PARENTS or guardians thinking of letting their children play outside unaccompanied this summer may want to read the latest NSPCC advice.

As children get older, it is likely that they will want to explore going out in their local area without a parent.

That might involve playing sports with friends and other children in the neighbourhood, going into town with friends or even just going to a nearby shop and back to spend pocket money.

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An NSPCC spokesperson said: “As children get older, it is natural for them to desire more independence but deciding when to let children go out alone can be difficult for parents and carers.

“While there is no legal age limit for a child to go out alone, it is against the law to leave a child alone if it puts them at risk of harm. Every child is different, so it is up to the parent to decide whether they are ready.

“Parents and carers should consider if their child can deal with risks, whether they will behave responsibly and if they will be safe.

"If a child is going out alone then parents should know where they are going and who with, what they plan to do, how far will they travel and agree a time to come home. This will help to make their decision.”

The charity advises that before your child is ready to leave the house without a parent or guardian, they should discuss where they want to go, what they want to do, who they’ll be with, how far they’ll travel and what time they’ll be out until.

Before children should be able to leave the house unaccompanied, they should also know the full name, address, phone numbers of two trusted adults and how to cross the road safely.

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For more information on letting children go out unattended, you can visit

If you are worried about a child, even if you are unsure, contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email