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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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what is iowa law the age for children can stay home alone

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Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 8 years ago.


According to the Iowa Department of Human Services there is no law which defines the age at which a child may be left home alone. Instead the Department of Human Services conducts investigations of "denial of critical care" and whether there is a "denial of critical care" depends on a variety of circumstances. The following is quoted from the Department of Human Services Website (scroll down to "denial of critical care").

The Department of Human Services receives many inquiries each year regarding when a child can be left home alone safely. Iowa law does not define an age that is appropriate for a child to be left alone. Each situation is unique. Examples of questions to help determine whether there are safety concerns for the child include:

  • Does the child have any physical disabilities?
  • Could the child get out of the house in an emergency?
  • Does the child have a phone and know how to use it?
  • Does the child know how to reach the caretaker?
  • How long will the child be left home alone?
  • Is the child afraid to be left home alone?
  • Does the child know how to respond to an emergency such as fire or injury?

I hope this answers your question.


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