Will You Get Arrested if You Leave Kids Home Alone in New York State?
If you are a parent, chances are there was a time when you asked yourself if your child was old enough to be left home alone. Things happen and sometimes it's inevitable. But what is the legal age you can leave your child home alone in New York state?
What is the Legal Age to Leave Kids Home Alone in New York State?
New York State Office for Children and Family Services (OFCS) says that there is no law that states a legal age to leave your children home unattended. They leave it up to the discretion of the parent or guardian. However, they say to use proper judgment.
The New York State Office of Child and Family Services Does Have Some Guidelines
There are often questions about the appropriate age to leave children home alone and also what age is recommended to allow a child to begin babysitting. According to the OCFS website, they reiterate that all kids develop at their own rate and they individually have their own abilities and needs.
There are some kids that are able to be left home alone at twelve or thirteen and to babysit at this age because they are responsible, independent, and intelligent enough to do so. But there is a difference between leaving a twelve-year-old home alone for a few hours and having that same kid babysit for a five-year-old. Ultimately, it is left up to the discretion of the parents.
Common sense comes into play for both adults and children. If you, as a parent, feel your child is mature enough to be home alone, then you are the ultimate decision-maker.