eligible for other types of child care benefits depending on the region or municipality where you live. You can call 211 for free information on benefits and program recommendations in your area.

Assuming children are mature enough to take care of themselves at home, child psychologist Catherine Horvath sees no fundamental problem with leaving them home alone in moderation. However, she recommends giving children a structure and routine and, if possible, having the opportunity to have contact with their peers. Every year, thousands of parents and guardians ask Child Safety Canada this question. The age at which children can be left home alone for reasonable periods of time varies by province, ranging from 10 to 12 years of age. No child under the age of 10 should be left alone for a period of time. Only three provinces — Ontario (16) and Manitoba and New Brunswick (12) — have set a minimum age to leave a child alone at home. But social services generally advise that no child under the age of 12 should be left alone at home. Six provinces and one territory define a child as under the age of 18, while 16 is the norm for five others, including Nova Scotia and Nunavut. British Columbia and New Brunswick are the only two provinces where young adults are still considered children if they are under the age of 19. “Circumstances” include the maturity of the individual child, says John Syrtash, a family lawyer and lawyer at Garfin Zeidenberg LP in Toronto. This is a significant source of parental confusion about the age and circumstances in which children may be left unattended.

There is no legal age for children to become babysitters in Canada, and it is not uncommon for them to start as early as age 12. The Canadian Red Cross offers a child care course for children aged 11 to 15, a program focused on child care, first aid, injury prevention, leadership and business skills. At a time when parents are obsessed with safety, there are many rules and laws that govern what children can and cannot do without supervision – even the age that legally defines a child varies from province to province. What is done in practice may be very different from what is officially mandated, but it is always useful to know the rules. And it`s always best to ask. From flying alone to babysitting, children from different parts of the country can be independent without their parents: However, if a child is to be left home alone, Horvath recommends restricting unsupervised access to electronic devices, including video games and social media. Without parental supervision, Horvath warns, social media can give children the opportunity to bully each other. “It was really scary,” Lawley says. “There were times when I was worried and it wasn`t a good feeling, and I really wanted to go home.” Air Canada`s Unaccompanied Minor service is not available to children under the age of eight. Instead, they must travel with a passenger who is at least 16 years old. However, the service is mandatory for children aged eight to 11 travelling alone and listed as optional for children aged 12 to 17.

At Cultus Lake Water Park, the largest of its kind in British Columbia, children under the age of eight must be supervised. In Edmonton`s public pools, children under the age of eight must also be accompanied by someone 15 years of age or older. Lewis Smith, communications coordinator for the Canada Safety Council, says his organization is getting more inquiries about leaving children home alone after high-profile legal cases like a recent decision in British Columbia. In that case, a court found that an eight-year-old child was too young to be left home alone after school. Leaving children unattended is a legal grey area. But in some places, such as airplane cabins and parking lots in Quebec, the rules are strict and fast. It is important that you keep in mind that every child and every situation is different and you should only consider it as a guideline. Like theme parks, most professional sports teams trust the judgment of responsible adults. According to Rogers Centre, it is at the discretion of parents to allow children to attend a Toronto Blue Jays game unsupervised – there is no minimum age and no special service for children watching independently. Horvath also advises that staying home alone is a bad idea for children prone to depression, anxiety or self-harm, as well as for children with poor impulse control or a propensity for risky behavior.

On Greyhound buses, anyone under the age of eight must be accompanied by a person who is at least 15 years old. Children between the ages of eight and 14 can travel alone on the bus, but certain conditions must be met, including: the journey must not last more than five hours, children cannot switch from one bus to another, and the journey must start during the day and end at 10 p.m., among other things. Legally, most Canadian provinces and territories do not set a minimum age for leaving children alone at home. However, Manitoba and New Brunswick laws state that children under the age of 12 cannot be left unattended. In the summer, Smith recommends good blinds to control the temperature when there is no air conditioning. The Canada Safety Council also strongly advises children against using unsupervised trampolines or pools. Educate thoroughly. Across Canada, Child Safe Canada offers Home Alone Safety (ages 10+), a course designed to meet all the safety and education requirements to begin the process of loneliness.

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