Posted by: afterschoolclub | October 21, 2010

Age Restrictions For Latchkey Kids

age limitations for latchkey children At what age can a child be legally left at home alone? See below.

The National SAFEKIDS Campaign recommends that no child under the age of 12 be left at home alone.

However, consider a child’s age and maturity level. For example, if a child is extremely impulsive, it might be best to wait until he or she is older than 12.

There appear to be very few states with specific regulations about the age of a child left at home alone. However, since the number of latchkey kids is growing significantly due to 2 income parents and single parents and guardians, there is a growing movement within state agencies to set guidelines.

Lynn Yaney, spokeswoman for the agency that handles child welfare in Contra Costa County, California, states:

    “A general rule of thumb is that kids under age seven aren’t capable of thinking logically and putting cause and effect together,” Tanner said. “They are reliant on caregivers to structure their day.” Children between ages 7 and 10 years aren’t generally ready to self-supervise for an extended period, but in a routine and predictable environment, such as just after school, they can manage, Tanner said. Children 12 and 13 years old should be judged on a case- by-case basis but should not be left alone overnight.

The following is a state by state listing of specific age restrictions on home alone children. This list was obtained from information on the web as well as contacts within certain state agencies. Where no information can be found, the age restriction is listed as unknown. Some states are listed where there were no legal restrictions on home alone children ages and these are marked as None. Some states publish recommended guideline limits and those are annotated with an asterisk (*).

Massachusetts has NO Restrictions on age for children home alone, but why leave your child alone? Instead send them to the After School Club where they can have fun, be supervised and have a structured, customized program. Register Today!

DISCLAIMER. The content herein is a summary of generally available information from the internet. DSC does not warrant its accuracy nor provide legal guidance to parents or guardians of potential home alone children. Contact your State DHS or local child welfare agency to learn about age guidelines in your area.

If you find any state information that needs to be added or updated, please Contact DSC and we will update this list as soon as possible.


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