Parenting and Children
Child Safety
Children and the Law

What is minimum age required by law in Michigan to stay home alone?

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2014-08-19 18:33:16

Laws do not prescribe a minimum age, but the child's maturity

and ability to take care of themselves will be a factor in

determining if there was any child endangerment. AnswerMichigan, as

almost every state, does not have a law specifying the age at which

a minor child can be left home alone. The basic criteria is the

circumstances and the amount of time that the child is left rather

than age, which creates a legal "Catch-22". The law presumes that

the parent(s) or adult caregiver will be prudent in assessing the

child or children's level of maturity when making such a decision.

It goes without saying one should never leave an infant or small

child alone for any length of time. Generally a child under the age

of 12 is not considered mature enough to deal with some of the

circumstances that might arise.

If a minor child is injured and needs medical attention or is

found left in an environment considered unacceptable (as in no

staples, utilities, etc.) the parent or adult caregiver can be

charged with child endangerment and/or neglect. Due to the way the

statue is written it is strictly a judgment call on the part of the

parent or adult in charge.

Be advised that in almost any state a child under the age of 12

left w/o adult contact for more than twenty-four hours can be

considered to have been abandoned. LEGAL AGE.

There are very few states in the U.S. with legal minimum ages,

but many state agencies have published guidelines (Georgia,

Illinois, Maryland and Oregon are a few of the states with very

specific ages). Typically 8 year olds and over can be left at home

for up to several hours (usually after school before a parent gets

home from work).

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