Kids (4-12)

Home Alone Rules by State


The following table lists legal age restrictions for children left at home alone categorized by state within the U.S. Please note that city and county ordinances within each state may have more definitive and restrictive laws. Call your State DHS or local child welfare agency to learn about age guidelines in your area.

State Minimum Age  Reference 
Alabama None Alabama Babysitting Laws
Alaska Unknown No Resource Found
Arizona None Arizona Department of Economic Security
Arkansas None Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect – Arkansas
California Unknown No Resource Found
Colorado 12* Colorado Department of Human Services
Connecticut None State of Connecticut Attorney General’s Office
Delaware 12* Delaware Division of Family Services
Florida None Florida Eighth Judicial Circuit Family Court FAQ
Georgia 8* Georgia Division of Family & Children Services
Hawaii None Hawaii Department Of The Attorney General
Idaho None Idaho Department of Health & Welfare
Illinois 14 University of Illinois Child Care Resource Service
Indiana None No Laws Govern Leaving Children Alone
Iowa None Iowa Department Of Human Services
Kansas 12* Kansas Health & Environment
Kentucky None LAW & JUSTICE Children at Home Alone Nov, 2003
Louisiana None Louisiana Department of Social Services
Maine None Maine Kids & Kin
Maryland 8 Maryland Family Law
Massachusetts None Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries
Michigan None Calhoun County Courts
Minnesota None Minnesota Dakota County Attorney’s Office
Mississippi None Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Missouri None KRCG Latch-key limbo An Education Report 2006
Montana None Montana Child & Family Services
Nebraska 11* Midwest Child Care Association
Nevada Unknown No Resource Found
New Hampshire None State Of New Hampshire Attorney General
New Jersey None NJ Department of Human Services
New Mexico None VogueSeattle.com Lawyer Answers
New York None New York Children & Family Services
North Carolina 8 NC Health & Human Services
North Dakota 9* North Dakota CSCC (Kid’s Council)
Ohio None The Cleveland Law: Home Alone Children
Oklahoma None Lawton PD – Guide For Working Parents
Oregon 10 City of Albany, Oregon FAQ
Pennsylvania None Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.com article June, 2007
Rhode Island Unknown No Resource Found
South Carolina 8* NBC Augusta.com
South Dakota None South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service
Tennessee 10* Tennessee Juvenile & Family Court Judges
Texas None Texas Family & Protective Services
Utah None Children’s Service Society of Utah
Vermont Unknown No Resource Found
Virginia None Virginia Coalition for Child Abuse Prevention
Washington 10* Child Care Resources
West Virginia Unknown No Resource Found
Wisconsin 12* Prevent Child Abuse Wisconsin
Wyoming 12* Wyoming Child Protective Services

The following is taken with permission from http://www.latchkey-kids.com.

* These states do not set a specific age after which a child can legally stay home alone, and do provide recommendations.



  • Jeff

    Pittsburgh has an “h” at the end.

    • http://www.familyfirst.net/ Family First

      Jeff – All fixed now. Thank you for pointing that out!

  • Angela

    Parents need to not leave too young of a child home alone. Even if you tell them not to open the door to strangers they may forget and do it any way or just think that if it’s an adult they have to open the door. This happened to a family member when she was 6 years old and she was sexually molested by a very sick person who had watched the house from a secret location to see when her parents left home without her. It ruined the rest of her life. She became untrusting and could not have good relationship even with her own husband when she grew up. She now takes medicine for depression and panic attacks. Small children need to be supervised. Don’t think you can lock them at home and they are safe just because you told them to never open the door. They could also be kidnapped or murdered. Please watch your kids.







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