Washington State: What Age Can Kids Be Home Solo?
Being a parent of multiple younger children can be challenging, especially with school and work schedules. What age can kids be home without supervision of a legal adult in Washington State anyway? It sure would make things easier!
What Happens If a Child to Young is Found Home Alone?
If parents are suspected of unlawfully leaving a child alone "each state follows the same specific punishments for these parents, but they also may alter some to satisfy the state rules. If it is suspected that a child is unlawfully left alone at home, Child Protective Services (CPS) will begin an investigation to determine the child's safety in the household. If the investigation shows that the child was in danger while alone, they will be taken into state custody" according to worldpopulationreview.
What Are the Differences Between States?
There is a slight difference between a lot of the United States about this issue. 39 states basically have no rules; however, a few have recommendations. Look at these differences as an example.
- 14 Years Old for Illinois
- 12 Years Old for Mississippi, Delaware, and Colorado
- 11 Years Old for Michigan
- 10 Years Old for Tennessee, Oregon, and New Mexico
- 9 Years Old for North Dakota
- 8 Years Old for North Carolina, Maryland, and Georgia
- 6 Years Old for Kansas
How Does a Childs Maturity Affect Things?
Not all children are the same and some are more mature than others. Does your child make good decisions, and can they take care of themselves? Do they feel ok about being home alone or are they scared? Do they normally follow the rules, or do they have a disability? These are all important questions you need to ask yourself when trying to decide this for your family.
What is the Law in Washington State?
There is technically no law for the age your children can be alone in Washington State believe it or not. There is a Washington State law about leaving children under 16 alone in your car while the engine is running. Otherwise, the State handles this with guidance from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. That guidance says 12 years old is the age and "children between the ages of nine and twelve can be left alone for less than two hours and children who are 13 or older can be left alone and perform the role of a babysitter."
What Age Should a Child Not be Left Home Alone in Washington?
The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services says that no child 8 or younger should be left home solo. Basically, if you leave a young child home and something happens to them, you are found liable if they are found to be "to young" under the above guidelines. That is why asking all of those questions need to be asked before you make your own decision. The State law gives parents leeway to make that decision for themselves until there is a problem.