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. Our iMom printable with 10 Home Alone Rules is a good start.
We have some great tools to get you started. First up, just because they meet the age requirement, it doesn’t mean they are mature enough to stay home alone. So here are 5 ways to know if your child is ready. If you decide that yep, we’re good to go, here are 6 ways to train your child to stay home alone and conversation starters to get talking about your expectations and their concerns. And chances are, you’ve got one kiddo who is going to assume the role of babysitter, so check out our Babysitter Checklist printable to make sure all the important details are covered.
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.
The National SAFEKIDS Campaign recommends that no child under the age of 12 be left home alone.
Some information taken with permission from http://www.latchkey-kids.com.
*Age is recommended, but not legally required.
**While New Mexico does not have a state law mandating the minimum age required for a child to stay home alone, a City of Albuquerque Ordinance states that children under the age of 11 may not be left home alone.
When would you feel comfortable leaving your kids alone?