Tyler, TX — While many kids will be swimming, camping and playing this summer season, there are millions of American children who will be staying at home.
According to a 2012 report from the U.S.. Census Bureau each year seven million children are left at home unsupervised; six hundred thousand of those kids being between the ages of five and eight.
While there is currently no law in Texas that determines how old a child must be before they can be left at home, Child Protective Services does make frequent check ups on homes where they believe children are alone and in danger. According to CPS officers, this problem is even effecting the East Texas area.
CPS Officer Patrick Hill says, "I remember there was a case once where a nine year old was left home alone with their three year old sibling that was legally blind and also an eighteen month old sister. EMS was later called because the eighteen month was found unresponsive so it turned into a really bad situation that could have been prevented if the parents had just said that's not a good arrangement. "
Leaving a child at home unsupervised not only causes physical harm in some situations, it can also effect a child mentally.
Stepping Stone School director Chris Stewart says, "A lot of kids just feel like they're just there. Nobody cares about them. They don't have any friends they can't go anywhere they have to stay locked up in the house. They can't do anything."
CPS officials say that even leaving an older sibling to babysit can sometimes be an extremely dangerous situation.
If you think a child is endanger you should contact local authorities or CPS officials immediately.