Adult opinions about the age at which children can be left home alone, bathe alone, or bike alone: Second Injury Control and Risk Survey (ICARIS-2)

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Conrol and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia USA. Electronic address: .
Journal of safety research (Impact Factor: 1.34). 07/2012; 43(3):223-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsr.2012.06.001
Source: PubMed


This study describes adult opinions about child supervision during various activities.
Data come from a survey of U.S. adults. Respondents were asked the minimum age a child could safely: stay home alone; bathe alone; or ride a bike alone. Respondents with children were asked if their child had ever been allowed to: play outside alone; play in a room at home for more than 10minutes alone; bathe with another child; or bathe alone.
The mean age that adults believed a child could be home alone was 13.0years (95% CI=12.9-13.1), bathe alone was 7.5years (95% CI=7.4-7.6), or bike alone was 10.1years (95% CI=10.0-10.3). There were significant differences by income, education, and race.
Assessing adult's understanding of the appropriate age for independent action helps set a context for providing guidance on parental supervision. Guidelines for parents should acknowledge social norms and child development stages.
Knowledge of social norms can help guide injury prevention messages for parents.

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