Kids will run out the school doors for summer break soon, and many parents/guardians are trying to plan a safe summer break for their children.

The Tulsa City-County Library System offers a list of camps for children to attend during the summer. They range in price and length. Follow this link to learn more.

Parents/guardians wonder when is the right age to leave a child home alone in the summer? The state does not have policies or statutes regarding what age a child can be left alone. The decision is complex because each child has different abilities, maturity and self-care skills.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services suggests parents review these considerations:

  • Does the child have maturity to be left alone, regardless of age?
  • Is the child comfortable being left alone?
  • Is the child able to follow rules when left alone?
  • How long will the child be alone?
  • Does the child know what to do in an emergency?
  • Are the surroundings safe?
  • Is there immediate access to an adult?
  • Is the child caring for other children?
  • Does the child know how to use household appliances safely?
  • Does the child know how to contact parents/guardians?

Here are simple rules to keep kids safe when they are home alone.

  • Create an emergency plan and emergency phone list. Include 911, parents’ phone numbers, neighbors’ numbers; post this in prominent locations in the home
  • Remove and lock up dangerous items including poison, medicines, guns
  • No guests – no exceptions
  • Keep all doors locked and do not open them to anyone
  • Do not leave the house
  • Answer calls from family only
  • Limit internet time and warn children not to post about being home alone on social media
  • No fighting! Encourage siblings to work, play and problem solve together in your absence

Should behavior problems arise, Counseling & Recovery Services is available to help children and adults understand behaviors and develop new skills to create growth and change. Call 918.492.2554 for non-emergency behavior issues and 918.394.2256 any time of day or night including holidays for behavior issues that put the child (ages 10-17) or other at risk.

Counseling & Recovery Services wishes everyone a successful summer with lots of positive memories.