PARENTS are reminded by NSPCC children should not be left home alone regularly as the summer holidays begin, with concerns raised by the charity after 7,277 children were referred to authorities over 2017/18.

Last August NSPCC's Helpline made referrals involving 849 children to police and social services, as worries over infants being left unsupervised by a parent or carer soared across the holiday season.

NSPCC Head of Safeguarding in Communities, Chris Cloke said: “It can be difficult for parents and carers to decide whether their child is ready to be left on their own and we know that the summer holidays can be a tricky time as people face increasing childcare pressures.

“However, it is still very concerning that we are consistently seeing a spike in August of referrals to social services and the police due to worries about children being left unsupervised."

There are considerations that should addressed before leaving a child at home, including their age, maturity, relationships with siblings or neighbours, ability to keep fed and hydrated, and how they may react in an emergency situation.

Chris added: "No child should be left on their own if there is any risk they will come to harm.”

Finally NSPCC stress if a child is not comfortable to be left home alone, they should not be left home alone.