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Is it illegal or dangerous to leave a kid in the car for 5 minutes?

post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 
There are times when I pick my daughter up from Preschool when it's NOT HOT outside, not cold in the car, a very safe church parking lot in a tiny, safe small town that it would be so nice to leave my 2-y-o in his car seat while I run in and grab DD for a couple of minutes.

So tempting. I'd never do it if the car was likely to get hot or if there was any possibility of danger.

But would I get in trouble? Is it illegal?
post #2 of 102
I wouldn't do it because it takes less the 5 minutes for someone to break into a car and take something, including a child.
post #3 of 102
i've read so many of these types of threads, and they always become contentious (sp?). while i personally would not want to take the chance of leaving the child behind, i know from reading the other threads, that plenty of "good moms" do it, and, from the arguments that have been hashed out repeatedly, in the situation you describe, probably the biggest reason *not* to do it, is that some good intentioned person will come along and call the cops on you. and that will be a lot more inconvenience to your life, than just carrying the two year old along for a few minutes.
post #4 of 102
It is dangerous.

There was just an article today about a child getting out of the carseat and leaving the car and getting run over, while the mother just ran back in to the house to grab something. In other cases, car jacking. In other cases, child gets out of car and disappears..or is kidnapped from car. Or he gets out of his seat and manages to put the car in motion.

In most states, it is illegal. And if other parents see it, they will likely think negative things.
post #5 of 102
Can you see your child the whole time? if not, i would NOT NOT NOT do it. Ever. The only time I leave ds in the car is when i pump gas. I will use the pump right next to the cashier's window, and even if i have to step inside for a split second to hand the cashier my money, I am within 10 steps or so of teh car the whole time. And even that makes my heart pound.

Somethine else to consider: suppose you went in to get dd and she had just fallen down and busted her lip, lengthening your time inside? Suppose her teacher needed to talk to you about something? Suppose you were in a rush and accidentally locked your keys in the car? Annoying if your kids are with you, TERRIBLE if they are locked inside the car...ask me how i know.....

i would not take the chance.
post #6 of 102
Also, if you are in the process of adopting, just one thing on your record, or even one call from someone at the preschool to the agency, could result in the adoption being cancelled. So if you get ticketed for leaving your child in the car, then there is a high chance that your adoption could be affected.
post #7 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post
in the situation you describe, probably the biggest reason *not* to do it, is that some good intentioned person will come along and call the cops on you. and that will be a lot more inconvenience to your life, than just carrying the two year old along for a few minutes.
:

I personally have no problem with leaving my 2 year old in the van while I drop off or pick up my older son from his OT appointments. During that time, I'm able to watch the van through the window, so he's never really out of my sight. I'm okay with leaving him in the van out of my sight in a residential area for a couple of minutes (like my driveway, for example). But, I'd be less comfortable leaving him in a vehicle where I couldn't see him and there's a lot of people around. More because of the risk of someone calling the cops/ CPS on me than because I really believe he's at risk of being kidnapped or something.
post #8 of 102
A woman did that here recently outside a preschool and her car was stolen. The child was ok, but DHHS stepped in and removed children. I don't agree that the children should have been removed, and they were returned shortly, but it caused a major disruption in her family's life.
post #9 of 102
Thread Starter 
Yikes! it sounds like I'd better just avoid the temptation altogether. Sigh. Whoever posted about it messing up our adoption has a very, very good point too. I would not want to do that.
post #10 of 102
i absoultely think it's dangerous, and it is illegal here in Texas.

...even tho i totally dislike the HUGE hassle of dragging three kids into each stop on a 6-errand journey
post #11 of 102
The legality of it varies by state, so you'd have to check your specific laws. While I generally don't think it's a good idea in most situations, if it's not illegal in your state, then someone could call every day and it shouldn't affect your record. However, a daycare type facility is the absolute LAST place I would ever consider doing this at. A lot of parents do this, and it's pretty common knowledge - do you (general "you") think pedophiles haven't figured this out as well? At our previous daycare which was in a decent area, a group of mom's were in the glassed in foyer for pick up. A car pulled up, a man jumped out, ran to 2 cars, opened the door to the 2nd one, grabbed the lady's purse and was back in his car and gone in less than 1 minute. The ladies were in shock, and it took them a bit to realize just what had happened. Not only did the victim lose her purse and her rent money she'd just pulled out, but her 7 yr old son sitting in the backseat ended up in therapy for over a year from that incident.

K.
post #12 of 102
Someone could easily see your son, think that he was forgotten, and call the cops or worse, try to break in. That would be more likely on a hot day or in a warmer climate but it's still something to consider.
post #13 of 102
I am so paranoid about this issue. I have seen too many news stories and Oprah shows about stuff happening to kids who were left for 'just a minute'. A while back, somewhere in ?Minnesota I think, a lady left her sleeping baby in the car to go into a convenience store, and someone stole her car, with the baby in it (granted, the dummy left the car running).
Sometimes I just want a soda from the convenience store. If I really want to stop, I take ds in with me (I just take the whole carseat right now). If I don't feel like taking him in, I just don't get my soda. I live in a small, safe town, and I am still scared to just leave him in the car, even if I can keep my eyes on my car the whole time. I always think about doing something like that thinking "waht could happen in such a short amount of time", and then I snap back to reality and think that I don't want to find out what could happen, so I just stick with the safe way.
post #14 of 102
No, I wouldn't do it.
post #15 of 102
I wouldn't. I have this same situation (ds often falls asleep in the car on the way to pick up dd from preschool.) Her teacher walks her out to me....it doesn't hurt to ask if your teacher could do the same or if another parent could walk her out.
post #16 of 102
No, I wouldn't. There is a lady at my son's school who leaves her newborn baby and a 2-ish year old in the car every day This is at an elementary school in a fairly large town (Lexington, KY). She parks in the parking lot (there is NO way she can see her car from the school because the buses park between the parking lot and the school) and goes in to get her dd. The stupid thing about this situation is it's avoidable! Completely avoidable. If she pulled to the side of the building with the rest of the cars they would bring her dd out to her car- she wouldn't have to get out at all! Who knows why she chooses not to do that.

That was totally off topic, I apologize, but it's been bugging me a lot lately.
post #17 of 102
I don't personally think it's dangerous in that circumstance, however I bet someone will call the police on you and you will get in trouble, so I would recommend you don't do it anyway. I also live in a small town and I know that it is very safe here. I personally wouldn't leave my daughter in the car unless I could see the car, but that's because I'm afraid she might leave the car, not because I think someone is going to break in and take her or steal the car. There just isn't a crime issue here. Now, we are going to be moving north to the Chicago area before too long, and I will do things differently after the move because I've never heard of anyone where I live now having a car stolen, but it's not so uncommon up there.
post #18 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineJ View Post
The legality of it varies by state, so you'd have to check your specific laws. While I generally don't think it's a good idea in most situations, if it's not illegal in your state, then someone could call every day and it shouldn't affect your record. However, a daycare type facility is the absolute LAST place I would ever consider doing this at. A lot of parents do this, and it's pretty common knowledge - do you (general "you") think pedophiles haven't figured this out as well? At our previous daycare which was in a decent area, a group of mom's were in the glassed in foyer for pick up. A car pulled up, a man jumped out, ran to 2 cars, opened the door to the 2nd one, grabbed the lady's purse and was back in his car and gone in less than 1 minute. The ladies were in shock, and it took them a bit to realize just what had happened. Not only did the victim lose her purse and her rent money she'd just pulled out, but her 7 yr old son sitting in the backseat ended up in therapy for over a year from that incident.

K.
Wow--that EXACT same thing happened in Virginia Beach--but I see by your sig that you aren't from VA Beach--so my next thought is: wow, that's more common than I thought! It made the local news--and happened at an upscale Catholic church preschool/school. Fortunately, in the Va Beach situation, there was no child in the car that was robbed.
post #19 of 102
Not sure where you are, but it is illegal in California. Which makes paying cash for gas a pain even, you're not even supposed to run in a store with a big window where they are in view at all times. I just use the Debit card now.
post #20 of 102
My DS's preschool has a specific policy against doing that in their handbook.
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