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What age can you leave your child at home alone?

14 votes
What age do you think it's ok to leave your (only) child home alone...

...for 5 mintues while you run to the corner store?

...for 1-3 hours while you do the shopping?

...for a few hours at night while you have dinner with friends, etc.?

What about the 2-3 hours daily after school until I get home from work?
asked in Kids by crackintoes (746 points)

3 Answers

8 votes
I started to leave my son alone for for 5 mins to run to the corner store.... age 10

1-3 hrs. to shop... age 12

for  a few hours... age 13

EVERY child is different, do whats best for YOU!
answered by bcpotts (7,692 points)
Looks like you hit the nail on the head with this answer bcpotts.  No need for me to chime in.
Perfectly spot on answer :)
3 votes
Trying to remember, I think it was about the age of 10 as well, in little spurts (5 -10 minutes max!)  By the time he was 13, he would be home alone after school for an hour, maybe two.  We actually had the neighbours keeping a close eye on the house and/or he was allowed to have one friend over to keep him company.
answered by karlisss (3,585 points)
1 vote
At about 10 my daughter was pretty good about being in the apartment (2nd floor) alone for max. an hour. I would be in the basement doing laundry or at the neighbours. At 13 I had no problem leaving her for a few hours.

Not sure how this will play out with my son as he has no stranger danger concept (still!) and would let the whole neighbourhood into the house!
answered by Guppy (6,010 points)