Children as young as nine get keys to family home

Children as young as nine get keys to family home

Teens and tweens might threaten your home security, says new research from Confused.com, as more parents are leaving a set of house keys with their children.

The findings from home insurance experts at Confused.com reveal that, today, 40 per cent of parents are giving children under the age of 18 a set of keys to their home, and eight per cent of these key-holders are under nine years of age with 18 per cent aged between nine and 11.

Traditionally, children receive ‘the key to the door’ at a more suitable age, or when they reach a milestone birthday like 16, 18 or 21, but things are much different in modern society, according to these findings.  

We would encourage parents to mention to their children the potential dangers of giving out their address on social media, and also...

Giving young children keys to the house has been identified by Confused.com as one of the potential threats to home security that families may be overlooking.

According to the findings, one in six parents have already come home to find the front door unlocked or had a child lose a key, highlighting just how risky entrusting keys to their kids can be.

Gareth Kloet, Head of Home Insurance at Confused.com, said: “Getting the ‘key to the door’ at 18 or 21 is a bit of an out-dated concept now that some children receive house keys aged nine or under.

“While we are not surprised to find that times have changed, we want to emphasise that putting such a young child in charge of home security could be a risk to them and to the safety of the family home and property.

The experts at Confused.com are urging parents to educate their children about home security before giving them keys to the family home, and reminding them that leaving the door unlocked by accident could invalidate their insurance if they are burgled as a result.

In the survey of 2,000 parents (with children aged 18 or under), Confused.com also found that 37 per cent of parents are worried that their kids will take the car without permission if they leave the car keys in the house, and more than one in ten parents say their children have already done this.

Meanwhile, nearly two thirds of parents are worried that their child will forget to lock the door or lose their house key, and this has already happened to 16 per cent of parents polled.

Additionally, more than half of parents are worried that their child will have a party while they are away and for 16 per cent of these, this has already happened.

Furthermore, 55 per cent of parents are worried that their son/daughter will tell people when they are going on holiday and just under half of parents are worried that their kids will share their address online.

Gareth added: “It is important to have a chat with your child about the responsibility associated with having a key to the family home.

“We would encourage parents to mention to their children the potential dangers of giving out their address on social media, and also highlight the risks of having an address written on the key fob itself.

“We would urge parents to remind their children that, should they lose the key to the house, they must tell them immediately as, if this happens, it may be necessary to change the locks.”

The findings also revealed that more than 14 per cent of parents have left their child or children at home alone overnight or to go on holiday.

Gareth said: “We are not here to criticise families as each has their own circumstance, and we understand that many parents have to work during school hours, but we do want to remind parents to talk to their children about home security and that accidentally leaving your home unprotected may invalidate your home insurance should you need to make a claim.”

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