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  • Writer's pictureBrad Keating

What Is the Legal Age to Babysit in Ohio?

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

As a working parent, it is essential to ensure that the kids are safe. Many times, they aren't mature enough to be left alone. It's important not to do anything illegal, which means leaving children home alone when they are not mature enough to do so. However, this also means having someone who can care for the kids while the parents are at work. With many parents both going to work every day, this makes it harder to find appropriate help. Can an older child babysit their siblings? Find out below!

Legal Babysitting Age Ohio

Can a 12-year-old Babysit in Ohio?

There is no specific age for a minor to babysit another child. In fact, Ohio has no specific age requirements for babysitters. If a parent plans to allow a minor child to care for the kids in the home, it may be ideal to request that they take the Red Cross safe sitter course. To do that, the organization requires a person to be at least 11 years old. Therefore, yes, a 12-year-old can babysit children while the parents are at work. This ensures that a young child is not left home alone without proper care.

At What Age Can a Child Stay Home Alone in Ohio?

Ohio family law doesn't have any minimum ages where children can stay home by themselves. However, many organizations tell parents to wait until their children are at least 12 years old. This is often the age at which most kids gain enough maturity, but this is also based on environmental factors and other things. Generally, the parent knows when it is the best time based on how well their children behave.

Can a 13-year-old Watch a Baby?

Legally, yes, a 13-year-old can watch babies. However, it might be time to work with the teenager and ensure that they know what to do and how to handle issues like feeding, diapering, and more. Some people may find that their teen isn't quite ready to watch the newborn. Even if they seem ready, it might be wise to test them a time or two before leaving them home for extended periods.

Can a 12-year-old Babysit a 6-year-old?

It's important to remember that each of the children is different. Therefore, determine how well the pre-teen acts around the younger child. They may not have the mentality to handle responsibilities well at this time. This requires maturity and the ability to know right from wrong.

For example, an emergency could arise, and as the babysitter, the older child has to be able to do the right thing. Should they call the parent or an ambulance?

Babysitting is a sacred thing and a great way to learn responsibility. However, others' safety is on the line, so it's essential to ensure that the eldest child isn't going to leave the house while being responsible for a younger child.

If a parent is still unsure, it might be best to check with their local county and state laws to determine if a minor can safely watch other children. Make it a point to test them first, as well. Maybe the older child can supervise for a few hours after school. This would help the parent feel better about them and determine whether or not the older child still requires supervision.


Babysitting is a serious thing, and many pre-teens and teenagers want to have that responsibility. It shows that they can follow the rules and is good for the whole family. Both spouses can go to work and feel comfortable. Of course, it's best to ensure that the oldest child is mature enough to handle babysitting. Consider asking questions and providing a list of information that the child can use. While it's legal to let an 11-, 12-, or 13-year-old, consider the needs of all the children, too.

Whether you are interested in a legal separation in Ohio or the legal age of consent in Ohio, The Keating Firm LTD. can help you get the information you need.

Disclaimer: The details included in this blog is offered for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as lawful guidance in any way. No recipients of material from this blog, clients or otherwise, should or should not act on the basis of any material consisted in the blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional guidance on the particular facts and situations at issue from an attorney accredited in the recipient's state.


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