Child Safety
Children and the Law

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

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Wiki User
2009-01-07 20:12:52

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


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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