The summer months should be enjoyed with your friends, visiting relatives, trips to your favorite ice cream shop, and an afternoon spent at your neighborhood swimming pool, or a bike ride around the city.

With the kids out of school and parents working full time, should mom and dad be concerned about leaving their children home alone to savor the leisure life?

Some families that have several siblings rely on the oldest or older to look after their younger sisters and brothers. But then they too want to escape and enjoy the summer with their friends.

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In South Dakota and Minnesota, the age a child can be left alone is determined by the state.

South Dakota Law says a child at the age of 10 can be left home alone.

For those in neighboring Minnesota, the age is 8 years old.

The state of Nebraska says seven.

But in Iowa as in several states, there is no age limit.

How To Know Your Child is Ready to be Home Alone:

Below are some tips to help determine whether there are safety concerns for a child being left at home alone:

  • Does the child have any physical disabilities?
  • Could the child get out of the house in an emergency?
  • Does the child have a phone and know how to use it?
  • Does the child know how to reach the caretaker?
  • How long will the child be left home alone?
  • Is the child afraid to be left home alone?
  • Does the child know how to respond to an emergency such as fire or injury?

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