How old is old enough to leave your kids home alone?

Susan Terrillion of Maryland was arrested last week for the grievous crime of leaving her 8- and 9-year-old kids alone at their vacation rental in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, while she went out to pick up food.

The age at which it's legal to leave children alone varies by state, from no age limit, to 14!  There is no federal law.

In New York state, there is no specific age requirement.

The neighbor of the rental property called police after he helped the children wrangle their dog who had gotten away.

When the mother got back from the grocery store 45 minutes later she was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of her children.  She out on bail.  Neither of the children, nor the dog sustained injury.

What is the right age to leave children home alone? Should this mom have been arrested? Did the neighbor go too far?

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