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'Home alone' fear sparks warning for millennium

PARENTS throughout the province were today urged to ensure their children were not left "home alone" over the millennium celebrations.

PARENTS throughout the province were today urged to ensure their children were not left "home alone" over the millennium celebrations.

In a bid to avoid any major accidents involving youngsters, the NSPCC issued the following advice to parents:n Do not leave babies and young children at home alone, even if they are asleep.

n Make sure anyone who is looking after your child is suitable for the task. Only accept help from mature people you know well and trust.

n There is no set age at which it is OK to leave older children alone. Most children are not mature enough to be left alone - or look after smaller children - at least until their mid-teens.

n If you leave teenagers at home by themselves, make sure they know where you are.

n If teenagers are going out to celebrate, ask them who they will be with, where they are going, and what time they are back.

n If you are going to celebrate in an open or crowded space keep young children in your care and sight at all times.

Lynne Peyton, regional director of the NSPCC, said the advice was issued to ensure the safety of children and give parents who are celebrating the millennium, peace of mind.

"We want everyone to enjoy the celebrations this weekend," she said.

"But whatever your plans for seeing in the new millennium, it is important to make sure your children are safe, secure and well-cared for at all times."


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