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What is the minimum legal age to stay home alone in California?

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βˆ™ 2009-01-21 16:12:17

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The age to stay at home alone is not legislated in most states, and not in California. As long as it is not endangering the child and they are capable of taking care of themselves there shouldn't be a problem. Most authorities agree that at about 12 the child is capable of staying home by themselves for a reasonable period of time. (We're talking hours here, not days!) 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 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.

2009-01-21 16:12:17
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