When I was a 9 year old in the 80s, I was left home alone quite a bit. As long as I had my 6 (yes just 6) TV channels, and a box of cereal I was good to go.  It sure beat going to TJ Maxx with my mom, or going to the post office with my dad.  *shudders with boredom*

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Me, circa 1980's living my best life. (giphy)

But of course times have changed. How many times have you read a news story about a delinquent or injured child, and your first thought was “where were the parents?!!!”

It’s that fear of public shame, coupled with the fear of potential prison time, that makes us ask the question; 

How old does a child actually have to be to stay home alone in Utah legally?

You may be surprised to learn that Utah doesn’t actually have any laws against what age a child must be before they can be left unsupervised at home.

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The child’s caregiver is still 100% RESPONSIBLE for whatever may occur while while the child is home alone. 

In other words, if something bad happens to your kid while you're not there, depending on the circumstances, you could be charged with child endangerment.  

So what’s the moral of the story?  BE SMART.  Know your kids.  Be aware of what they can and can’t handle.

For example, some 11-year olds are more mature than others.  Some 15 year olds are more mature than others.  And most children are more responsible than a full-grown radio DJ.

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Most children are more responsible than full-grown radio DJs. (gfycat)

I hope it goes without saying that leaving a toddler or an infant home alone is completely out of the question.  But experts suggest that after the age of 8 or 9, parents should consider the facts and use their own discretion.

Know your kids, be smart, and realize that you're still the parent and it's your job to do what's best for your kid and keep them safe.


LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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