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My understanding is that a child must be at least 13 years old to stay home alone in the state of Florida. I was searching for the same answer and found on the web that children usually don't have the maturity and skills to be left unsupervised until the age of 12. Also that siblings should not be left in charge of other siblings until the age of 15. Florida Law does not have a rule about this matter, instead thay want parents to ask themselves questions such as: "Is my child at least 12 years old? Does my child feel comfortable, confident, and willing to stay alone? Is our neighborhood safe? Does my child feel safe? Do we have neighbors that my child and I know and trust? Does my child consistently follow my rules and guidelines? Is my child able to stay calm and not panic when confronted with unexpected events? Does my child generally tell me all about his or her day without my asking? Is my child consistently truthful with me? Does he or she readily come to me with problems and concerns? Does my child understand the importance of safety and know basic safety procedures? Has my child demonstrated good independent judgment and problem-solving skills in the past? Does he or she generally react the way I would want? Has my child learned to trust his or her instincts about things that "don't feel right" and react appropriately? Will my child make decisions to stay safe, even at the risk of seeming rude or overly cautious to other children or adults? Have I role-played a number of "what-if" scenarios with my child, so he or she can practice decision making and have an opportunity to discuss appropriate reactions? Will I be accessible by phone to my child while he or she is home alone, or is there another trusted adult who will be available to "check in"? Does my child have a list of numbers to call in an emergency, and does he or she know how and when to dial 9-1-1? Does my child have the ability to calmly provide our names, address, phone number, and directions to our home in an emergency? Have my child and I established a clearly structured daily routine for when he or she is home alone, with defined responsibilities and privileges? Is my child able to work independently on his or her homework? Am I certain that my child does not have access to a firearm in my home or elsewhere? Have I repeatedly discussed the danger of guns with my child? If I have more than one child staying home together, have they demonstrated the ability to get along well and solve conflicts without physical fighting or adult intervention? Have I brainstormed with my child about what unexpected situations could possibly come up while he or she is alone, and how to handle them? Have my child and I had some "dry runs" to allow him or her to practice self-care skills while I am at home, but purposefully "not available"? Is my child able to carry out routine self-care tasks, such as locking up the house, simple first-aid, making a snack, etc.? Does my child have basic first-aid training and access to a first-aid kit? Does my child know how to recognize and respond to an emergency situation (fire, intruder, poisoning, etc.)?" I hope this information helps you. To answer your question, there is no legal age when a child may start staying home alone in Florida. I would advise no child under 10 be out of supervision. My next tip is, a child in mid-teen age group should probably be okay staying home for an extended amount of time depending on their maturity level, as long as a parent is returning home that night. Parents, just use your best judgement. There are very few states in the U.S. with legal minimum ages for children home alone, but many state agencies have published guidelines. Georgia, Illiniois, Maryland and Oregon are a few of the states with specific ages mentioned in their laws.

12 years of age appears to be the most common recommendation. Below in Related Links is an article entitled Home Alone Children Legal Age Limits which provides one guideline from a California agency representative who suggests that 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). This site also provides a state by state comparison with references.

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โˆ™ 2008-06-23 11:59:38
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Q: What is the legal age a child can be left home alone in Birmingham?
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