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 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 article June, 2007
Rhode Island Unknown No Resource Found
South Carolina 8* NBC
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

* 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.

    • Family First

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

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