No set legal age for children being left alone - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Blair Simmons

No set legal age for children being left alone

In light of the tragic New Year's fire that claimed the life of two children, Action News 5 investigated on what the legal age is for children to be left alone.

Believe it or not, there is no legal age.

D.C.S says they recommend parents not leave children under age ten home alone, but even that is subjective. They said even some pre-teens aren't ready to know what to do if something were to happen without an adult around. 

In this case, there were a 4 and 7-year-old left un-supervised. DCS says under no circumstances, were these kids old enough to be left alone. 

"I can tell you this. In the state of Tennessee, leaving a 7 and 4 year old alone would prompt an immediate investigation by the department.  While there is no set guideline in terms of age limit, there is within reason age ranges we know children are not likely to manage themselves without adult supervision -- and a 7 and 4 year old would be included in that," DCS team coordinator Shandrian Guinn said.

D-C-S said they deal with parents leaving young kids home alone every day.They want parents to know, even if there is no set legal age, they need to use their best judgement when leaving kids at home. They point out the parents will be held accountable if something happens.

Click here to e-mail Blair Simmons.

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