HB 1557 – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1557
This bill establishes guidelines for leaving children home alone and establishes babysitter age guidelines.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Six
AN ACT establishing guidelines for leaving children home alone and establishing babysitter age guidelines.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 New Sections; Guidelines for Leaving Children Home Alone. Amend RSA 639 by inserting after section 3 the following new sections:
639:3-a Guidelines for Leaving Children Home Alone. Whether a child’s welfare has been endangered by being left alone, for purposes of prosecution under RSA 639:3, shall be determined by considering the following factors:
I. The age of the minor.
II. The number of minors left at the location.
III. Special needs of the minor, including whether the minor is physically or mentally handicapped, or otherwise in need of ongoing prescribed medical treatment such as periodic dosages of insulin or other medications.
IV. The duration of time in which the minor was left without supervision.
V. The condition and location of the place where the child was left without supervision.
VI. The time of day or night when the minor was left without supervision.
VII. The weather conditions, including whether the minor was left in a location with adequate protection from the natural elements such as adequate heat or light.
VIII. The location of the parent or guardian at the time the minor was left without supervision, including the physical distance the minor was from the parent or guardian at the time the minor was without supervision.
IX. Whether the minor’s movement was restricted, or the minor was otherwise locked within a room or other structure.
X. Whether the minor was given a phone number of a person or location to call in the event of an emergency and whether the minor was capable of making an emergency call.
XI. Whether there was food and other provision left for the minor.
XII. Whether any of the conduct is attributable to economic hardship or illness and the parent, guardian, or other person having physical custody or control of the child made a good faith effort to provide for the health and safety of the minor.
XIII. The age and physical and mental capabilities of the person or persons who provided supervision for the minor.
XIV. Whether the minor was left under the supervision of another person.
XV. Any other factor that would endanger the health and safety of that particular minor.
639:3-b Time Guidelines.
I. Children 7 years old and under shall not be left unattended for any period of time.
II. Children 8 to 10 years old shall not be left unattended for more than 1.5 hours during daylight and early evening hours.
III. Children 11 to 12 years old shall not be left unattended for more than 3 hours, nor shall they be left unattended late at night.
IV. Children 13 to 14 years old shall not be left unsupervised overnight.
639:3-c Babysitter Age Guidelines.
I. In this section, “baby-sit” means to supervise and care for younger children in the absence of the children’s parent or guardian.
II. It is acceptable for children ages 11 to 14 to baby-sit, with the expectation that the parent, guardian, or caretaker will be returning to supervise the children later that same day.
III. It is acceptable for children ages 15 and older to baby-sit for more than 24 hours.
IV. A parent who leaves a child with a babysitter that does not correspond to these age guidelines may be prosecuted for child endangerment under RSA 639:3.
2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2007.