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Is it illegal or dangerous to leave a kid in the car for 5 minutes? - Page 2

post #21 of 102
Whether or not it is illegal, I would never do it. I understand the temptation, but it is just not worth the chance. You never know what can happen in 5 seemingly short minutes: an emergency that extends it to beyond 5 minutes, car stolen, child kidnapped, child "escapes", keys locked in car. Getting reported to thepolice or CPS would be the least of my concerns about such a situation. Even on "mild" day, a child's temperature can escalate very quickly in a closed car. Not a lesson I would want to learn the hard way.
post #22 of 102
Some years ago I responded to a horrific accident in a convenience store parking lot. A dutiful mom who didn't want to leave her child for the 3 minutes it would have taken to pay for her gas took him out of the car, into the blowing snow and toward the store. They wer crushed under a semi she didn't see because she was carrying the child through inclement weather.

Sometimes, the safer option is, in fact, to leave the child in the car if paying at the pump (for example) isn't an option.

Maybe if you live in nice moderate climates it's safer to take the child every time, but where I live, it's much safer in a hailstorm, in a blizzard, in really miserable weather, to leave my child safely in the car for those few moments.

If it's simply a matter of convenience, I'm all for takng the child- kids don't come programmed to be easy and convenient, but sometimes you have to use your judgement as a parent to make the safest choice for your child. I live in a town of about 350 people. If someone calls the Sheriff to complain that I've left my child in the car while paying for gas in the middle of a snowstorm, fine; I'll have a chat with the Sheriff, and go on about my life with no further annoyance. He might wonder why someone was such a busybody, but such is life.

Certainly, I'd make different choices if I lived in a different area, but I have to live based on where I live, and what I feel is best and safest.
post #23 of 102
Nope, would never do it. It's just not safe. Taking kids in and out of carseats is a hassle, especially when they're sleeping, but it's nothing compared to what could happen. I don't take chances with my kids.
post #24 of 102
In Washington State it is illegal to leave a child under 16 in a car with the motor running (RCW 46.61.685) or at all to enter a place where liquor is sold (which would include grocery stores and gas stations I'd assume - RCW 9.91.060). I have actually heard the latter RCW used to persecute parents who leave children unattended in cars for other purposes as well.
post #25 of 102
I wouldn't. I would never leave my children in the car without me unless it was for literally just a minute and I could see them at all times. I've actually only ever done it once, when my son was finally asleep (he's a horrible catnapper) in a nasty NJ winter, and I was running into the dry cleaner. They have a huge plate glass window and I was parked right in front, they know me so they had my clothes very quickly, so I was in and out in less than two minutes. I was still very anxious about it.

Would never do it if I had to be out of immediate eyesight of the car.
post #26 of 102

leaving child in car at anytime alone is wrong

Even if you can see the car at all times, what are you going to do if you see someone get into your car and drive off? Can you keep up with a moving car? I bring both children in where ever I go, I know it is a pain but I figure I have no choice but to keep them safe. Against the law or not. . . don't take any chances because you never know what could happen in a split second!
post #27 of 102
I do it but only if I'm driving our truck, which I can lock when it's running (keypad entry) and I can visibly see my vehicle. I won't do it when driving our other car though
post #28 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by confustication View Post
Maybe if you live in nice moderate climates it's safer to take the child every time, but where I live, it's much safer in a hailstorm, in a blizzard, in really miserable weather, to leave my child safely in the car for those few moments.
:

-20F, child doesn't have a coat on because they're in a car seat, no room to get the coat on them in tiny car so you'd have to do it outside...if I have to run inside to pay for gas, you better believe I'm leaving the child in the warm car while I do it.

And I'm not worried about gangs of roving pedophiles and baby-snatchers crouched behind the gas pumps.
post #29 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by leezann View Post
Even if you can see the car at all times, what are you going to do if you see someone get into your car and drive off? Can you keep up with a moving car? I bring both children in where ever I go, I know it is a pain but I figure I have no choice but to keep them safe. Against the law or not. . . don't take any chances because you never know what could happen in a split second!
The chances of someone breaking into my locked car with no keys in it and driving off as I watch from an ATM vestibule are ridiculously slim. The chances of my kids getting killed by a car walking with me in the parking lot are greater.
post #30 of 102
This reminds me of what happened to me once-though different to your situation(sorry if i divulge a little) I had my toddler and baby in a double stroller. The baby was asleep. I had to pick up lunch from a restaurant, and just had to go in and pay. The stroller didnt fit through the door. I could see the stroller through the window. So i went in, and paid and got the lunch. In that one minute, the baby woke up and started crying. Some woman came in and said-'whose this baby? '

I was coming out anyway. I just said'its my baby'. And went out.

Then she said something rude to me, and went off..... (i think its was-just thought you needed some reminding that it was your baby')

Anyway, slightly different subject, but i did the right thing. I didnt need the insult....

However, i wouldnt leave a baby in a car where i couldnt see him/her, and not unless it was truly under one minute....
post #31 of 102
Soooooo tempting, but sooo not safe!! Like others have said, it only takes a few seconds for someone horrible to come along or something horrible to happen.
post #32 of 102
The only time I'm okay with leaving a child under the age of 11 alone in a car is when it is visible at all times, you are not very far away, and it's not extremely hot or cold out. The only time I have personally done it is to pay for gas when it is not possible to pay at the pump. Each time, I was only gone for about 1-2 minutes, the car was visible to me at all times, and the doors were locked. Even then I hated doing it.
post #33 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
The chances of someone breaking into my locked car with no keys in it and driving off as I watch from an ATM vestibule are ridiculously slim. The chances of my kids getting killed by a car walking with me in the parking lot are greater.
:
I can't leave my ds alone in the car unless I still have a clear view of him.
post #34 of 102
I'm not sure about legalities, but I wouldn't do it. There are times when i'll leave ds in the car for a minute or two but only if I'm close and can see him at all times (ex: running in to give a cashier cash for gas, running in to my apartment to grab something I forgot, dropping a movie into a drop box, etc). I know a lot of people that would report something like this if they saw it, especially if they don't know you will be back so soon. I know it's tempting and convenient but I really would not take that chance.
post #35 of 102
I have left my kids in the car just to drop off a movie rental (in those little boxes outside of the store) but that's about as far as I would go. I would never leave my child in a car out of my sight, even for a minute. You never know what could happen. I know of a woman where I live, left her 3 y/o in the car that she thought was sleeping to go pay for gas. When she got back the child was gone. Luckily she was found safe and just wandered off. I remind myself of that story when I think "it will only be for a minute". And yes, she did get in trouble with the law for it and CPS was involved.
post #36 of 102
Try for another solution!

We are generally walking to school but on occassion if we are headed somewhere else and drive, I put a trusted friend/parent on my pick-up list and if I see them going in yell" can you sign her out"? I know, not do-able EVERY day

I complained about the hassle of schlepping kids out of the car to my drycleaner.

His reply? Call from the car, I'll run your stuff out.

You can make it work
post #37 of 102
This is one of those controversial issues.

I'll say this: the legality varies by state, and the parent should do what is best in that situation.

Okay, I'll also say this: in a split second, ANYTHING can happen. Pedophiles can pop out of nowhere and steal your child. Lightning can strike. A blizzard prevents a truck-driver from seeing you and your child at the gas station and accidentally run you and your child over.
post #38 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
This reminds me of what happened to me once-though different to your situation(sorry if i divulge a little) I had my toddler and baby in a double stroller. The baby was asleep. I had to pick up lunch from a restaurant, and just had to go in and pay. The stroller didnt fit through the door. I could see the stroller through the window. So i went in, and paid and got the lunch. In that one minute, the baby woke up and started crying. Some woman came in and said-'whose this baby? '

I was coming out anyway. I just said'its my baby'. And went out.

Then she said something rude to me, and went off..... (i think its was-just thought you needed some reminding that it was your baby')

Anyway, slightly different subject, but i did the right thing. I didnt need the insult....

However, i wouldnt leave a baby in a car where i couldnt see him/her, and not unless it was truly under one minute....
In Denmark, I think, it's fairly common and acceptable to leave the baby outside in the stroller.
post #39 of 102
i leave them if my 7 yr old is in the car and i can lock it, like if i need to run to an atm. never more than a minute and my oldest has to be there, because she's the only one savvy enough to honk the horn or otherwise freak out if someone approached the car.

oh i have left the baby in the car while i run back in for my phone or something, but i live in the country waaaay off the road. i'd never do that in a neighborhood.
post #40 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by DahliaRW View Post
In Washington State it is illegal to leave a child under 16 in a car with the motor running (RCW 46.61.685) or at all to enter a place where liquor is sold (which would include grocery stores and gas stations I'd assume - RCW 9.91.060). I have actually heard the latter RCW used to persecute parents who leave children unattended in cars for other purposes as well.
Wow, that's nuts! If my kids are too stupid to be left alone in a car by the time they're 15, I'm not sure I'm taking them out of the house anymore...
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