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What is a safe, proper age to let your kids walk home alone from school?

Two children were hit by a car walking home alone last week. They were 7 and 9. They remain in stable but critical condition. This brings me to this question. What age to you think is a proper safe age for children to walk home alone?
Hell I was walking home from school at that young of an age. We lived a mile from our school and I always had to walk home.
Now that I am a mother, I would want to put together a car pools with other moms to avoid such young children walking home alone. Even if you lived a block away, something still can happen in that small distance. I wouldn't want my children being home alone till they are 12 and that's depending on their maturity. I can never imagine letting my children walk home at that age.


Asked by mommy_of_two388 at 7:08 PM on Feb. 9, 2011 in Parenting Debate

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This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • A kid can get hit by a car whether he/she is walking by themselves or with mom. Its not like an out of control vehicle will stopjust because there is a mom standing with a child.

    As for walking alone, it depends on the neighborhood, the child, the family, peoples beliefs.

    Answer by leksismommy at 7:19 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • In this day and age there is no safe age anymore, I always made sure I took them to school and pick them up from school, until they were 16 and were driving themselves.

    Answer by older at 7:11 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • It depends on a LOT of factors. Like for instance, how far are they walking. If they live a block from the school, I would say a younger age is okay than if they were walking 6 or 8 blocks. Location matters too, if they have to cross a highway the older the better. And how many kids are walking? 1 child alone is an easier target for freaks, so they should be a bit older for that. But 2, 3 or 4 kids, young ages would be more okay. And how mature is the kid? If you have a 7 year old that still runs out in to traffic, I would say no walking home, but if you're 5yo knows to look both ways and not get in anyones car that's different. Plus, how safe is the area. Where I live we have so little crime we got rid of our police force years ago and the town next to us handles what little we have (and they only have 6 cops). But if we were in the inner city, that would change things too...


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 7:13 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • As for staying home, that's different because our state has laws which rule that aspect or you could lose your kids. So they will be 13 before they come home to an empty home simply because I don't want to lose them to CPS. But again, if our state didn't have that, I would think it depends on the individual circumstance over age alone.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 7:14 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • depends on the neighborhood id say 6th grade n up >> idk yet not there yet

    Answer by miritrose at 7:10 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • In my town over this winter an 11 year old was run down on accident while waiting for the school bus.  I always thought in the 5th or 6th grade since their school is just a couple of blocks from our house.  Now I think not.  People drive too foolishly anyways so I've decided that it will be when they have the realization that it is NOT cool to walk down the middle of the road and when they understand that THEY have to be the ones to pay attention to the cars coming and going.  Whatever age that is, that's when they'll walk to school.


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 7:13 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I think that it all depends where you live and if you live in a small town were you know everyone then i think that maybe 12 would be a okay age but then you have to look and the downs sides to of kids getting kidnapped and the way that some people drive but i think i will never let my kids walk home alone til they are at least in high school

    Answer by alisha2104 at 7:14 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • We had a highschooler get hit by a car last week. They were 17, almost an adult - should they not have been walking home from school either? There are tons of kids at my kids elementary school that walk home and if we lived close enough I wouldn't have a problem with them doing it either - they are in 4th and 5th grade, but I would have let them start in 3rd by themselves. There are also several adults that walk at least part of the way so there are parents all over the place.

    Answer by missanc at 7:56 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I'd say middle school. I live right around the corner from a school, and I don't think it's right to see these 1st and 2nd graders walking home alone from school. It's a pretty safe neighborhood but I'm not sure how far these kids are walking to. I just don't think those kids are old enough to walk home alone.

    Answer by myree85 at 8:01 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • My decision was based on a combination of many factors.  Their age, maturity level, route to school, distance and the number of neighbourhood children walking together.


    Answer by beeky at 10:00 PM on Feb. 9, 2011