When Can I Leave My Children Home Alone?

Arizona has no law dictating how old a child must be to be left home alone.

When Can I Leave My Children Home Alone?

Trusting when their children are able to be left home alone can be a big decision for many parents. In Arizona, this decision is left entirely up to the parents’ discretion, as the state does not officially designate a minimum age at which minors can be legally left home alone.

With that said, the Arizona Department of Child Safety takes reports of child neglect seriously. Leaving a child alone in a situation where they are at an unreasonable risk of harm falls into the category of child neglect, for which DCS can investigate. If you do happen to find DCS has come knocking, follow our guidelines here.

Parents are encouraged to determine their child’s readiness to be left home alone based on a number of factors, including their maturity, their ability to care for themselves, their ability to follow rules, and their ability to handle emergencies, including reaching out to 911 or another adult. Every child will be different, even siblings within the same family.

Tucson Medical Center provides handy pamphlets and workbooks for both parents and children to determine readiness to be left home alone, along with emergency plans and other necessary elements.

According to A.R.S. 13-3623, neglect of a child can be charged as a felony. Intentional neglect is a class 2 felony, reckless neglect is a class 3 felony, and negligent neglect is a class 4 felony. To understand child abuse laws in Arizona, click here to read our article.

If you have concerns about leaving your child home alone, or if DCS is questioning you for any reason, call the experienced attorneys as Rideout Law Group. Our firm prides itself on its ability to handle criminal charges as well as cases involving DCS and family or juvenile law.



With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.

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