10-Year-Old Babysitter Arrested for Child Abuse: What's Wrong With This Picture?

child abuseA 10-year-old babysitter was arrested for child abuse this week.

And I don't think I've ever typed a sentence so riddled with problems.

So let's get the big one out of the way.

Nope, not the child abuse (that's just plain atrocious: what more can you say?).

The 10-year-old babysitter.


Authorities in Wisconsin are keeping their descriptions of the sitter who allegedly abused a 23-month-old over a period of several weeks gender neutral and nameless because of the child's age.

Which hammers home that this kid is too young to be treated as an adult by the law -- and too young to be acting as anything more than a mother's helper, certainly too young to be left alone with a baby.

Although there's no national law dictating how old a child must be to be left home alone, some municipalities limit it to 11 or even 12. The basic criteria laid out by the National Crime Prevention Council call for a child to be trusted to go straight home or to a neighbor's house, to handle panicky situations, and to follow instructions well.

A kid who is abusive certainly doesn't meet any of those criteria, and to be honest -- most 10-year-olds don't either.

Even those who do don't usually meet the guidelines for a good babysitter: has good authority, stable, able to perform CPR, and able to deal with stress.

Would you let a 10-year-old babysit?


Image via Chad Crowell/Flickr

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