What is the legal age for a child to walk in the community without an adult?

There is no federal law that defines when a child may walk in a community without adult accompaniment. Some States have laws that pertain to this issue, whereas other do not. We can sometimes apply laws that identify an age at which children may be left home without an adult to children walking alone as well. However, child safety varies according to the community in which he or she may be walking alone. Though leaving a child alone at home is often legal when he or she is 10 years of age or older, it is recommended that parents and caregivers use their judgment as to the appropriate times and places to allow children to walk in the community unaccompanied by a trusted adult. Whether or not children are advised to walk alone also depends upon their walking-related abilities and developmental maturity. One resource we recommend you check out is the National Center's Safe Routes to School Guide: Teaching Children to Walk Safely as They Grow and Develop. The guide is intended to help parents and caregivers better understand stages of child development and to identify which walking safety skills to teach children along the way.