Two Laredo parents, arrested for leaving their four children home, alone, raises the question: How old does a child have to be to care for themselves and younger siblings?
KGNS News Reporter Orlando Garza went looking for the answer.
I started by asking people what they think the legal age is. The answers ranged from 10 to 16.
The real answer, however, might surprise you.
Roberto Sosa and Rosa Garcia Calderon were arrested by Laredo Police, after their children were found home, alone, in the middle of the night.
Police say their four children range in age from one to ten-years-old
is it legal to leave children that young, alone?
Clema Owen is a mother of three and grandmother of twelve, she says,"it's a relative question some children at ten are very responsible they can take care of an 8-6 and 1 but I would be hesitant about that one year old."
The truth is the state of Texas doesn't have a law addressing what age is old enough for a child to stay home alone.
Joe Baeza of the Laredo Police department says it's left to the parents discretion.
some kids mature sooner than others, “over all there has to be some practicality and reasonableness in how you leave a child in those types of scenarios."
In the case of the kid's who's parents were arrested, the children were left in what police call "horrible conditions".
The home had no furniture, electricity or running water and the kids were sleeping on an old mattress on the floor, had conditions been different, things may have turned out different; Baeza says,"it would have been fine except they decided to leave four small children in an abandon mobile home no furniture no adult supervision the kids were outside at that hour because they were afraid of being in the dark."
The law doesn’t tell you how to raise your kids but police say it's important that parents stop and think.
There is no Texas law that states how old a child must be to stay on their own and to supervise other children. parents just have to use common sense, when making that decision.