Home / Leaving your Kids Home Alone – Includes Michigan Law

Leaving your Kids 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, below are some questions to consider when leaving your kids home alone.

leaving kids home alone

Is your kid ready to be left home alone?

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

Information to go over before leaving kids home alone

I suggest having a home alone folder. In the book you will place important information. List emergency contacts, such as your phone numbers, a trusted neighbors phone number, emergency numbers, preferred hospital, doctor’s number, dentist info as well as a nearby relative. You will also want to include the house address as well as major crossroads and copies of insurance cards.

Go over the basic rules. What activities are off limits? Be specific, write it down and leave the list so there are no questions later about the rules. Can your children use the stove? Is it okay to have friends over? Can your children play outside?

Show your child how to lock and unlock windows and doors and go over the emergency evacuation plan. A copy of this plan should also be in the folder.

Michigan Law regarding leaving kids home alone

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]