07-04-2006, 12:02 AM
There is no legal age for children to stay at home alone. Parents are advised to use their best judgment, keeping the child's maturity level and safety issues in mind. Younger children have a greater need for supervision and care than older children. Obviously, young children under age 10 should not be left without supervision at any time. In most cases, older teenage children may be left alone for short periods of time.
05-29-2008, 02:02 PM
There are very few states in the U.S. with legal minimum ages, but many state agencies have published guidelines. Georgia, Illiniois, Maryland and Oregon are a few of the states with very specific ages. Typically 8 year olds and over can be left at home for up to several hours (usually after school before a parent gets home from work).
12 years old appears to be the most common recommendation. http://www.latchkey-kids.com/latchkey-kids-age-limits.htm provides a state by state comparison.