While on vacation in Delaware with her son and daughter, a mom from Maryland was arrested for leaving her kids at home alone while she went to pick up dinner. “USA Today” reports that while Susan Terrillion was out, her kids ran outside to catch their dogs, who had gotten out. A stranger saw them when their dogs ran in front of his car. While helping to get the pooches under control, he found out the kids were “unsupervised” and called the cops
When the police learned the kids were alone for at least 45 minutes, they arrested the mom, charged her with two counts of endangering the welfare of her children, and then released her on $500 bail. Now, there may be more to the story than we know, but it sure seems like overkill to arrest this mama. Her kids were safe and it was the dogs, not the kids who ran into the road.
And the thing is, there’s no federal law about when a parent can legally leave their child at home alone, it varies from state to state. Only a handful of states even have a minimum age for leaving little ones alone, and those that do range from six to 14, so there’s no consistency. In Delaware, where this took place, there isn’t a minimum age at all! As for the State of Delaware’s website explains, it’s pretty clear. Here’s what it says: “While there is no law in Delaware regulating an appropriate age for a child to be left home alone, the Division of Family Services will accept for investigation any report of a child under the age of 12 being left alone.”
As parents, we’re all focused on the safety of our kids. And maybe this mom made a mistake leaving her kids alone, or maybe they were totally fine, but no one knows that better than moms. And we all use our common sense to guide us. It seems like the arresting officer didn’t. Like this mom couldn’t have just gotten a warning, or a fine? It’s definitely more scary and shocking to see your mom arrested than staying home with your sib while she runs to pick up dinner.
- Want to know more about the dos and don’ts of leaving your kids at home? Check out the state-by-state guidelines here.
Source: Scary Mommy