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What is considered "leaving a child home alone"? (s/o from another question) READ the rest of the question before you reply please.

What does the law say? Or is there even a law that clearly defines it?

Is it ok to go out in your back yard while the baby is sleeping inside? Is it ok to go out to the car to get something while the children are in the house? Is it ok to go to the mailbox at the end of your short driveway or to the mailbox on your porch? How about inside the house- is it ok to be in a different room than your child? Do you have to have your eyes and hands on them at all times?

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:34 PM on Mar. 10, 2010 in Just for Fun

Answers (10)

  • This is just my personal opinion: To me, if you can still see your house (whether you are in your own front yard getting the mail or you're 3 houses down the street getting the mail or whatever) or you are next door with the baby monitor and your house is locked, then I don't consider the child to be home alone. If you go far enough that your house is out of sight(or sound w/monitor), then I would count it as home alone. And of course, I think it also depends on what your neighborhood is like and how safe it is.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:34 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • Good answer anon., also depends on age of children, the older then the less you worry about sitting in your backyard on a warm summer night relaxing while the kids are asleep. I do this but my girls are 8 and 5 and if they can't find me in the house they know I'm out back..Being outside calms me so I like to be in nature to relax.


    Answer by kjfamily at 8:37 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I would not wake up my child simply because I'll be right outside gardening. I would not lug my child out into the cold simply because I'm checking the mail or getting something from the car. If it is only for a few minutes...five at most, I think it's fine to leave your child in the house alone. If it's more than that and your'e going somewhere you can't even see your house than that's a dumb idea.

    Answer by Imogine at 8:37 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I don't think they have laws against anything you mentioned BUT if the child is in danger (in a car alone, where someone could steal the car, or they could suffocate...or walking around where cars drive unsupervised...) then it would be unlawful.

    Answer by txdaniella at 8:50 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I consider it alone when I go to check my mail but I can still see my house and my kids are sleeping. I go right after they fall asleep so I know they aren't going to wake up for awhile.


    Answer by JAIRATRACI at 8:57 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I like the first anon's answer, but it will depend too on the age of the kid(s) and what they are doing. I'd have fewer reservations about leaving a sleeping baby (in a crib or some other safe palce) than a toddler who is playing. Even if the baby wakes up, the worst thing that happens is they cry for a minute or two, but a toddler/preschooler playing could lead to all sorts of disaster (mine can get into all sorts of trouble while I'm watching, much less alone for a minute or two!).

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 8:58 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • My tot sleeps in a crib, and seeing as she can't climb out just yet, I have no problem with leaving the house for a few minutes while she's sleeping. I just make sure to stay near the front door. My daughter goes to bed at 7pm..with the time change, you betcha I'll be sitting outside quite often after shes goes to bed! I'm protective of my daughter, but jeez...if you can't stand outside your door for a few minutes without them you've got issues.

    Answer by Fallaya at 9:25 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • in some states there are more laws on it. . . I was told when my child was young that taking my baby into the house while I brought groceries in or leaving her in the car while I did so or something of the like was leaving the child alone and unattended and thereby unlawful. . . there are some pretty weird laws that make things difficult especially if your neighbors don't like you. . . just something to keep in mind. .

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:26 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • i go throw the trash and pick up mail, drop my rent off and leave my kids home alone oh well. i live in a apartment, second floor, all those 3 things are not far.

    Answer by aeroslove at 11:10 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • How the hell are you supposed to bring in your groceries when your tugging your child along with you? It's impossible. That is what a crib or a swing is for so you don't have to worry about them. And if they're older children make them help!

    Answer by Imogine at 2:04 PM on Mar. 11, 2010

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