Q: At what age is it legally acceptable to leave a child at home alone?
State child abuse and neglect reporting laws do not specify the age at which a child can be left home alone. There are no consistent community standards that describe when and under what circumstances children may be left alone or in the care of other children. It is up to the parents to decide when it is safe and appropriate to do so. Each child’s maturity level, experience, and environment is different and poses individual pros and cons that a parent must consider when making a decision.
With summer upon us, please always ensure that your child or those caring for your child know what to do and whom/how to call for help in the case of an emergency.
If you have concerns that a child is being left alone inappropriately, you should err on the side of caution and report it to OCS. If it is after 5 p.m., contact your local law enforcement.