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Article: Can a Child Be a Shomer for Yichud?


There are many facets to the Halachah of Yichud. The issue of  Yichud comes up every time a person of one gender is in seclusion with someone of the opposite gender, whether a babysitter, a person who works in our home, or other such situations.

One solution to the problem of Yichud is to have a Shomer (guard) whose presence will prevent inappropriate behavior due to fear that their actions will be disclosed to others.

One Shomer is sufficient by day, but two Shomrim are required at night; night in this context begins at the time when most people go to sleep.

A young boy or a girl is eligible to be a Shomer as long as they are of the age that they understand if something inappropriate takes place and can report it; however, they have to be young enough not to create a problem of Yichud by virtue of their presence.

While there is a wide range of opinions as to the exact age for a shomer, the consensus is that a child between the ages of five and nine is considered suitable to be a Shomer.

One example of Yichud is a female babysitter (age twelve and up) taking care of a boy of nine (or older); however, if there are two boys or girls (or one of each) between the ages of five and nine in the house, they qualify as Shomrim—even at night, in this context when the children normally go to sleep—and there is no issue of Yichud.



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