I recently read an article about the right age to leave your kid alone at home.

I'm not a parent but I thought this seemed like something that would be legally mandated at the state level, right?  And, certainly, that could be true in Pennsylvania since the state seems to regulate EVERYTHING!

So I did some research to answer the question: "how old does a child actually have to be to stay home alone in Pennsylvania legally?"

Well, I was surprised to learn that Pennsylvania doesn’t, actually, have any laws on the books regarding what age a child must be before they can be left unsupervised at home. 

However, it’s much more complicated than just that because there ARE legal consequences in many instances. Which I’ll get into in a second. 

Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash
Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash

Other states DO regulate this very thing, by the way. For example, I found in Maryland that there's a minimum age of 8 for a child to be left home alone.

Illinois, however, is quite a bit older as they have a minimum age of 14 for kids to be left home alone. 

So what happens in Pennsylvania? Well, when a child is left home, they are still the parent’s responsibility. This can lead to charges of neglect if something happens to that child while they’re alone, pafamilylawyers.com notes. 

So now that we've answered the question about leaving a kid home alone it led me to another question: 

Is It Legal To Leave a Child Alone in a Car in Pennsylvania?

It's illegal to leave a child under the age of 6 unattended in a vehicle. In fact, there's a separate offense for each child left alone in the car.

By the way, it's extra important to remember you should NEVER leave your child alone in a hot car.

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Gallery Credit: Joe, 94.5 PST

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