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Child home alone, at what age is it legal?
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amother






Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 1:08 am
Does anyone know at what age a child may be left home alone? I don't want to invite the ACS to my home.....so I need to know when may I LEGALLY leave my kid home alone? (For example, I need to go to an appt. and kid doesn't wanna come along, would rather stay home and read)
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hisorerus




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 3:34 am
http://www.nccic.org/poptopics/homealone.html

Most states do not have age guidelines. In Maryland, a child under 8 without at least a 13 year old is neglect; in Illinois a child under 14 is neglect.
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suomynona




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 6:08 am
under 14 is neglect?!

I used to babysit for other people's kids when I was 12 and 13.
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frayda




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 6:43 am
Over here I let a 13yo take out my kid...
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Mishie




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 6:48 am
Oh my.... I think 14 is a little Exaggerated...
I also used to baby sit when I was 12 (maybe even 11...)
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frayda




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 8:35 am
Mishie wrote:
I also used to baby sit when I was 12 (maybe even 11...)

Same here!
Back in the day my mother used to leave my older sister to babysit all of us. I think she was only nine. embarrassed
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southernbubby




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 8:45 am
I once asked the question in my district. Many latchkey children come home from school to empty homes. Usually, there is no enforcement unless someone calls the authorities. An 8 year old might be sitting at home doing his homework while an 11 yr old might decide to go shoplifting. A 16 year old, whose parents leave for several days, and gets into trouble could also implicate the parents for neglect. At 17, a child can move out. (In Michigan).
Parents are warned that parties in their homes where teens are unsupervised can get them thrown in jail if teens are involved in a DWI accident.
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amother






Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 8:53 am
So does anyone know at what age one may LEGALLY leave a child home alone, without parents being implicated? There's a family next door to me, 9-yr old stayed home alone, someone reported it, ACS came down, it wasn't pretty....that's why I'm asking
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frayda




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 9:09 am
Something like that is probably different in every state, so you'd have to check with your local authorities.
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southernbubby




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 9:18 am
The authorities might say that there are no set rules and it goes on a case by case basis. A 9yr old left alone for a hour is different from leaving him by himself all evening. Anyone can file a claim of abuse or neglect about just about anything and then the parent is stuck with trying to prove innocence. I have a neighbor who was reported for abuse. Her son, who is mentally impaired, had a scratch on his finger. His therapist at school asked about it and he said that his mother bit him. The authorities were called and paid her a visit. She had been playing a game with him where he tried to put his finger in her mouth and she pretended to bite it. The scratch on his finger was unrelated to that game. The case worker apologized and left.
As I said, leaving a teenager alone can get the parents in trouble if a child drinks and drives.
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rainbow baby




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 9:34 am
I was shocked that in the UK there is no legal age for this question, I went onto the Metropolitian Police site and this is what they said,

"At what age can a child be legally left at home alone?
There are no legal guidelines as to what age a child can be left at home alone. Common sense must apply, and the child must be capable of looking after itself. If in doubt then don't leave your child alone. If you contact the Citizens Advice Bureau they may be able to assist.

If more specific information is required, or you wish to tell someone about a child being left at home alone, contact your local police station."


Common sense
what does that mean if you think an eight year old is sensible to leave by themselves you can. There should be proper guidelines. I used to help a family at 12 and started to babysit at 14. Now I only have babysitters that are over 16 and I prefer them to be over 18, I just think you are putting alot of pressure on kids because that is all 14 to 16 year olds are kids.
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chocolate moose




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 9:37 am
in ny it's 10.
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Mitzvahmom




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 9:43 am
Well I got yelled at for going across the street for 2 min, leaving my 7 year old to watch the boys (AKA uncle moishy on tv) to take out the garbage.
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chen




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 11:05 am
in NYS, see http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/ma.....upervision
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Boys"R"Us




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jul 07 2006, 6:30 pm
It depends on where you live.
Where I live (Ontario, Canada), a child is allowed to be home alone from age 10, but is not allowed to babysit other younger children until age 12.

~Debbie
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Motek




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Jul 09 2006, 4:53 pm
jewishmamathebest wrote:
I was shocked that in the UK there is no legal age for this question


Many people would be shocked that you are shocked. It depends on how you view the government and its role in your life.

There are those who think that the government has no right to take over my personal life, dictating to me as to when I can leave my child on his/her own. I know my child, goes this argument, and I the parent will judge when it is appropriate to safely leave him/her alone.

Do you also think the government should make laws about what you can feed your children? When they should be put to bed? When they should be out of diapers?
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tzipp




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Jul 09 2006, 5:19 pm
I think there is a difference between leaving a child home alone, and leaving a child home watching younger children.

Of course there is a difference between different kids maturity levels, but I think that under a certain age, even if they seem mature, in an emergency situation a child's judgement cannot necessarily be relied on. It's just not fair to expect a 9, 10, 11 year old to have that type of maturity.

Now, maybe if there is a neighbor next door available and peeking in every once in while, and available if something happens it's not as bad... I guess every situation is different, but I personally am happy that there are laws. Not everyone cares about their kids the way they should.
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rainbow baby




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Jul 09 2006, 6:23 pm
Motek wrote:
jewishmamathebest wrote:
I was shocked that in the UK there is no legal age for this question


Many people would be shocked that you are shocked. It depends on how you view the government and its role in your life.


I'am shocked because you read in the newspapers the whole time that people have been arrested for going on holiday and leaving their 10 year old for a few days by themselves. Well number one if there is no law at what age a child can be left by themselves then it is left to the parents own judgement and in that case they can say that they thought their 10 year old can be left by themselves.
Also if there is no legal age I think the courts are opening themselves up because there is no law to protect them and back them up and these parents that abuse their kids and leave them by themselves will claim the above they thought they were capabale of being left by themselves. The Courts of Human Rights would jump on a case like that, no law to back up the courts any sentance would be squashed within seconds.
In Manchester there are some really awful areas I feel that there does need to be a legal age to protect the kids from being neglected and left by themselves. Also remember that the UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rates, so we are talking about kids as young as 11 having babies. They might want to go out to town for the night and leave the kids by themselves but oh what is this there is no law saying what age you can leave your kid by themselves.

Motek wrote:
Do you also think the government should make laws about what you can feed your children? When they should be put to bed? When they should be out of diapers?


sorry this might come across as rude but don't be silly of coure I do not think this!!!!!!
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Motek




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Jul 09 2006, 7:08 pm
jewishmamathebest wrote:
sorry this might come across as rude but don't be silly of coure I do not think this!!!!!!


Well why not?

I am appalled by what some parents feed their kids and I am horrified by how late some parents allow their little children to stay up. I'm talking about a weekday, no special occasion.

If you think that parents are not capable of making common sense decisions like what age to allow their child to stay home alone, and that laws should be passed regarding this, then I would think you would want laws about these other things too.
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realeez




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Jul 09 2006, 8:04 pm
5boysMom wrote:
It depends on where you live.
Where I live (Ontario, Canada), a child is allowed to be home alone from age 10, but is not allowed to babysit other younger children until age 12.

~Debbie


Did you see the article in Today's Parent that says that everyone thinks that but really it is not the law?

Here's the link:
http://www.todaysparent.com/te.....ge=1[/url]
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