Unattended Children

In Maryland, a child under the age of 8 years may not be left unattended at home, at school, or in a car.

If a parent or guardian needs to leave a child who is younger than 8 years old, the parent or guardian must ensure that a reliable person, who is at least 13 years old will stay to protect the child. Failure to provide a reliable person to babysit the child is a misdemeanor, and the parent or guardian is subject to a fine up to $500 and up to 30 days in prison.

Both in and out of the home, parents and guardians must always give proper care and attention to children in their care. Children must not be left alone in situations where they may get hurt.
Read the Law: MD Code Family Law §5-801

Reporting Death or Disappearance of a Minor

In Maryland, a parent or other person who has care or custody for the supervision of a child under the age of 13 must not recklessly or intentionally fail to notify the police within 24 hours after the person knows or should have known the child is missing. A “missing child” is a child whose whereabouts are unknown to the parent or person having custody or supervision of the child. An exception exists if the missing child has already been reported to the police. Violation of this law is a misdemeanor, and the person is subject to up to 3 years in prison.

Read the Law: Md Code Criminal Law § 3-608.

Furthermore, a parent or other person having care or custody of a child must report the death of that child to the police or medical personnel within five hours of finding out about the child’s death. An exception exists if the death has already been reported to the police or medical personnel. The failure to report the child’s death is a misdemeanor, and the person is subject to up to 3 years in prison.

Read the law: Md Code Criminal Law § 3-609.

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