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How can I know if my child is old enough to be left home alone?

ANSWER

Most experts say that by age 10 or 11, it's OK to leave a child alone for short periods of time (under an hour) during the day, provided they're not scared and you think they're mature enough to handle it. But you may want to wait another year or two before leaving them alone at night.

SOURCES:

KidsHealth: "Leaving Your Child Home Alone" and "When Can I Stay Home Alone in the Daytime?"

American Academy of Pediatrics.

University of Michigan Health System: "Babysitter Safety -- What Parents and Sitters Need to Know."

Child Welfare Information Gateway: "Leaving Your Child Home Alone."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on October 20, 2018

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

KidsHealth: "Leaving Your Child Home Alone" and "When Can I Stay Home Alone in the Daytime?"

American Academy of Pediatrics.

University of Michigan Health System: "Babysitter Safety -- What Parents and Sitters Need to Know."

Child Welfare Information Gateway: "Leaving Your Child Home Alone."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on October 20, 2018

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    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.