what is the Legal age for a child to stay home alone in Michigan?

I have a 10 year old son that will get home about 15 to 20 min before an adult after school, is this legal for him to let himself into the house and wait for one of us to get there? He would lock the door behind him and call me as soon as he is there. Also, he would not be using like the stove or anything, just watching tv until we get there from work.


We live next door to a stay at home mother of 5 kids that he could go to for help, I have my parents, my sister and aunt/uncle that all live within a mile of my home he could call and the police/fire station is 5 houses down the street.

7 Answers

  • rtfm
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    There's no law in Michigan, but there are some unofficial guidelines. It looks like you're perfectly OK under the circumstances you describe:


    Source(s): Google, as always
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    you can stay home at age 12 or 13, but definitly 17

    Michigan, as almost every state, does not have a law specifying the age at which a minor child can be left home alone. The basic criteria is the circumstances and the amount of time that the child is left rather than age, which creates a legal "Catch-22". The law presumes that the parent(s) or adult caregiver will be prudent in assessing the child or children's level of maturity when making such a decision. It goes without saying one should never leave an infant or small child alone for any length of time. Generally a child under the age of 12 is not considered mature enough to deal with some of the circumstances that might arise.

    If a minor child is injured and needs medical attention or is found left in an environment considered unacceptable (as in no staples, utilities, etc.) the parent or adult caregiver can be charged with child endangerment and/or neglect. Due to the way the statue is written it is strictly a judgment call on the part of the parent or adult in charge.

    Be advised that in almost any state a child under the age of 12 left w/o adult contact for more than twenty-four hours can be considered to have been abandoned.

    12 years old appears to be the most common recommendation. http://www.latchkey-kids.com/latchkey-kids-age-lim... provides a state by state comparison.

  • 1 decade ago

    15 to 20 minutes is probably fine. They must be 13 to stay at home alone over night. It would be side to set up a system for him, like having a neighbor(s) know about this arrangement. Also, teaching him what to do if something happens, besides just calling 911.

  • 1 decade ago

    we had a neighbor kid stay home alone all summer long during the day, and she was 7. I was horrified.

    I think 10 is mature enough to be alone for several hours, if they know the rules and emergency numbers. 12 year olds are allowed to babysit...so I think at 10, a person could care for themselves for a short time. (depending on the individual)

    • babydoll4 years agoReport

      I agree,,ten and up. My kids were ten eleven and twelve when left alone never ovver night and never all day. I was charged with failure (poor) supervision.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Your sons it very mature and resposible for his age but 15 to 20 minutes isn't too much time don't worry about it just as long as he nows what to do during an emergency

  • 1 decade ago

    I do not believe that you will be breaking any laws, however, check with your local police department. Do you have a neighbor that your child could turn to in case there is a real emergency before you get home?


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Your child should be at least 8or12 and they must know a emergency number incase of an emergency.

    Source(s): singelparent.com
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