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What is the legal age for a child to stay at home alone in Texas?

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βˆ™ 2009-01-07 20:12:52

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I'm not sure about Texas, and not positive about my native Indiana (it used to be 13 yrs old), but I look forward to reading the answer to this one. Only a very few states have laws that address the age at which a child can be left without adult supervision. Texas does not at this time have a home alone age specific statute, although bills have been introduced into state legislature for the implementation for "latch key" guidelines. The criteria is the maturity level of the child rather than the chronological age. Parents and caregivers should use caution when making such decisions. Legal difficulties arise when a child/children are injured or found in unacceptable living conditions or otherwise come to the attention of authorities (wandering the streets, etc.). Common sense should dictate that any child that cannot fix a simple meal, have the knowledge and ability to cope with an emergency situation, isn't informed on all safety issues and so forth should not be left unattended. 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 Latchkey Kids Legal Age Limits state by state comparison with references.

One guideline from a California child welfare representative suggests that 8 year olds and over can be left at home for a brief amount of time(such as just after school). The most common statement is that a child's maturity should be the determining factor and not just age.

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