Legal age to leave a child overnight alone

There is no “legal age” though I have read that the fire department regulations mention that children younger than 8 yrs should not be left alone. DSS looks at the maturity of the child, how long they will be alone, safety of home environment, accessibility of neighbors, child being able to use phone in case of emergency. In my opinion most kids should not be left alone under the age of 8 for any length of time without an adult being around the house to supervise or within close proximity. Once they are over 8 yrs old and if they are mature, enough short periods of time would be ok u- under an hour - and then increasing as they get older as long as they can handle it.

This is usually an issue left to the discretion of the parents. Generally, I don’t recommend that parents leave any minor children home alone all night. There is no specific legal age.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

what is the legal age in n.c. to leave a child alone overnight?