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Five states have laws that specify what age a child can be home alone, and 10 states have “guidelines.” For states that don’t have these, the child neglect laws are the next most relevant sources of information. This list is not a legal document and some localities have rules and guidelines even when the state does not. The first one provides pretty much what you need at a glance. Once in a while, they contradict each other, because different sources apparently provide different info. § 53-21 Permitting a child under 16 to be placed in a situation where the life or limb of the child is endangered Delaware Unattended in Vehicle: N/A Home Alone Age: 12 (Guideline) From Delaware’s DSCYF: “While there is no law in Delaware regulating an appropriate age for a child to be left home alone, the Division of Family Services will accept for investigation any report of a child under the age of 12 being left alone.” Child Neglect: Del. But we hope this at least provides a starting point. Both lists were compiled by my fantastic interns at Reason, Paul Best and Michael Greibrok. Code § 13A-11-290 Child under the age of 7 cannot be left unattended in a vehicle when in the care of a child care service Home Alone Age: N/A Child Neglect: Ala. § 46b-120 Child is denied proper care and protection Child Endangerment: Conn. § 600.020 Failure to provide essential parental care and protection for the child Child Endangerment: Ky. § 530.060 Failure to exercise reasonable diligence Louisiana Unattended in Vehicle: La. Code § 26-14-1(2) Failure to provide adequate supervision of a child Child Endangerment: Ala. § 53-21a Child under the age of 12, for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child’s health or safety Home Alone Age: N/A Child Neglect: Conn. Code § 13A-13-6 Failure to exercise reasonable diligence with a child under the age of 18 Alaska Unattended in Vehicle: N/A Home Alone Age: N/A Child Neglect: Alaska Stat. § 13-3619 Knowingly allow a child under 16 to have their life endangered Arkansas Unattended in Vehicle: N/A Home Alone Age: N/A Child Neglect: Ark. § 12-18-103 Failure to provide appropriate supervision resulting in the child being left alone at an inappropriate age or in inappropriate circumstances Child Endangerment: Ark. § 5-27-205 Engaging in conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious injury or deserting a minor under 10 that creates a substantial risk of serious injury California Unattended in Vehicle: Cal. Code §15620 Child under 6 cannot be left without somebody 12 or older when conditions present a significant risk to the child’s health or safety or when the engine is running or keys are in the ignition Home Alone Age: N/A Child Neglect: Cal. § 18-6-401 Permits a child to unreasonably be placed in a situation that poses a threat of injury Connecticut Unattended in Vehicle: Conn. Wondering if you can let your kids walk to the park or wait in the car for a few minutes—legally? At Free-Range Kids, we believe parents are the best judges of what their kids are ready for, when.

§ 38-2202 Failure to provide adequate supervision of a child Child Endangerment: Kan.

Children 15 and older can be left home alone overnight, depending on the level of maturity of the child.” No law for leaving child in car. Car law: Any child under the age of nine may not be left in a motor vehicle for five minutes or longer unless he or she is under the supervision of a person twelve years of age or older. [§291C‐121.5] Leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle. However, caution is advised in leaving a child unsupervised during sleeping hours. From the Tennessee State Court’s website: “There is no legal age for children to stay at home alone.

§ 432B.140 Child is without proper care, control and supervision Child Endangerment: N/A New Hampshire Unattended in Vehicle: N/A Home Alone Age: N/A Child Neglect: N. It is not recommended, however, that 13 year olds baby sit infants, small children and children that require special attention due to medical conditions. This age child should not be unsupervised at night and should not supervise other children; Children who are 10 and 11 years old may be left alone for longer periods of time.

From Georgia’s DHS website: “Children under 8 years old should never be left alone, even for short periods of time.

(2) Any person who violates the provisions of paragraph (1)(a) commits a misdemeanor of the second degree punishable as provided in s. (4) Any person who violates subsection (1) and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to a child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. (7) The child shall be remanded to the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services pursuant to chapter 39, unless the law enforcement officer is able to locate the parents or legal guardian or other person responsible for the child Georgia Home alone age: 8 (guideline).

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