Can my 12 year old babysit his 7 year old sibling in California.

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Can my 12 year old babysit his 7 year old sibling in California.

My husband and I are runners. We have a 12 year old who completed the American Red Cross Babysitters course. We also have a 7 year old. My husband thinks it would be ok if we got up early and left the kids alone in the morning. We would wake up the 12 year old of course and take a cell phone. I am not sure if this is ok and I am trying to find out if this is legal to let a 12 year old watch a sibling.

Asked on June 20, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

There is no legal age for babysitting in California.  However, as you mentioned the Red Cross allows 12-year-olds to take their babysitting course and I believe the military family handbook endorses the minimum age for babysitting at 12.

The qustion then becomes not is your child old enough but is he/she mature enough?  You are best to answer that question.  Some 12-year-old are; some are not.

Best of luck with your choice.


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