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Child care warning to parents.

PARENTS who leave their kids with underage babysitters could face prosecution, a family law expert warned yesterday.

Elaine Sutherland, professor of child and family law at Stirling University, said the parents could end up in court if their child is hurt while in the care of someone unsuitable.

And she added that leaving underage children to care for younger siblings was "inherently risky".

She said: "In Scotland, there is no statutory rule governing when a child under 16 may be left at home alone.

"Nor is there a single, simple rule on when an older child may babysit for a younger child.

"Leaving a child under 16 years old alone or in charge of younger siblings is inherently risky, so a parent should be prepared to justify the decision.

"While a parent may delegate the care of a child, they remain responsible for the child's welfare.

"It is their responsibility to make sure the babysitter is up to the job."

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ADVICE J Elaine Sutherland
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 10, 2011
Words:166
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