Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Children Home Alone

Reader question:

"What is the legal age for kids to stay home alone in Illinois whether it be all day or a part of the day? I have seen several different answers on the web for this question and even asked a daycare and they didn't know a definite answer. "

The Department of Children and Family Services says there is no state law mandating a specific age. If they are dealing with a neglect accusation and the child stays home alone, they look at a number factors including the maturity of the child, whether the child can get a hold of the parent easily and whether an adult neighbor is home.

I think this is an interesting topic. The parents I know with older kids let them stay home by themselves and sometimes with a younger sibling starting around 10-11 years old. I haven't really thought about it much. I will probably see how mature my oldest is at the time. Right now, 10-11 years old feels young to me.

What are your thoughts? At what age is it okay for a child to stay home alone? At what age can a child stay home alone with a younger sibling?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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