Skip to Main Content

Start Of Main Content

When can you leave kids home alone?

Here's what parents and children need to know.

Being able to stay home alone is a big milestone for both kids and their parents but there are several considerations to keep in mind. Here are a few things to think about before leaving kids home alone.

How old and mature they are: Generally, kids under 10 should not be left home alone. But three states specify a minimum age: 14 in Illinois, 10 in Oregon and 8 in Maryland. If you don't live in one of those states, look instead for proven independence and maturity.

How long they should stay alone: Start with a short amount of time 30 minutes to an hour and gradually increase it as both you and your child feel more comfortable.

How they can handle the following :

  • Kitchen safety and meal prep. Your child should know basic kitchen safety rules, including how to safely use the oven, stove and knives and how to clean up after a meal. It may be a good idea to set out snacks or a premade meal for your child while you're away.
  • Visitors. Does your child know what to do if someone comes to the door? One of the safest options is to advise her not to open the door while you're away.
  • Emergency situations. Your child should know what constitutes an emergency and what steps to take if one should arise. He or she should know basic first-aid and feel comfortable calling you or 911.

Phone calls. In case of an emergency, your child should be comfortable making phone calls and speaking on the phone. She also should know what to do if the phone rings while you're not home.

State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites hyperlinked from this page. State Farm has no discretion to alter, update, or control the content on the hyperlinked, third party site. Access to third party sites is at the user's own risk, is being provided for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any of the products which may be referenced on such third party sites.


Get a Quote

Select a product to start a quote.


Contact Us

844-373-0003 844-373-0003

Also Important

5 Steps for a Safe Family Road Trip

5 Steps for a Safe Family Road Trip

A little pre-trip planning can go a long way toward making your family's road trip safe and memorable.

Keeping Kids Safe When Sledding

Keeping Kids Safe When Sledding

Know how to steer your children from danger so their snowy ride can be thrilling.

Related Articles

Tips to help care for elderly parents in your home

Tips to help care for elderly parents in your home

Consider making these adjustments when caring for elderly parents in your home.

Safety Tips for Ocean Swimming

Safety Tips for Ocean Swimming

Keep these in mind when you hit the beach.

Teaching Your Kids Emergency Preparedness

Teaching Your Kids Emergency Preparedness

Help kids understand what to do in the event of a weather emergency, and get our emergency preparedness tips for you and your family.