At What Age Can You Leave Your Kids Home Alone in Texas?
The holidays can be quite a puzzle for parents. Schools have closed for a long winter nap, leaving parents to find ways to keep their kids occupied and stay out of trouble for at least 2 weeks – sometimes without parental supervision.
At what age can you leave a child alone at home? Is 10 years too young? What if we let a 14 year old look after an 8 or 9 year old?
Whether you need to leave the kids at home all day during the winter break because you can’t take a day off or find / afford a babysitter, or choose to leave them for a few hours so you can do Christmas shopping and running errands related is a question that many parents grapple with during the holidays.
At what age can I legally leave my children home alone in Texas?
Most experts agree on your child’s maturity, and the laws in your state are the best way to determine when it’s okay to leave children home alone.
In the Lone Star State, that means it’s essentially a parenting decision. According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website:
Texas law does not say how old is old enough for a child to be home alone. “
In other words, in Texas there is no minimum age required. However, leaving a child or children alone with the television on and a few hot pockets in the refrigerator may result in investigation or charges if it is determined that the child is not being properly supervised.
DFPS considers your child not being adequately supervised as “negligent supervision”, which it defines as “placing a child or failing to remove him from a situation that a reasonable person believes would require judgment or actions beyond the child’s maturity level, physical condition or mental capacity and which result in bodily injury or significant risk of immediate harm to the child. “
Things to Consider Before Deciding to Leave Your Children Home Alone
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services recommends that you consider several factors before making your decision, including the child’s age, emotional maturity, and abilities; if he has a mental, physical or medical disability; how long and how often the child will be left alone; and the child’s ability to react in an emergency.
Do you have questions or suspicions?
If you need further clarification or if you suspect a child has been abused or neglected, or if you have questions about a situation that you believe may be abuse or neglect, call the Texas Abuse Hotline. at 1-800-252-5400.
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