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At what age is it appropriate to leave kids home alone?

My neighborhood is fairly safe but I still would not let my daughter stay home alone. She is 8. Yet one of our neighbors lets their seven year old stay home while she runs to the store for milk. I would be afraid something could happen at the store and she would not know what to do. I do let her stay home if I run next door to drop something off or borrow something. But I can see the house and am gone about two minutes.

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Asked by Shaken1976 at 9:08 AM on Apr. 26, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 20 (9,288 Credits)
Answers (30)
  • 7, wow no I would not. Pretty sure there are laws that explain all this. About running next door, I can't say I haven't done it :)

    Answer by yesmaam at 9:10 AM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • not between 5 and 8!
    11 or 12 maybe

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 9:11 AM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I think in my state(Tn) you have to be 12 to stay home alone. I think 12-13 is a good age to stay home alone.

    Answer by L0vingMy3Girls at 9:13 AM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • My 12 yr old will stay home alone sometimes. I always take his 6 yr old brother with me. If his 2 yr old sister is napping he will stay with her if i need to run to the store to grab milk and the like.

    Answer by Mrs_Harsh at 9:14 AM on Apr. 26, 2011

  •  This recommends children be at least 12 yrs old.


    Answer by L0vingMy3Girls at 9:15 AM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I won't answer this question for fear of someone calling CPS. But does it make it better that I leave him in a cage?

    Answer by SleepyCupcake at 9:17 AM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Between 7 and 10. We are not talking about a couple hours after school, we are talking about a 30 minute run to the store. Gosh, at 12 we start babysitting, so they go from not being allowed home alone to babysitting?

    Quote from above link:

     A general rule of thumb is that kids under age seven aren't capable of thinking logically and putting cause and effect together," Tanner said. "They are reliant on caregivers to structure their day." Children between ages 7 and 10 years aren't generally ready to self-supervise for an extended period, but in a routine and predictable environment, such as just after school, they can manage, Tanner said. Children 12 and 13 years old should be judged on a case- by-case basis but should not be left alone overnight.


    Answer by Candi1024 at 9:18 AM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • This is also a quote from the link....

    The National SAFEKIDS Campaign recommends that no child under the age of 12 be left at home alone.


    Answer by L0vingMy3Girls at 9:21 AM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I think somewhere in the teens in when we will leave them at home for the first time. A long ways off so I hadn't really thought about it. No way in the world at 7 though, my eldest is 6 and if something happened while I was gone than I would feel guilty for forever. Not worth the chances.

    Answer by Melbornj at 9:41 AM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Mine are 6 and 7 we never leave them alone in the house for any reason. 10-12 seems reasonable to me.

    Answer by meooma at 9:42 AM on Apr. 26, 2011

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