Can You Leave Your Kid Home Alone In NY Without Getting Arrested?
In the movie "Home Alone," Kevin McCallister is left behind when his family goes off to Paris for the holidays. Although 'Home Alone' is a movie, would you get in legal trouble if you left your child home alone in New York state in real life?
If you are a parent, chances are there was a time when you asked yourself if your child was old enough to be left home alone. Things happen and sometimes it's inevitable. But what is the legal age you can leave your child home alone in New York state?
What is the Legal Age to Leave Kids Home Alone in New York State?
New York State Office for Children and Family Services (OFCS) says that no law states a legal age to leave your children home unattended. They leave it up to the discretion of the parent or guardian. However, they say to use proper judgment.
The New York State Office of Child and Family Services Does Have Some Guidelines
There are often questions about the appropriate age to leave children home alone and also what age is recommended to allow a child to begin babysitting. According to the OCFS website, they reiterate that all kids develop at their own rate and they individually have their abilities and needs.
There are some kids that are able to be left home alone at twelve or thirteen. Other kids are able to babysit at this age because they are responsible, independent, and intelligent enough to do so. But there is a difference between leaving a twelve-year-old home alone for a few hours and having that same kid babysit for a five-year-old. Ultimately, it is left up to the discretion of the parents.
We all know that 'Home Alone' is a movie but in New York state if it did actually happen, there wouldn't be any consequences for The McCallisters. However, all of the ingenious acts that Kevin did to outsmart the Wet Bandits would have alerted the NY State Police and he would have been hailed a hero.
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Gallery Credit: Matty Jeff