Home Alone Guidelines

Things to consider when leaving children "home alone". The following guidelines are used by the Chisago County Health and Human Services Department. They are not the only things to be considered. A child's physical and mental health should be taken into account, along with other environmental safety factors.

Supervision Guidelines
  • Take the child's physical and mental health into account.
  • Children 7 and younger may not be left without supervision
  • Children 8 may not be left alone for more than 2 hours
  • Children 9 may not be left alone for more than four hours
  • Children 10 and 11 may not be left alone for more than 10 hours during the daytime and 6 hours in the evening.
  • Children 12 to 14 may not be left alone if the caretaker is not returning that same day.
  • Caretakers may not leave children alone for more than 24 hours unless they are over age 15.
Babysitting Age Guidelines
  • Children may not baby sit younger children until age 11 or older and the caretaker must return later that same day.
  • Children may not baby sit younger children for more than 24 hours, unless they are over age 15.
Safety Guidelines
  • Easy accessibility of parent or caretaker by phone or in person.
  • Take the child's physical and mental health into account.
  • Consider the behavioral history of the children.
  • Is the young child able to reach and use a stove, iron or other dangerous appliance?
  • Is there an escape or fire drill plan?
  • Is there a smoke detector?
  • Are there hazards in the home?
  • How does the child react to being left?
  • What are the ages of the children being watched?
  • How reliable is the babysitter and have they completed a babysitting clinic?