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

Effective: October 1, 2013

House Bill 311 (passed) prohibits a parent or other person who has permanent care or custody or responsibility for the supervision of a minor who is under the age of 13 from recklessly or willfully failing to notify the appropriate law enforcement agency that the minor is a “missing child” within 24 hours of the time at which the parent or other person knew or should have known that the minor is a missing child, unless the disappearance of the minor has already been reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency. “Missing child” is defined as a minor whose whereabouts are unknown to a parent or other person who has permanent care and custody or responsibility for the supervision of the minor. A violator is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to imprisonment for up to three years.

The bill also requires a parent or other person who has permanent care or custody or responsibility for the supervision of a minor to report the death of a minor to the appropriate law enforcement agency or medical authority within five hours of becoming aware of the death unless the death has already been reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency or medical authority. A violator is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to imprisonment for up to three years. 

The 90 Day Report, A Review of the 2013 Legislative Session

Read the Law:  MD Code Crim. Law §3-608 and §3-609 (forthcoming)

Is this legal advice?

This site offers legal information, not legal advice.  We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options.  However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney.  The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site.  In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2013.”