How Old Do Kids Have to Be to Stay Home Alone in New York State?
Do you remember the first time you stayed home alone as a kid?
Recently, I discussed with a group of friends the first time we stayed home alone. A handful of my friends are now parents and navigating this situation and were trying to get a feel of what the norm is nowadays in 2022.
I remember vividly being home alone in 6th grade, so around 11 years old, as my parents went to the first parent-teacher conference of the school year. I also recall being a little nervous, but also really proud that my parents thought I was mature enough to stay home.
Are There Laws Regarding Kids Staying Home Alone in New York?
While there are laws across the United States regarding staying home alone, there is nothing specific for New York. New York's Administration for Children’s Services states:
According to the law, there is no set age at which you can leave a child alone. The parent is responsible for deciding whether or not the child is mature and responsible enough to understand the circumstances and take care of her or himself.
Even though it should be obvious, they also add that "very young children" should not be left alone as they cannot take care of themselves.
What States Have Age Requirements for Staying Home Alone?
According to Childwelfare.org, leaving your child at home could be considered neglect in some states. They explain further writing:
In some States, leaving a child without supervision at an inappropriate age or in inappropriate circumstances may be considered neglect after considering factors that may put the child at risk of harm, such as the child’s age, mental ability, and physical condition; the length of the parent’s absence; and the home environment.
As of today, there are only 3 states that have actual age requirements when it comes to leaving your child at home by themselves. They are:
Illinois- 14 years old
Maryland- 8 years old
Oregon-10 years old
Are you a parent who has left their child home alone? At what age did you feel comfortable leaving your child by themselves?