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Is it illegal or dangerous to leave a kid in the car for 5 minutes? - Page 3

post #41 of 102
yeah OP i saw the affecting your adoption answer - and felt a big no no for you and then i see ur reply and you decided against it. so true!!! not worth it.
post #42 of 102
Thread Starter 
Just as a commentary... it's too bad we have come to this. That we can't trust people around us for two minutes, that people can't trust us to do what is best for our children.

In a small, safe town like mine, 50 years ago people could leave their kids in the car when they ran into the grocery store. The neighbors would help keep an eye on them. Nowadays everyone is so suspicious and there are so many laws. It's sad.

After reading all of your posts, though, I'd be too freaked out to even be tempted to leave him in the car! Not just CPS (we know them pretty well by now with all of the foster and adoption stuff) but the child-snatchers or people calling the cops. Too weird. I guess I'll keep shlepping him in an out with me to get her. Once we get the new baby I'll have two of them to haul back and forth. Such fun.
post #43 of 102
I think much of your outlook on this issue will hinge on where you live. It's very easy to paint this as a black and white issue, and to feel superior ('I don't take chances with *my* kids') but really, it's never that easy.
post #44 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post
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.
(bolding mine)

ElliesMomma, you're psychic

i really do think this post says it all, though!
post #45 of 102
I wouldn't do it, in my area a mother went in to pay for her gas, all the while watching her van. She still wasn't fast enough to stop a guy from breaking in and taking off with her 22 month old...this is in -30 weather (-15 for Americans). He finally dropped the kid off OUTSIDE at a shopping centre...NICE eh?

Don't chance it, just my opinion...
post #46 of 102
Quote:
Only a MORON Would leave a child alone in a car for any amount of time
Wow. That's respectful. So at least half a dozen of us on this thread are MORONS, then.

Might I suggest that you could make your point less rudely?
post #47 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by misswerewolf View Post
In Denmark, I think, it's fairly common and acceptable to leave the baby outside in the stroller.
Thanks. I didnt want to wake the baby. If he had have been awake, then i would have just taken him in with me. He did wake up unexpectedly. Im with my baby 24/7, he and my 3 year old are the centre of my life. This total stranger insulted me, by saying 'just thought i'd remind you that its your baby'...

I mean, i was livid.

Why is it that being a parent gives other people licence to insult you?

As parents we have to make decisions. We know our chuldren best, and the situation best and have to make risk assessments all the time. This discussion about the car is a case in point.

(for me, as long as my kids are in sight, its ok)


Who are these people kidnapping children anyway?
post #48 of 102
Just popping back in to say that although I'll leave the kids in the car while I go to the ATM (about 5 steps from the car), the OP's question was specifically about leaving kids in the car in a preschool parking lot. Those of you who have said that you leave your kids in the car have mostly talked about other situations (gas stations, ATMs, etc.), but would you also leave your kids in the car at a preschool?

I'm just asking because going to get your kid from hir classroom typically takes you out of sight of your vehicle, and there's more opportunity for it to take longer if the teacher needs to talk to you for a moment, or if your DC takes a long time to gather hir things, put on a coat, or whatever. Leaving your kids while you step across a sidewalk to drop a DVD in the slot at Blockbuster and leaving them in a preschool parking lot are two totally different things, IMO.

My general rule of thumb is that if the car is fully in my view the entire time and my task will take less time than getting the kids out of the car would, then I feel comfortable leaving them. Preschool doesn't fit either of those criteria, so because of that (and because the school's handbook expressly forbids leaving siblings in the car for liability reasons) I take my DD in with me every time.
post #49 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whistler View Post
In a small, safe town like mine, 50 years ago people could leave their kids in the car when they ran into the grocery store. The neighbors would help keep an eye on them. Nowadays everyone is so suspicious and there are so many laws. It's sad.
Not just 50 years ago. My parents used to leave us in the car (We lived in Colorado so it was easier to leave us there than worry about getting to kids through the snow for a short trip) We knew not to mess with anything but the radio... and honestly, it never crossed our minds. Looking back I don't think my parents were "bad parents" or anything. I can especially understand my mom leaving us for short trips when it was just her running errands. *shrugs* different times I guess?
post #50 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by misswerewolf View Post
In Denmark, I think, it's fairly common and acceptable to leave the baby outside in the stroller.
The same is actually true for most of Europe. Of course, people need to use discretion and consider the place. A friend and I used to have coffee once a week at a cafe in Germany. We would leave our bundled up, sleeping babies in their strollers right outside the window and sit at the table closest to the window. We just took turns watching while we ordered, so they were in sight. That just made more sense than wheeling two winter-clad sleeping babies into a noisy, hot cafe where the strollers would take up a lot of space and the babies would surely wake up. In Norway, I occasionally left him outside to run into the library to return books, etc...and he would always sleep outside on the porch for his naps.

The key I think is to consider the surroundings. Sadly, child abductions are so much more common here in the US. Here I would never do it.
post #51 of 102
There are two risks. One is the risk that the child may be harmed in some way. The other risk, which is almost as significant, and which may be more likely to occur, is that somebody may report you for leaving your child unattended. As far as I am concerned, I'm not willing to take either risk.
post #52 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
Just popping back in to say that although I'll leave the kids in the car while I go to the ATM (about 5 steps from the car), the OP's question was specifically about leaving kids in the car in a preschool parking lot. Those of you who have said that you leave your kids in the car have mostly talked about other situations (gas stations, ATMs, etc.), but would you also leave your kids in the car at a preschool?

I'm just asking because going to get your kid from hir classroom typically takes you out of sight of your vehicle, and there's more opportunity for it to take longer if the teacher needs to talk to you for a moment, or if your DC takes a long time to gather hir things, put on a coat, or whatever. Leaving your kids while you step across a sidewalk to drop a DVD in the slot at Blockbuster and leaving them in a preschool parking lot are two totally different things, IMO.

My general rule of thumb is that if the car is fully in my view the entire time and my task will take less time than getting the kids out of the car would, then I feel comfortable leaving them. Preschool doesn't fit either of those criteria, so because of that (and because the school's handbook expressly forbids leaving siblings in the car for liability reasons) I take my DD in with me every time.
I'm the one who brought up the ATM, and as I said at that time, I wouldn't do it if I couldn't see them, but only in my case because I'm afraid my 7-year-old would get out of the car. In my town, I don't see the pedophile car-thief who can quickly break into a locked car and hotwire it being a realistic threat. I will be moving to the Chicago area soon, though, and I see that as a different situation. But because someone will call the cops, it's a bad idea regardless. I really don't see why this is painted as such a dangerous thing, though. There really aren't that many pedophiles out there who attack random kids. It's incredibly unlikely, and the parking lot is a bigger danger. Most pedophiles attack kids they know. The car thief issue might be a bigger risk depending on where you live.
post #53 of 102
I think it's a mistake to describe leaving a kid alone in a car for 5 minutes as "dangerous"' just because there are some very bad things that could possibly happen. It makes just as much sense to say that owning a pet, living in a 2-story house, or sending your kid to school are dangerous, since kids do sometimes get killed when the family pet attacks, or when they fall down the stairs or out a window, or when someone goes on a rampage at a school with a gun. Driving your kid somewhere in a car must surely be a more risky activity than leaving the child sitting in a locked car for a few minutes, but people don't normally call car trips "dangerous."
post #54 of 102
as a person who has been abducted, i vote never.

my dads best friend kidnapped me from the playground and my teacher was less than 10 feet from me. she was in shock. could not move.

different scenario, but being that i remember people staring at me as i screamed for help & no one moved??? I am ''**too aware** that things can happen SO FAST that you just can not react fast enough.

so i would never. ever. leave my kids in the car.
post #55 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
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...
post #56 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi74 View Post
The same is actually true for most of Europe. Of course, people need to use discretion and consider the place. A friend and I used to have coffee once a week at a cafe in Germany. We would leave our bundled up, sleeping babies in their strollers right outside the window and sit at the table closest to the window. We just took turns watching while we ordered, so they were in sight. That just made more sense than wheeling two winter-clad sleeping babies into a noisy, hot cafe where the strollers would take up a lot of space and the babies would surely wake up. In Norway, I occasionally left him outside to run into the library to return books, etc...and he would always sleep outside on the porch for his naps.

The key I think is to consider the surroundings. Sadly, child abductions are so much more common here in the US. Here I would never do it.


I completely agree with this. I studied abroad in Spain when I was in college (15 years ago), and it was really common for people to park their strollers, with the baby in it, outside the store or place of business and go in and do what needed to be done. Sometimes you would see two or three all side by side. Coming from the US, it was surprising to me. When I was last there about 5 years ago, I rarely saw it. I have a couple of friends from Spain and both of them remember their moms leaving them in the stroller outside stores even up to preschool age (30+ years ago).

I have a good friend form Germany who used to leave her baby sleeping in the car while she did errands. She was shocked when we told her she could get in huge trouble for doing that. She also remembers being left outside stores, in a buggy or stroller, and so thought she was being much safer by leaving them in a locked car.

I think the acceptability of it varies by culture. I would say it is not accepted here, and the ramifications of doing it make it not worth it.
post #57 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
That was totally off topic, I apologize, but it's been bugging me a lot lately.


Quote:
Originally Posted by confustication View Post
They wer crushed under a semi she didn't see because she was carrying the child through inclement weather.
That story is just tragic. But sounds to me like much more of a freak event then some of the more common sad stories we hear from leaving a baby in the car.

Also, I do and have lived in very cold climates, and still never opt to leave my kids in the car. That's just life where it's cold.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dantesmama View Post
I don't take chances with my kids.

Exactly. It sounds so harsh and judgmental, and holier than thou, but those are the words that truly express my feeling on the topic. Of course we *do* take chances with our kids everyday. The wording can be picked apart to no end, and rightfully so. But if it can be avoided, I don't take the chance. Pretty simple.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jivey View Post
My older sister's child. my god son and my step son go to the same private school. I pulled in the parking lot to pick up my step son and i seen my sis car i pulled up and could not believe. the car was running
and my niece 14 month old was in her car seat. I took my niece out of her seat and went in to get my step son. Avoiding my sister and when i came out. there was a swarm of people around her and she was screaming and crying. My baby my baby. I went over to her w/ my niece in arm and she was pissed at me. calling me every name in the book. I said see how easy it is for someone to snatch your child. Your dam lucky it was me and the next time. I see her alone in a car. I call the cops and family services. later on that night see called me bawling her eyes out. saying see was sorry and will never do it again. We had an amber alert that afternoon and a 2yr old little girl was snatch from her dad's car while he shopped in Wal-Mart. they found the little girl 3 days later dead.

I'm torn between applauding you for getting through to her, and abusing you for doing such an awful thing to another mother . That poor little 2 year old girl. Those stories are just awful. I can't believe people still leave their kids in the car to go shopping after hearing such things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by misswerewolf View Post
In Denmark, I think, it's fairly common and acceptable to leave the baby outside in the stroller.
Wow. How interesting. I need to travel more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
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...
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swan3 View Post
I wouldn't do it, in my area a mother went in to pay for her gas, all the while watching her van. She still wasn't fast enough to stop a guy from breaking in and taking off with her 22 month old...this is in -30 weather (-15 for Americans). He finally dropped the kid off OUTSIDE at a shopping centre...NICE eh?

Don't chance it, just my opinion...
I knew it! I feel so validated. That poor baby though. 22 months is still just a baby. Just gives me chills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi74 View Post
The same is actually true for most of Europe. Of course, people need to use discretion and consider the place. A friend and I used to have coffee once a week at a cafe in Germany. We would leave our bundled up, sleeping babies in their strollers right outside the window and sit at the table closest to the window. We just took turns watching while we ordered, so they were in sight. That just made more sense than wheeling two winter-clad sleeping babies into a noisy, hot cafe where the strollers would take up a lot of space and the babies would surely wake up. In Norway, I occasionally left him outside to run into the library to return books, etc...and he would always sleep outside on the porch for his naps.

The key I think is to consider the surroundings. Sadly, child abductions are so much more common here in the US. Here I would never do it.
Wow. I had no idea. Very interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tallulahma View Post
i remember people staring at me as i screamed for help & no one moved??? I am ''**too aware** that things can happen SO FAST that you just can not react fast enough.

I know. It is entirely too scary how people can freeze in these situations.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadebug View Post
I completely agree with this. I studied abroad in Spain when I was in college (15 years ago), and it was really common for people to park their strollers, with the baby in it, outside the store or place of business and go in and do what needed to be done. Sometimes you would see two or three all side by side. Coming from the US, it was surprising to me. When I was last there about 5 years ago, I rarely saw it. I have a couple of friends from Spain and both of them remember their moms leaving them in the stroller outside stores even up to preschool age (30+ years ago).

I have a good friend form Germany who used to leave her baby sleeping in the car while she did errands. She was shocked when we told her she could get in huge trouble for doing that. She also remembers being left outside stores, in a buggy or stroller, and so thought she was being much safer by leaving them in a locked car.
This is just so interesting. So is there truly less child crime happening over there? Or does the news over there simply not harp on these tragic stories for weeks at a time? I find it so interesting that doing this is just natural and common in Europe. Do they all think we Americans are terribly uptight about our kids?
post #58 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by bramblevine View Post
Do they all think we Americans are terribly uptight about our kids?[/FONT][/COLOR]
In my experience, they pretty much think we are uptight on most things, not just our kids.

Not sure if there is less crime or they just don't hear about it in the media. No one had the horrible stories that you hear over here, though.
post #59 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by bramblevine View Post
This is just so interesting. So is there truly less child crime happning over there? Or does the news over there simply not harp on these tragic stories for weeks at a time? I find it so interesting that doing this is just natural and common in Europe. Do they all think we Americans are terribly uptight about our kids?
No. We don't think you're uptight. You are just living in a much more violent (and maybe more paranoid) culture.
Also, we generally have wireless babymonitors in the pram when we leave our babies outside to sleep, so we can hear when they wake up. So we will hear if someone is approaching the pram and unbuckling the babyharness. And the monitor will sound an alarm if the two units are more than 25 metres apart, so if someone tries to take off with the pram with the baby in it we'll hear it too.
I never leave my babies in the car anywhere but in my own driveway. I'm afraid the car will be run into or something. But I'm not afraid of kidnappers or well meaning strangers calling the authorities. I know that won't happen. Not because strangers don't care about the safety of babies, but because it is generally considered safe to leave a sleeping baby in a car for a few minutes.
post #60 of 102
I'm a mom who has left my babe to run in where i can see the car the whole time...BUT I have to share a horror story (of course).

Recently in our town a mom left her kid in the car for a minute when she ran to drop a video in the slot... when she was running back across the parking lot aisle she was hit by a car. Her child was about three years old and SAW THE WHOLE thing.... The mom lost consciousness briefly but was in and out for the most part...the ambulance came and she could see her daughter watching, screaming and crying in the car but she COULD NOT COMMUNICATE to the EMTs that she had a child in the car! She finally got it out and they called her spouse to come for the child but this woman was almost taken to the ER with her child left behind in the car....!
The woman was ok for the most part but mentally she is totally messed up from seeing her child like that and ALSO the child is in counseling for what she witnessed....
food for thought.
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