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No, there is not a law in North Carolina that states a certain age when children can be left home alone

Many parents will be looking to find day cares, babysitters, and camps to watch their kids this summer. Can you leave your child home alone?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With summer approaching fast, many parents will be looking to find day cares, babysitters and camps to watch their kids this summer. What happens if a plan falls through? Can you leave your child home alone?

THE QUESTION

Is there a law in North Carolina that states a certain age when children can be left home alone?

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OUR SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, there is not a law in North Carolina that states a certain age when children can be left home alone.  

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WHAT WE FOUND:

First, WCNC Charlotte's VERIFY team went to NCDHHS for answers. They issued the following response via email:

"No legal age for when a child can stay at home alone has been established; however, NC fire code specifies that children under age 8 should not be locked or confined."

"If you are locking the child in a room in the house, and you leave the house, and they are not supervised by a parent, that's going to be when that fire code piece kicks in," Miller said. 

NCDHHS also states a report alleging a child under the age of 6 left alone must have an immediate response.

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"The police also have the requirement to follow up within 48 hours to NCDHHS with a formal report and why they were called to the scene," Miller said.  

There are also different factors NCDHHS would take into consideration in determining whether the child can be safely left alone, like the length of time the child is left alone, the child's age, and cognitive abilities. 

"The court would be looking at does it rise to the level where the child is in harm's way for real danger to happen," Miller said. 

CMPD said the application of the law is on a case-by-case basis. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit VERIFY.

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