At what age can a child be left at home alone?


Oregon law does not state specifically an age at which children may be left home. However, ORS 163.545 states, “(1) A person having custody or control of a child under ten years of age commits the crime of child neglect if, with criminal negligence, the person leaves the child unattended in or at any place for such period of time as may be likely to endanger the health or welfare of such child.” While many persons in agencies take this law to mean that no child under age ten may be left alone, and all children over age ten may be left, this law has significant qualifiers regarding leaving children alone. Police evaluate all such calls and incidents on their own merit.

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