WISH GRANTING: Fairy Annabell, also known as Anna Malahoff, is a Mackay babysitter and says children should be about 14-years-old to be left at home by themselves.
WISH GRANTING: Fairy Annabell, also known as Anna Malahoff, is a Mackay babysitter and says children should be about 14-years-old to be left at home by themselves. Lee Constable

How old is old enough to be home alone?

HOW do you think your children would react in an emergency if they were at home by themselves?

That could be the ultimate test to determine whether they are old enough to stay at home by themselves, according to a Mackay babysitter.

There has been debate recently over how old children should be when left at home by themselves, following a series of court cases.

>> Tell us how old you think is old enough in the comments below.

One Rockhampton mum was fined earlier this week for leaving her five-year-old at home alone for an unreasonable amount of time, without making provisions for supervision, while she went to the gym.

Mackay woman Anna Malahoff, who owns Fairy Annabell and Butterfly Friends Babysitting and Party Hire, babysits children aged from six months to 13-years-old.

She believes children should be 14-years-old when left at home by themselves.

"It is very hard to determine what age a child should be left at home as every child is different from another," she said.

"My advice to parents who are wondering whether their children are old or mature enough to stay at home alone, would be to think of an unlikely emergency and how they would react, are they capable of safely evacuating from a burning house or calling 000?"

However, she said she didn't pass judgement or put pressure on parents who chose to leave their kids at home.

Trying to find a professional babysitter may be tricky in Mackay but Ms Malahoff doesn't believe there is a shortage. She said most families in the region turned to relatives and family friends.

Ms Malahoff sees her role as a temporary step-in for parents and does everything from cooking, playing, teaching and keeping children safe. You can find her business on Facebook.


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