Salt Lake City, UT asked in Family Law for Utah

Q: Hello my oldest daughter is 12 years of age i also have a 10 year old daughter and a 5 year old son. Question is, it

Legal for my 12 year old to be home alone with the other 2 from 3 pm to 3to5 am

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Utah Code Annotated 34-23-205 lists "baby-sitting" as a permitted occupation for minors 12 years of age or older, so the short answer to "is it legal" would be yes. The reasonableness of leaving minor children in the care of another minor is subjective and would be reviewed by DCFS and/or a court on a case-by-case basis because the determination would be heavily fact-dependent. Ultimately, if you feel your 12 year old is responsible enough to supervise her siblings for that period of time, you are probably okay. I would just make sure your eldest always has the ability to contact you or another adult, preferably one close enough to respond quickly if necessary, in case something comes up and she needs help figuring out what to do.

Side note, if you have or could install an internet-connected security camera with two-way audio in a central location where the children would normally gather in the evenings, it might give you an added sense of security. Just a thought.

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