Home Alone Rules by State

at what age can children stay home alone

Many parents are faced with the dilemma of at what age can children stay home alone, especially during after-school hours or the summertime. Before you consider leaving your child without supervision, be sure they are reasonably mature, able to take care of themselves, and completely prepared for emergency situations. Set ground rules, review basic safety guidelines, and establish routines that are designed to keep your child healthy and safe. {Tweet This} Our iMom printable with 10 Home Alone Rules is a good start.

The following table lists the minimum age at which children may be left at home alone, categorized by state, within the United States. 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 Juneau Police Department
Arizona None Arizona Department of Child Safety
Arkansas None Arkansas Department of Human Services
California None Sierra Sacramento Coalition
Colorado 12* Colorado DHS Office of Children, Youth & Families
Connecticut None State of Connecticut Attorney General’s Office
Delaware 12* Delaware Division of Family Services
Florida None Florida Department of Children and Families
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 Illinois Compiled Statutes
Indiana None Prevent Child Abuse Indiana
Iowa None Iowa State University
Kansas 6* Kansas Department for Children and Families
Kentucky 9* Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Louisiana None Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
Maine None Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Maryland 8 Baltimore County, Maryland FAQ
Massachusetts None Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries
Michigan 10* The Michigan Child Protection Law
Minnesota None Dakota County Child Supervision
Mississippi 12* Mississippi State University
Missouri None Missouri Department of Social Services
Montana None Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services
Nebraska 7* Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services
Nevada None No Resource Found
New Hampshire None New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services
New Jersey None Bergen County Department of Human Services
New Mexico None** City of Albuquerque Child Safety at Home
New York None New York Office of Children and Family Services
North Carolina 8 North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services
North Dakota 9* North Dakota Department of Human Services
Ohio None The Cleveland Law Library
Oklahoma None Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
Oregon 10* Oregon Government Resources
Pennsylvania None Legal Zoom Info
Rhode Island None No Resource Found
South Carolina 12* Children’s Trust of South Carolina
South Dakota None South Dakota Safety Council
Tennessee 10* Tennessee Juvenile & Family Courts
Texas None Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Utah None Children’s Service Society of Utah
Vermont None Town of Williston, Vermont
Virginia None Virginia Department of Social Services
Washington 10* Seattle’s Child
West Virginia None WOWK-TV
Wisconsin None City of Madison Fire Department
Wyoming Unknown Wyoming Child Protective Services

Some information taken with permission from http://www.latchkey-kids.com.

*Age listed is the recommended minimum age a child may be left home alone in lieu of a legally specified age minimum.

**City of Albuquerque Ordinance states that children under the age of 11 may not be left home alone.

Tell us! When would you feel comfortable leaving your kids alone?