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At what age can kids stay home alone?

Is there a law that dictates the age a child can stay home alone?

Answer Question

Asked by bhwrn1 at 11:34 AM on Oct. 20, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 3 (15 Credits)
Answers (21)
  • 18

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:34 AM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • it really depends on how mature the kid is 12 maybe thats how old i was

    Answer by firstimemomm603 at 11:35 AM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • It varies by state; I think that the range is 10-14

    Answer by rkoloms at 11:37 AM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • It depends what state you are in. In my state there are different time limits for different ages of how long they can be left home alone for, the youngest is age 11 for not more than 1 hr.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 11:44 AM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • In NC:

    Although there is no age specified in juvenile code that addresses the age a child may be left home alone, North Carolina fire code (G.S. § 14-318) states that a child under the age of eight shall not be left alone without appropriate supervision due to the risk of danger by fire. Parents and caretakers must look at the child's maturity, the safety of the community, and access to emergency assistance. A child may be mature enough to stay alone, but not to care for younger siblings. If you are concerned that a child is left alone and is unsafe, call your county department of social services.


    Answer by kitkabob at 11:55 AM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • My ex had me investigated by CPS (charges were unfounded, of course) but my ex told them I had been leaving my kids home alone (I had not), but they said at my kids ages (7 and 9 at that point) that they could stay home alone by themselves for short periods of time. I would never have left my kids home alone at that point, I thought they were too young, especially the 7 year old! I do, however, now leave my 10 year old home while I run to a neighbors house, but never for more then 30-45 mins or so.
    At 12-13 I'll probably feel more comfortable leaving for longer periods of time during the day, but I won't leave them at home at night until they are 14, and not overnight until they are at least 17.

    Answer by missanc at 11:56 AM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • In Indiana it's 12. They make K students walk over a mile to school but you have to be 12 to stay home alone.

    Answer by Gailll at 12:02 PM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • In my state, kids have to be 11 to legally stay at home alone. I think it depends on the child too, like can you trust them to be alone without getting in trouble, do they know what to do in an emergency? Can they follow rules, like not having friends over when there are no adults, not letting people know they are alone. Things like that should come in to play. I'm sure there are 16 year old out there who can't be trusted alone!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:02 PM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • I started leaving my son alone for short periods of time at around age 9. I mean running to the bank or the grocery store.

    Answer by mompam at 12:03 PM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • I believe its 8 in maryland

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:10 PM on Oct. 20, 2009

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