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what age can a child be left alone in a car

Customer Question

the age a child can be left in a car unattended while a adult goes to doctor?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Medicine&Law replied 10 years ago.


A child should never be left in a car unattended in a car. If the child is old enough to sit quietly in the doctors waiting room, this would be appropriate.

Most doctors offices do not mind one or two children ages ten or above waiting for a parent in the waiting room. This should be avoided if at all possible. Never leave an older child to care for a younger child in the waiting room as many doctor's offices will not allow this.

If you have a teenager that prefers to wait for you in the car, that is one thing. Leaving a child under the age of ten in a car would be grounds for the police to possibly be called.

There are no laws that specify what age a child can be left in a car alone, because in reality no children should ever be left unattended in a car. This depends on the comfort zone not only of the parent, but also the child. A child should be old enough to know never to unlock the car doors or roll down the window to speak to strangers. Also, the child should be old enough to remember where the doctor's office is located in an emergency.

Please let me know if you have questions.

Kids and Car Safety