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 No Resource Found
California Unknown Sierra Sacramento Coalition
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 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 12* Kansas Department For Children and Families
Kentucky None No Resource Found
Louisiana None Louisiana Department of Social Services
Maine None Maine Kids & Kin
Maryland 8 Baltimore County, Maryland FAQ
Massachusetts None Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries
Michigan None The Michigan Child Protection Law (Appendix 2)
Minnesota None Dakota County, Minnesota Child Supervision
Mississippi None Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Missouri None Platte County, Missouri Juvenile Office Resources
Montana None Montana Child & Family Services
Nebraska 11* Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services
Nevada Unknown Las Vegas Review-Journal
New Hampshire None State Of New Hampshire Attorney General
New Jersey None NJ Department of Human Services
New Mexico None City of Albuquerque Child Safety at Home
New York None New York Children & Family Services
North Carolina 8 NC Health & Human Services
North Dakota 9* Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota
Ohio None The Cleveland Law: Home Alone Children
Oklahoma None After-School Safety for Children Who Are Home Alone
Oregon 10 Washington County Law Library’s Legal Research Guide
Pennsylvania None Legal Zoom Info
Rhode Island Unknown No Resource Found
South Carolina 8* Children’s Trust of South Carolina
South Dakota None South Dakota Safety Council
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 Dept of Social Services
Washington 10* Washington State Dept of Social and Health Svcs
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.


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  • 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.

  • Siobhan

    This chart is not accurate. I went to the latchkey kids site and I didn’t look at the other states but that is wrong for Wisconsin.