What Age Does A Child Need Their Own Room Legally | Real Thing


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At what age does a child need their own room legally? When you share a home with your child, it can feel like you also share a bedroom. Even if your child is old enough to have their room, in many house layouts, the kid’s space is directly accessible from yours or vice versa. You may be tempted to keep your child in your room for as long as possible, but legally speaking, when does your child need their room? And what about safety regulations and things like fire codes? 

If you hope to move out of the house before your kid feels ready to live on their own (or with a roommate), how can you remain compliant with local laws while staying true to your principles as a parent? The answers might seem obvious at first glance, but whether or not they apply depends on where you live. 

According to CPS, children should not share a room between the ages of 5 and 11. The rules regarding when and where children can sleep vary widely across the country based on fire code restrictions and other legal ramifications. Here is what you need to know about age requirements for kids having their bedroom legally:

What Are the Age Requirements for Having a Child’s Room Legally?

What Are the Age Requirements for Having a Child’s Room Legally?

Before you can decide if your child is ready to have their room, you need to know the legal age requirements governing when they can legally reside in a room of their own. The general age requirements are as follows: 

The Minimum Age: In almost every state, children must be at least 9 years old before they can legally stay alone. 

The Maximum Age: Even adults aren’t allowed to reside in a room by themselves until they reach their mid-20s. That said, most states have a cut-off between 18 and 21, depending on the person’s maturity level and living situation. 

The Exception Age: If you are caring for a child or other dependent, or if you are an adult with a disability, there is a chance you’ll be granted an exception to the normal age requirements for having a child’s room.

Where Is A Child Required To Have Their Own Room?

If you are having trouble deciding if your child is ready for their own room, you can always check the fire code to see the legal requirements in your area. The basic rule is that children must not share a bedroom with adults. But depending on where you live, there may be additional stipulations: 

Single-Family Homes: In single-family homes and duplexes, children must have their own room or be in a separate part of the house altogether. The same applies to the room shared by children under the age of 6 and between the ages of 6 and 8 if they are of different genders.  

Apartments: Apartments are a bit of a mixed bag. In some parts of the country, there are no laws governing where children can sleep, but in others, they must have their own room. If you live in an apartment, you can check with your landlord to see their rules.

How Old Does A Child Need To Be Before They Can Conscientiously Reside By Themselves?

If your child has their own room but is still worried about their safety, you can take heart that this is not an all-or-nothing situation. Legal requirements aside, it is ultimately up to you as a parent to decide when your child is ready to be on their own. When you feel your child is ready to reside by themselves, make sure you have a safety plan in place that addresses the potential hazards of their living situation: 

Child Needs A Separate Entrance: 

If you live in a single-family home, your child needs their own entrance from the outside. This way, you are not the only one with a key to their room, and you can give them an emergency exit in case of fire or another emergency. They can either have their own outside door or a window that leads to a fire escape. 

Child Needs A Separate Electrical Outlet: 

If you have an older home, you may have a single electrical outlet supplying power to your child’s room. If your child will have a desk or other electronics plugged in, they will need a separate outlet or risk tripping a fuse or a breaker.

Other Logical Reasons Why You’re Child May Not Need Their Own Room Legally

Other Logical Reasons Why You’re Child May Not Need Their Own Room Legally

Even if your child does not need their own room legally, there may be other reasons why you don’t want to make the switch just yet. For example: 

Child’s activities: If your child participates in sports or extracurricular activities that require him or her to travel, they may need to stay in your house on weekends. 

Work schedule: If you work a rotating or late-night shift, your child may need to stay in your house while at work. 

Financial situation: If you cannot afford to move your child into their own room, you don’t have to force the issue. 

Child’s personality: Some children are ready to move out as soon as they are legally allowed to, while others are not ready until well into college.

Final Words

For most children, sharing a room with their parents is a normal part of childhood. Only when your child is ready to strike out on their own should you consider giving them their own room. The best way to know when that is to check your local fire code; that will tell you when your child can legally have their own room. 

However, there are other reasons why it may be best to keep your child in a shared room for a little while longer, such as your work schedule or financial situation.


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