At What Age Can A Child Be Left Home Alone In New York and Pennsylvania?
While I was scanning through the endless amount of holiday movies available to watch through the many services we have access to this time of year, I was surprised to find out just how many of those 'Home Alone' movies were made.
I was aware of the first two starring Macaulay Culkin in 1990 and 1992. The third installment came out in 1997 titled 'Home Alone 3.' 'Home Alone 4' was released in 2002, the fifth movie titled ' Home Alone: The Holiday Heist' came out in 2012, and finally (hopefully) the sixth movie premiered in November of this year (2021) with the title of 'Home Sweet Home Alone.'
So, this all made me wonder in real life, what are the rules for a child being left home alone. Well, to my surprise, this is what I found on the New York City ACS Parents' Guide to New York State Child Abuse and Neglect Laws:
"According to the law, there is no set age at which you can leave a child alone. The parent is responsible for deciding whether or not the child is mature and responsible enough to understand the circumstances and take care of home or herself." - New York City ACS
The guide also mentions that "very young children cannot take care of themselves and should not be left alone."
Then, I checked to find out the law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania concerning child home alone rules. The Lisa Marie Vari & Associates website states the same as New York State that there is no set age limit for a child to be left home alone, but if anything happens to that child or children, the parents can be charged with neglect.
Bottom line? Don't leave children home alone, unless you have one old enough to care for themselves and any other children in the home. I was 13 when my parents began to let us be home alone. And of course, being the eldest of five siblings, I got to be the supervisor. Not a job I cherished, especially when it was time for the brats, I mean my siblings, to go to sleep.