What Is the Legal Age for A Child to Be Home Alone In MA?
Before you know it, the holidays will be here, and it'll be time to snuggle up to watch the Home Alone movies. Except would a child in real life be able to defeat the wet bandits alone? Anyways all jokes aside, it was only a fantasy but I'm pretty sure if you have a big family like Kevin McCallister, your biggest fear would be leaving your youngest behind.
Shockingly, with a lot of strict laws that we have in the Baystate, there is no age restriction on children staying home alone. Now obviously there's an exception when a child is neglected or abandoned which Massachusetts takes a case like that very seriously. Below is information from mass.gov.
110 CMR 2.00
"Whenever used throughout 110 CMR, the following words shall have the following meanings, unless the context plainly requires otherwise....
Neglect means failure by a caretaker, either deliberately or through negligence or inability, to take those actions necessary to provide a child with minimally adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, supervision, emotional stability and growth, or other essential care; provided, however, that such inability is not due solely to inadequate economic resources or solely to the existence of a handicapping condition. This definition is not dependent upon location (i.e., neglect can occur while the child is in an out-of-home or in-home setting.)"
See also, the Mass. Dept. of Children and Families web page on Reporting child abuse and neglect. To report suspected child abuse, call (800) KIDS-508, or after hours, (800) 792-5200.
Under no circumstances I would ever dream of leaving a child home alone unless they were 100% ready to be independent. As of right now, I don't have any children but I do have nieces and nephews that I can relate about.
Heck, when I was a kid, my parents would only go for a quick errand and tell me keep the doors locked and don't answer to any strangers that may show up. I was like 11 or 12 at the time but I also had a dog that would bark like a madman when someone knocked at the door.
So what age do you feel it's okay to leave your child home alone? Let us know on the station app.