Jan 14, 2016

Leaving your Children Home Alone - Includes Michigan Law

There's so much to consider when you are a parent.  One of the big decisions you will make is when to leave your child home alone.  Each child is different, and only you know when your child is capable of handling the task.  That being said here are some questions to consider:

• What is the child’s age and developmental capability?
• How many other children are in the home? What are their ages?
• How long will you be gone gone?
• What time of day will the child be home alone?
• Is the child fearful? Would the child experience distress about being home alone?
• Does the child have access to and know how to use a phone in case of an emergency?
• Does the child know what to do in case of an emergency?
• Does the child generally follow the rules?

The State of Michigan Child Protection Handbook states (on page 16) “According to the Child Protection Law, there is no legal age that a child can be left home alone. It is determined on a case by case basis but as a rule of thumb, a child 10 years old and younger is not responsible enough to be left home alone. A child over the age of 10 and under the age of 12 will be evaluated but the case may not always be assigned for a CPS investigation.”

How do Michigan Laws stack up to other States?  Here is a chart from http://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com/

[Source: Guidelines for Leaving Kids alone at Home]
How old were you when you first begin to stay home alone?  How old were your children?  When do you plan to allow them to stay at home alone if they aren't old enough yet?  What do you think of the Michigan Law?

Metro Detroit Mommy Writer:

1 comment :

  1. I have an order sibling that is three years older than me. The very first time we were left home alone, we were both very sick and in bed. Mom had to run to the drug store to get us meds. I think we were 6 & 9 (late 80s). She was gone for 20 minutes. When my sibling was 12, we were left home alone when mom or dad ran short errands during the daytime. Starting at 11, I was home alone after I got home from school and before mom or dad got home from work. Dad worked 10 minutes away and almost always called to check in a few minutes after he knew I was home.

    We have very young children right now. I can see ourselves evaluating their maturity before deciding if they can handle being left home alone and not use at is an opportunity to be mischievous. Who knows what the world will be like in 10 years when we will be making this decision.