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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

At what age can kids be home alone?

Posted by on Nov. 15, 2013 at 7:09 PM
  • 23 Replies

I know I was allowed to be home alone in like 5th-6th grade, but is there a law that applies here? Does anyone know?


Assuming your kid is responsible and capable, what age would you allow a child to be home alone? And when I say home alone, I mean like for a couple hours while parents go to a meeting. What about longer things like if they are staying home from school sick?

by on Nov. 15, 2013 at 7:09 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MamaLauri
by Member on Nov. 15, 2013 at 7:28 PM

The answer is it depends on the child and environment. Start with very short times. Check out https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/homealone.pdf

Only three States have laws. Illinois law requires children to be 14 years old, in Maryland requires the child be 8 years old, and in Oregon the children must be 10 before being left home alone. So there is little agreement. 

My oldest son was less mature than my youngest, so they stayed home alone for short times when my youngest was 10, oldest 12. My kids never stay home alone when sick.



wakymom
by Ruby Member on Nov. 15, 2013 at 7:33 PM

 You need to check your local county/town laws. Some have a set age even if the state does not.

We started leaving ds1 home alone for 15 mins or so when he was 10. Ds2 is only 9 1/2, but is more mature than ds1 was at this age, and we've left him alone for about 25 mins.

We haven't left dd alone yet, but she's only 7 1/2.

 

 

 

Andrewsmom70
by Gold Member on Nov. 15, 2013 at 7:36 PM

I agree, talk to state and local officials to see what they say.

My son is almost 8 and very mature/responsible for his age but it will still be a few years before I leave him home alone. Better safe than sorry, in my opinion.

caligirl7613
by on Nov. 15, 2013 at 7:59 PM
in my area the limit is 12, once they turn 12 afterschool daycare or after school programs that are similar to daycare (not sports or clubs) will no longer accept them. my kids are 7 and 6 and 5. i have not left them home alone, but i have let them play outside alone as long as they stay in the yard and i look out my windows often.
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frndlyfn
by Gold Member on Nov. 15, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Legally for my state it is 10 years old, 11 yrs old to take care of siblings the last i heard.

Pnukey
by on Nov. 15, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Laws vary by state. DD started babysitting at age 11. DS stays home for 10-20 minutes alone. He is 8. There is no minimum age in this state. It is left up to the parent's discretion. 

soymujer
by Mikki on Nov. 15, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Check your state laws.  Where I live it's 13.

family in the van   Mom of four


aetrom
by Gold Member on Nov. 16, 2013 at 1:20 AM
My son is 8 and we leave him alone for short periods of time.
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Dodie702
by Doriane on Nov. 16, 2013 at 1:50 AM
I'd say 13 or 14, but we'll see how mature they act when the time comes.
gregheather
by Member on Nov. 16, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Illinois state law is 14, but daycares (after school care) won't take a child over 12.  My BIL is a police officer and he laughed and said that he has been on the force for almost 15 years and he has never seen the law enforced.

We live in the country and my DD is 9 - I can leave her home while I run to the store and she is fine.

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