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Old 06-16-2007, 12:42 AM
 
Location: Between Here and There
3,684 posts, read 8,081,287 times
Reputation: 1600
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Around here if you don't use middle school age babysitters you might as well forget ever going out. I have twins that are 12 that babysit and yes, they do know what to do if a child has a seizure (call 911 and keep him safe), if there is a gas leak--get out of the house, etc. They have had child development classes in school and are Red Cross Certified babysitters. They are also going into 7th grade and while 12 sounds young it really isn't. Heck, they are more responsible then a lot of parents I know.

As for laws and leaving kids alone/babysitting--NO state has a LAW about that--actually Illinois and Maryland do but the laws are very vague and are more guidelines Children Home Alone and Babysitter Age Guidelines (broken link) . Think of the liability issues if a state says a 14 year old can babysit and that 14 year old isn't responsible and a child dies--the state will get sued because they said a 14 year old could babysit.

Obviously there are some areas of the country that are not as safe as others and you have to judge that but most 12 year olds are capable of babysitting and yes, my 12 year old could put your child to bed.
Actually Maryland's law is quite clear....Family Law Article, 5-801, provides:

(a) A person who is charged with the care of a child under the age of 8 years may not allow the child to be locked or confined in a dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle while the person charged is absent and the dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle is out of the sight of the person charged unless the person charged provides a reliable person at least 13 years old to remain with the child to protect the child.

A friend of mine got in trouble with child services for leaving her then 6 year old home with her then 12 year old daughter....long story...she got called into work for an emergency (she's an RN and we take call shifts never really thinking we will be called in) and her husband was stuck in traffic...so during the 30 minutes they would have been alone the cops showed up because of a dog complaint and the daughter knew she wasn't old enough to babysit and blurted out that she was 13....so they knew something was up. Now this girl was definitely responsible and mature enough to be sitting for her calm 6 year old sister, heck when she turned 13 only a few months after this happened she started to sit for my crazy then 3 1/2 year old, but that's not the law so she had lots of problems for a while...home spot checks and all.
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Old 06-16-2007, 06:43 AM
 
20,804 posts, read 29,203,892 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishmom View Post
Actually Maryland's law is quite clear....Family Law Article, 5-801, provides:

(a) A person who is charged with the care of a child under the age of 8 years may not allow the child to be locked or confined in a dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle while the person charged is absent and the dwelling, building, enclosure, or motor vehicle is out of the sight of the person charged unless the person charged provides a reliable person at least 13 years old to remain with the child to protect the child.

A friend of mine got in trouble with child services for leaving her then 6 year old home with her then 12 year old daughter....long story...she got called into work for an emergency (she's an RN and we take call shifts never really thinking we will be called in) and her husband was stuck in traffic...so during the 30 minutes they would have been alone the cops showed up because of a dog complaint and the daughter knew she wasn't old enough to babysit and blurted out that she was 13....so they knew something was up. Now this girl was definitely responsible and mature enough to be sitting for her calm 6 year old sister, heck when she turned 13 only a few months after this happened she started to sit for my crazy then 3 1/2 year old, but that's not the law so she had lots of problems for a while...home spot checks and all.
Actually if you read what it says it says that a child under 8 can't be LOCKED in a house or car without someone 13 or older--it doesn't say they can't be home alone with them. They word that VERY carefully because what if someone said "the law said my 13 year old was old enough to watch my 8 year old and my 8 year old died because of..."
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Between Here and There
3,684 posts, read 8,081,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Actually if you read what it says it says that a child under 8 can't be LOCKED in a house or car without someone 13 or older--it doesn't say they can't be home alone with them. They word that VERY carefully because what if someone said "the law said my 13 year old was old enough to watch my 8 year old and my 8 year old died because of..."
I think the word "reliable" relieves them from liability...that term is subjective so if anyone were to contest that the state doesn't deem the person as reliable. Also if you read it again it states that if the child is out of sight of the responsible party that they have to be left in the charge of a reliable person of no less than 13 years old....so even if they are not locked in if you can't see them you have to have a sitter that is at least 13.
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Old 06-17-2007, 08:08 PM
 
20,804 posts, read 29,203,892 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishmom View Post
I think the word "reliable" relieves them from liability...that term is subjective so if anyone were to contest that the state doesn't deem the person as reliable. Also if you read it again it states that if the child is out of sight of the responsible party that they have to be left in the charge of a reliable person of no less than 13 years old....so even if they are not locked in if you can't see them you have to have a sitter that is at least 13.

No it doesn't--it says that a child under 8 can't be confined to a building, car, etc. if the 'person in charge' is not in that building or the car is out of site unless a reliable person over the age of 13 is present. That means a mom can't lock her 8 year old in the car and run into the store. It says nothing about leaving an 8 year old in a OPEN car.
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Old 06-23-2007, 06:03 AM
 
54 posts, read 198,633 times
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i know in new york there is no law about age to stay home alone it just says "Some children are responsible, intelligent, and independent enough to be left alone at 12 or 13 years of age. Likewise, there are some teenagers who are too irresponsible or who have special needs that limit their ability to be safe if they are left alone." ps this is off of
Frequently Asked Questions - Child Abuse Prevention - New York State Office of Children & Family Services
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Old 06-23-2007, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
4,739 posts, read 5,266,557 times
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I always told my kids when to go to bed and then the baby sitter, that way I knew when my sons heard me pull up outside they would jump in bed real quick before I walked through the door. Dads are so stupid....ha ha ha!
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Old 02-16-2008, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,592 posts, read 21,370,461 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor41796 View Post
Well, ppl keep on saying that 12 is to young to babysit, and... well, I'm 12 and I have babysat small infants!

I have babysat 3 years olds, 6 year ols, 7 and 8--9!!

Now I know a few of my friends who would not be responsible enough to babysit.

but I think it matters on the responsability on the sitter
The reality here is that according to the Department of Children and Families it might not actually be legal for you to babysit infants. If something were to go wrong and you not know what to do or have to call the police, the parents could get into trouble for leaving their infant with someone of your age.

My daughter is 11 and I don't even leave her at home alone, that will not change when she is 12, nevermind leaving her in charge of an infant. Not because she is a bad kid but because she is a kid.
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:37 PM
 
Location: South FL
9,444 posts, read 9,330,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stc123 View Post
should i have a 12 year old babysitter put my son to bed or should ihave my son stay up until we get home? (we will get home at 11:30)
is it even legal?
I'm not asking it to be snarky, I thought that there is the age limit for babysitting.w
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Denver
1,084 posts, read 2,749,979 times
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In Colorado, it is illegal to leave a 12 year old alone, you have to be at least 13 to babysit.
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
934 posts, read 8,945 times
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depends on the maturity level of the sitter.

I wouldn't let my 17 year old sister (almost 18) babysit my dog.

My 15 year old brother has babysat for me before and he and the kids had a great time!

My daughter is 9 and by the time she is 12 will babysit our son (who is 22 months now). She does 'mini sessions' now- shell watch him while I'm outside talking to a neighbor or weeding the garden or something.
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