Q:

At what age can children be left home alone in Pennsylvania?

A:

Pennsylvania law does not specify an age at which children may be left home alone. This important question has gained national attention recently as parents try to decide when their children are old enough to be left to care for themselves or others.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, it is important to consider each child's maturity and ability to react appropriately in an emergency situation. Other important considerations include how long the child is to be left alone as well as the time of day. As parents give consideration to these important factors, they should keep in mind that this vague legal definition may leave them vulnerable to legal charges of child neglect. Even without setting a specific age limit, parents are charged with appropriately judging whether their child is ready for this responsibility.


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