There are several instances when having to leave the house and leave your child at home, alone. But, is that child old enough, and responsible to prevent and cope with emergencies?

You may find this hard to believe but South Dakota Law says a child at the age of 10 can be left home alone.

Growing up with a learning and caring parent is the beginning. Passing on important life lessons will not only strengthen trust in your kids but also give them the tools they'll need as they become the older sibling who is left in charge.

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Keeping your kids safe at all times can be challenging. You can't always be watching them. By giving them chores and added duties they will overcome any fear of being alone and becoming bored.

Our state neighbors around us also have age limits for children being left home alone.
Home Alone Rules by State:

  • Minnesota - 8
  • Nebraska - 7
  • North Dakota - 9

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

According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa law does not define an age that is appropriate for a child to be left alone. Each situation is unique. Examples of questions to help determine whether there are safety concerns for the child include:

  • 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?

Ten Commandments of Sioux Falls

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