The age at which a child can legally be left alone at home varies from state to state, although many laws stipulate age 11 as a minimum. The age at which a child is emotionally, mentally, and physically able to stay at home varies from child to child. Most children and young teens feel more comfortable if a sibling or friend stays home with them.
A child who is home alone should be instructed never to tell anyone he is alone and not answer the door. Children should have phone numbers not just for a parent, but for the police and a close neighbor as well. An extra key left with a neighbor or relative is a good idea.