Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Legal Age to Leave Kids at Home Alone

Aug. 31, 2016

Dear Cathy:

What is the legal age that I can start leaving my daughter alone at home to babysit herself? Home alone, Missouri

Dear Home Alone:

In the state of Georgia, many years ago it was 13, however, I probably broke a few other rules by leaving her to babysit her younger sister, who was 12. However, mothers, especially single mothers have to do what they have to do but not get caught.

When is a child old enough to stay at home alone? While a kid's maturity level should definitely come into play, some states have age restrictions—or at least guidelines—for how old is old enough to be unsupervised.

Database Systems Corp, which provides a call reassurance service that calls latchkey kids and seniors to make sure they're safe, compiled this data for each state.

Surprisingly, most states don't have any minimum age requirements. The ones that do range from age 6 (a recommendation in Kansas) to 14 (required in Illinois). The most common ages, among the states that have a recommendation or legal requirement, are age 8, 10, and 12.

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