Published on:

Babysitting and Leaving Children Home Alone in Oregon: Update


** Please see the February 2011 and June 2009 updates. **

My most popular posts (here and here) need a little link-refreshing:

From the City of Albany web site (click on Curfew):

At what age can a child be left home alone? Legally at 10 years of age; however, you may want to consider ORS 163.545.

163.545 Child neglect in the second degree.
(1) A person having custody or control of a child under 10 years of age commits the crime of child neglect in the second degree if, with criminal negligence, the person leaves the child unattended in or at any place for such period of time as maybe likely to endanger the health or welfare of such child
(2) Child neglect in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.
What is the legal babysitting age? There is no law regarding a specified babysitting age. What is being taught by the local classes offered to prospective sitters is age 11 or 12. The law that may pertain to the 12 years of age follows.

161.290 Incapacity due to immaturity.
(1) A person who is tried, as an adult in a court of criminal jurisdiction is not criminally responsible for any conduct which occurred when the person was under 12 years of age.
(2) Incapacity due to immaturity, as defined in subsection (1) of this section is a defense.

See also Clackamas County web site for more on when one can leave a child home alone.

ORS references are to the Oregon Revised Statutes. The 2005s are still there and the 2007s will be posted any day now.