HOUSTON — Our verify team is tackling a question many parents have: How old do children have to be before you can leave them home alone?
A KHOU viewer asked us about the law in Texas that covers the topic.
Our Verify Fact Checkers went straight to the state department of family and protective services and found Texas law does not specify an age when a child is old enough to stay home alone.
An adult caregiver is responsible for making sure children are capable of caring for themselves.
If you leave a kid alone, who can't care for themselves, then you can be charged with neglect.
The department of family and protective services has tips to help adults figure out if their child is ready to be left alone:
- How old, emotionally mature, and capable is your child?
- What is the layout and safety of the home? Can they get out if they need to?
- What are the hazards in the neighborhood?
- What is your child's ability to respond to emergencies?
So we can Verify that there is no exact age that children must reach to be left home alone but it's important to make sure the child is old enough and well equipped to handle emergencies.