What Age Can South Dakota Kids Be Left Home Alone Legally?
When you're a kid, all you want to do is take have a little responsibility. This includes taking on the challenge to stay home alone.
Parents or guardians obviously know best when it comes to figuring out when their child or children are ready to stay home alone. Some kids are more mature than others. However, there could be some laws and regulations with guidelines that outlines the appropriate ages to be left home alone.
According to the website iMom, a 10-year-old South Dakota child can legally stay home alone. That seems pretty young to allow a child to be left at home. Other reports indicate that there is no age limit on leaving your child at home in the state.
So if you feel like your children are ready to be home alone, here are some helpful tips for your kids to follow when you're away. This is a great fact sheet from the South Dakota Safety Council.
The South Dakota Safety Council really emphasizes safety when kids are home alone. They explain to parents, "Children at home alone should be able to prevent and cope with emergencies. They must also have a strong sense of responsibility and be mature enough to care for themselves. Some children enjoy caring for themselves and welcome additional responsibilities while others become easily bored, lonely or scared. Only the adults closest to the child know if he or she is ready to spend some time at home alone." They provide tips on how to reduce the risk of injury when adults aren't home for a period of time.
The following tips are from South Dakota Safety Council:
- Install smoke detectors outside all sleeping areas and on every level of your home.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach.
- Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees F. This temperature will not scald but should provide plenty of hot water.
- Teach your child what to do in case of fire and how to get out of the house quickly.
- The surface under play equipment should be soft and resilient, not hard ground.
- Keep stairs well-lit and clear of clutter.
- Put safety latches on all cabinet doors, or store medicines and other poisonous substances in original containers with child-resistant caps, locked out of reach.
- If guns are kept in the house, keep them unloaded and locked separate from the ammunition.
It's also a good idea to keep phone numbers near the telephones in the house.
It's always exciting when a child stays home alone for the first time. As parents, remember to remind kids that it's a big responsibility. More responsibilities can only grow from there.