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Michelle, Paralegal
Category: Legal
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Experience:  31 years of experience in criminal, real estate, juvenile and family law
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What age can a child be left home alone

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Is there a legal age in Tennessee? I know about a mother leaving her 10 year old and her 5 year old alone overnight and sometimes even longer. What should I do?
You should contact the Child Protective Services it is a crime (children under 14 can not be left home alone) child neglect,child endangerment, and many other crimes could ensue based on this inofrmation. Do the right thing by these children and report this.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Kelly Spurlock's Post: Several web sites I checked said that in some states 10 to 12 year olds is legal, is this correct? Also, this mother usually leaves them on the weekend while she goes out to the bars. She has instructed the 10 yr old not to tell anyone that she leaves them alone. I wondered if it would be best to contact the police when the children are actually there alone?


Tennessee does not specify an age that a child can legally be left home alone.

Illionis (age 14) and MD (age 8) are the only two states, that I am aware of that have these requirements.

This is what Children Services in TN says on its website about the issue

There is no legal age for children to stay at home alone. Parents are advised to use their best judgment, keeping the child's maturity level and safety issues in mind. Younger children have a greater need for supervision and care than older children. Obviously, young children under age 10 should not be left without supervision at any time. In most cases, older teenage children may be left alone for short periods of time.

You can CLICK HERE to read more - additionally, I always recommend the SAFE KIDS website - for dos and dont's in this matter.

Keep in mind, that TN does have child neglect and reckless endangerment laws that could apply, in the event that something unfortunate should happen to the children, absent adult supervision.


If my answer has been helpful, please ACCEPT my answer so I get credit for my effort to help you . If I can be of further help, let me know. Appropriate FEEDBACK is appreciated as is a bonus. Thanks ~ Michelle

Michelle, Paralegal
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4136
Experience: 31 years of experience in criminal, real estate, juvenile and family law
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