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At What Age Can You Leave a Child Alone?

Posted by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 10:43 PM
  • 10 Replies

A coworker of mine comes into work at midnight. She has a 10 year old who she leaves at home by himself. We all think she is insane. Is there an age when kids can legally be left alone?

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by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 10:43 PM
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andrea_smkns
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 10:48 PM

When my parents divorced (age 7) my dad left my mom with nothing, not even a house so we would have been homeless if my grandparents had not bought us a house. Anyways well my mom had been SAHM the whole time while my dad made all the money and he made a lot of it, so it was really hard for her to find a job she ended up working nights and I was left home alone when I was 10. It sucked because I ate dinner by myself every night and I felt very lonely because when we moved I didn't know anyone because I was going to a new school, so I couldn't go anywhere. Anyways so I guess 10 isnt too young, the only problem I see is as I got older and in high school I did a lot of things I regret because my mom was gone at work from 7pm at night until 4am so I did a lot of things I shouldn't.

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andrea_smkns
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 10:51 PM

At what age can a child legally be left alone to care for themselves?

Answer:

State child abuse and neglect reporting laws do not specify the age at which a child can be left home alone. No consistent community standards exist describing when and under what circumstances children can be left alone or in the care of other children. Information about the age at which it is considered appropriate to leave a child alone may exist elsewhere in your local, county or State policies or ordinances that cover this special topic.

You may want to contact your local police department or child protective services agency for information about specific local regulations or ordinances. If you need help in locating your local child protective services agency, you may call Childhelp USA® 24 hours a day, seven days a week at its toll-free number, 1.800.4-A CHILD® (1.800.422.4453).

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MommaRose98
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 10:52 PM

In most states it's 13.

devasmom
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 10:52 PM

I think it depends on where you live. I would be terrified to leave my 10 year old alone while I went to work at night, but people have to do what they have to do. Where I live, I believe the child can be 11, but they have to be 14 in order to "babysit" another minor.

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PurpleNurples
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 10:52 PM

Here in NC, the legal age is 13.  There are different ages in different states I think.  Check your local dept. of social services.

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melissa089
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 10:53 PM

i say it depends on the child... how they act and stuff... my ma left me alone probably 9-10 but i knew what to do in an emergency, dont open doors, answer fones unless i know who it is... all i really did was watch tv until they came back.

sooga_booga
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 10:55 PM

In the state of Oregon. The legal age that a child can be left alone is 10..

                                  

lilmomma4
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 11:26 PM

In Wisconsin it's 12.


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honey27
by Silver Member on Jan. 22, 2009 at 12:19 AM

me and my little sister were left alone i was 10 and she was 8, i was very mature so my mom trusted me and she was a single parent with no help. we had to stay in the house and keep the doors locked until she got home which was around 6p at night, i actually liked it better than having a sitter. this was in the early 90's though.

MELISSA
caitelinn
by on Jan. 22, 2009 at 12:25 AM

WOW - this woman is leaving her 10y/o at home alone over night - I also work the night shift and there is no way I would leave my 13y/o alone while I am at work!  It is not fair to the child to nor is it safe.

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