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Old 03-31-2009, 03:10 PM   #21
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Re: Leaving kids at home alone sick or healthy?

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The Dad recently ran off with another woman. After a scary incident a few weeks ago he was ordered by the police chief to not have any contact with the family. She did try to contact him last night, but he did not reply.

I don't think there's any actual law on this in PA, but then again she was the one who told me that, so I don't know.

I remember doing some pretty dangerous stuff when left home alone too. Perhaps that's why I worry so much about it.
You and she are correct, there is no law stating how old a child can be to stay home alone in PA. BUT the Federal guidelines say 12yrs is really the recommendation and they're not supposed to be caring for other kids. I have almost 12yr old twins and would LOVE to just run to the store and have them watch their siblings, but I know they're just not capable of a parents job. I will leave them alone for short periods of time if they're sick and I need to take their brothers to school or run to the store, but never with their siblings. And a fever of 105?? That's febrile seizure levels and they shouldn't be unattended with that type of risk.

I've been in similar predicaments in the past as a single mom, but I could never WOULD NEVER just leave my 9 & 4yr old home alone especially if someone offered to care for them. If she's a single mom with 1 income than she should qualify for other help such as childcare assistance or food stamps, insurance, etc to help when she misses work. AND I would suggest she talks to her boss about the responsibility of being a single mom and that if your child is sick she is the only one who can care for them. OR like you offered, let you watch them. That's a dangerous situation for a 9 & 4yr old to be in.

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Old 03-31-2009, 03:22 PM   #22
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Re: Leaving kids at home alone sick or healthy?

Oh, mama, that's a tough situation to be in. I think you're doing the best you can and I'm so glad the kids have you to come check up on them. I would rather get my friend's kids sick than have my kids get hurt or worse, kwim? I know that sounds a little selfish but you know what I mean. Big hugs to you and the kiddos.
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:43 PM   #23
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Re: Leaving kids at home alone sick or healthy?

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You and she are correct, there is no law stating how old a child can be to stay home alone in PA. BUT the Federal guidelines say 12yrs is really the recommendation and they're not supposed to be caring for other kids. I have almost 12yr old twins and would LOVE to just run to the store and have them watch their siblings, but I know they're just not capable of a parents job. I will leave them alone for short periods of time if they're sick and I need to take their brothers to school or run to the store, but never with their siblings. And a fever of 105?? That's febrile seizure levels and they shouldn't be unattended with that type of risk.

I've been in similar predicaments in the past as a single mom, but I could never WOULD NEVER just leave my 9 & 4yr old home alone especially if someone offered to care for them. If she's a single mom with 1 income than she should qualify for other help such as childcare assistance or food stamps, insurance, etc to help when she misses work. AND I would suggest she talks to her boss about the responsibility of being a single mom and that if your child is sick she is the only one who can care for them. OR like you offered, let you watch them. That's a dangerous situation for a 9 & 4yr old to be in.
Oh, they got the fever down last night and it remained down or I doubt if she would have left him. God, I hope not. He really did seem ok when I checked on him and she's sending him to school tomorrow.

Her boss has been pretty understanding. But this situation is pretty new and she's a mess and has missed a lot of work for various reasons. I just don't understand her parenting choices. Kids can't raise themselves. Ugh.
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:46 PM   #24
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Re: Leaving kids at home alone sick or healthy?

My mom left us home alone when we were sick from the time we were very little. If she had to go to work, she went to work. NOTHING made her miss work.

It was usually fine. I never felt like she should have stayed home. It was just normal. BUT, one time, I distinctly remember my brother (who was about seven) having MAJOR hallucinations. I was just sure he was dying... but my mom left him home alone. He litterally talked all day long to NOBODY. Later he kept talking about Lassie. The tv show. He thought it was real, and he was living in an episode of Lassie. That was probably one day that she should have stayed home with him.

I also think if you need to take your child to the ER the night before... you should probably stay home and make sure he's O.K that day. Or at the very least, find someone who can stay with him and make sure he's OK.

My neighbor left her six year old home alone last year when he was vomiting. By the time she got back home (ten hours later) he couldn't even hold down one sip of water. The poor kid was so sick that he couldn't even move his head without vomiting.
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:50 PM   #25
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Re: Leaving kids at home alone sick or healthy?

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Oh, mama, that's a tough situation to be in. I think you're doing the best you can and I'm so glad the kids have you to come check up on them. I would rather get my friend's kids sick than have my kids get hurt or worse, kwim? I know that sounds a little selfish but you know what I mean. Big hugs to you and the kiddos.
Seriously!! I would have taken up the offer of help before leaving them alone. That's not even an option in my world!! I knew my kids would be exposed when I offered.

I'm wondering now if perhaps she didn't want to pay me since until recently she was paying me when I watched the kids. I don't know. She had no problem calling to see if I could pick Ethan up tomorrow at 5 instead of 7 for church. He goes to church with us on Wednesday night.
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:54 PM   #26
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Re: Leaving kids at home alone sick or healthy?

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My mom left us home alone when we were sick from the time we were very little. If she had to go to work, she went to work. NOTHING made her miss work.

It was usually fine. I never felt like she should have stayed home. It was just normal. BUT, one time, I distinctly remember my brother (who was about seven) having MAJOR hallucinations. I was just sure he was dying... but my mom left him home alone. He litterally talked all day long to NOBODY. Later he kept talking about Lassie. The tv show. He thought it was real, and he was living in an episode of Lassie. That was probably one day that she should have stayed home with him.

I also think if you need to take your child to the ER the night before... you should probably stay home and make sure he's O.K that day. Or at the very least, find someone who can stay with him and make sure he's OK.

My neighbor left her six year old home alone last year when he was vomiting. By the time she got back home (ten hours later) he couldn't even hold down one sip of water. The poor kid was so sick that he couldn't even move his head without vomiting.
That's so scary!!! I can't imagine!!!
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:13 PM   #27
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Re: Leaving kids at home alone sick or healthy?

Well, my 9 year old is turning 10 on Thursday. I do leave him alone to run quick errands (less than an hour). He is very responsible. I would never leave him in charge of his younger brother.

I was once a single mother, so I can understand the pull between your kids and work. It's hard. I hope all is well for her and that her kids return to healthy quickly.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:48 PM   #28
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Re: Leaving kids at home alone sick or healthy?

mama you did what you could
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:07 PM   #29
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Re: Leaving kids at home alone sick or healthy?

She is blessed to have another mama that cares for her and the kids.

What a tough situation.
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:29 PM   #30
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Re: Leaving kids at home alone sick or healthy?

The nine year old, if I felt he was on the mend and not in danger, I *might* be ok leaving by himself. The four year old? No way would I leave a child that young alone without at least a teenager to look after him - I've never met a 4 year old mature enough to handle it, sick or not. You did a good thing mama checking in on them.
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