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Standard of Care for Children

Whether the child is considered negligent depending on the context can be different than the standard for adults. The standard applicable to adults is the standard of care a reasonable and prudent person would perform in the same or similar circumstances. Whether a child is held to the same standard as an adult depends on whether the child is engaged an adult activity or an inherently dangerous activity. These types of activities apply to things like if a minor is operating a vehicle, a motorcycle, or a boat. The reasoning for this policy is to deter minors from engaging in inherently dangerous activities.

Alternatively, if a child is engaged in traditional child activities, then the child will be held to the standard of a reasonably careful child of the same age, intelligence, maturity, training and experience. Also most states have laws that provide that children under a certain very young age are incapable of committing negligence.

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