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Unread 03-23-2012, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Central North Carolina
1,336 posts, read 1,426,019 times
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Default what age can you leave a child unattended (Cary if it matters)

For instance, if you need to run to the store or want to go for a jog before they wake up. I know 6 is too young and 18 is plenty old but what ag do you think is appropriate?


(I posted here instead of parenting board because I am mostly interested in what the law says. I feel the child in question is OK to handle. She and the parent both have a phone....)

Thoughts? Facts?
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Unread 03-23-2012, 06:24 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
7,948 posts, read 8,094,488 times
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If she's old enough to have a phone she's old enough to be left...IMHO - but in honesty it really depends on the child. There are state laws in some (many) states about when it's actually legal.

I've been leaving my 11 year olds alone for about 2 years, for about an hour at a time. One is very trustworthy. The other not so much....and he really doesn't like being left alone. I try to keep it really brief if for some reason he needs to be left totally alone.

The only thing that would worry me about leaving a sleeping child is their inability to wake up for a fire alarm. All 3 of my kids have slept thru absolutely blaring fire alarms. The last time I had to have the FD come and I told them my daughter could not be roused and they said it's a very common occurrence with kids and that the best fire alarms for kids are the ones that say "FIRE! WAKE UP NOW!" which we obviously don't have.
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Unread 03-23-2012, 06:28 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
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I found this:

Latchkey Kids Legal Age Limits Listed By State

I used to work with a woman who worked for CPS and she said they usually consider age 12 to be appropriate - that's a bit old IMHO.
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Unread 03-23-2012, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
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Quote:
I know 6 is too young
It may not be. I know for a fact my 5yo daughter would be absolutely fine if I left her at home alone for a few hours. Would I do it? Hell no.

Quote:
I am mostly interested in what the law says.
I think it's absolutely pathetic there has to be a law that dictates at which age a child can be left home alone. A parent should know what age is appropriate as it all depends on how good of a parenting job the child has received.

What else is pathetic every year I have to renew my license to fish.
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Unread 03-23-2012, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
98 posts, read 157,576 times
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I had always heard that 11 years was the appropriate age. But it depends on the child's maturity. As a parent you should know how comfortable your child is being home alone. Some are thrilled and others are scared. It depends on your child and I don't believe there is a legal age required before one can be left home alone. If you're nervous about it, start out in stages of a half hour then an hour etc. until everyone is okay with the situation.
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Unread 03-23-2012, 10:20 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 6,294,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underPSI View Post
I I know for a fact my 5yo daughter would be absolutely fine if I left her at home alone for a few hours. .
Unless something goes wrong ...
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Unread 03-23-2012, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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There is no legal age in NC. Fire code says 8.
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Unread 03-24-2012, 03:20 AM
 
Location: Containment Area, NC
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^that's the correct answer. Don't leave a child under 8 home alone. Also? Don't leave a child under 8 at home without another individual that can be responsible for him/her. There's no specific age for that one, but obviously it may well be frowned upon if you have your 9yo watching your toddler all alone while you're at work. If there was a fire and either child was harmed? You might be facing charges. I never left mine home without anyone younger than a teenager when they were under 8.
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Unread 03-24-2012, 08:22 AM
 
1,513 posts, read 3,138,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underPSI View Post
What else is pathetic every year I have to renew my license to fish.
Why? You can do it online, it has never been easier.
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Unread 03-24-2012, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
2,136 posts, read 3,504,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toot68 View Post
Why? You can do it online, it has never been easier.
Yeah, I know. I think you missed my sarcasm with the statement. My point was I have to have a license to fish but any idiot (not directed toward the o.p., just general population) can have a child.


Quote:
Unless something goes wrong ...
You are correct which is why I wouldn't leave her alone. However, even if something did go wrong I'm certain she'd be able to handle the situation better than the majority of other kids her age.
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