Since 1990, 120 children under nine in the territory have died after being left at home unattended. Despite the risk of leaving a child alone at home, a 1994 survey by the Hong Kong Council of Social Services showed that 16 per cent of the parents (113 parents out of 690 interviewed) admitted they had left a child under six unattended at home at least once in the previous week. Director of the Hong Kong Welfare Society Thomas Mulvey said: 'This is a high percentage. It is never safe to leave a child under six, or a child who cannot reason, alone at home. 'You only need to put your child in danger once,' he said. Children left alone are not only exposed to physical danger but psychological damage, he said. Someone knocking on the door when they have been left alone, for example, might be enough to frighten them. Mr Mulvey said: 'Parents don't know the risk they expose their children to or the extent of the risk. The lack of awareness for the safety of the child and the extent of ignorance is peculiar to Hong Kong,' he said. The territory now had many people who had been brought up in rural China in low-rise houses and large families and were now having to adjust to a totally new set-up of small flats in high-rise buildings with unfamiliar people next door. Legislator and member of the Hong Kong Committee on Children's Rights Dr John Tse Wing-ling said that in China, people tended to live in extended families where there is always someone to look after the children. In Hong Kong families were smaller and often did not know their neighbours. Legislator Fred Li Wah-Ming said the Government should live up to its promise on child-care provision and encourage the establishment of neighbourhood child-care units to look after children for short periods in emergencies.