There’s a loose framework for leaving kids home alone and the age at which they should be left alone. It’s best that kids younger than eight not be left alone at all, no matter the circumstances. Those who are eight to 10 should only be left alone for no more than two hours during the day and evening, and 11 and 12-year-olds no more than three hours. Parents should use discretion regarding teenagers under 18 years old.
Reasons for latchkey kids
Besides working, there are several other reasons parents leave their kids home alone. Rather than being at work, parents who live in an apartment building or complex might leave their kids alone in the apartment while they workout down at the community gym or lounge by the pool. Some parents might want to introduce their older kids to independence and leaving them home alone for a couple of hours could help.
know the law
Generally, each state works with its own Department of Health and Human Services to create individual guidelines regarding when children can be left alone. Such guidelines are determined by the child’s age, the neighborhood in which the child lives, and how long the child will be left alone. It’s best to talk with a family law attorney for specific details regarding each individual state’s laws and circumstances regarding children.