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Is it illegal or dangerous to leave a kid in the car for 5 minutes? - Page 4

post #61 of 102
I would personally never feel safe to leave my child alone in a car. We live in a pretty rural - everyone knows your name type of area as well. There are just too many 'what if's'. Though rare, bad things still do happen. And my son is pretty free-range. ...But a lot of those 'what if's' - invovle my son strapped and secure in his car seat (5 point harness) which he is unable to get out of, so even his free-range childhood self wouldn't be able to react appropriatly in some of those 'what if's' situations where he would otherwise be fine (such as playing outside in the garden).
post #62 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by i*wish View Post
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.
Wouldn't the kid have been hit by the car too if they'd both gone? It would have been a bad situation either way.
post #63 of 102
you're right mamazee... never thought about that! we'll never know... just thinking about it, though, i bet she was preoccupied with getting back to the car and her child and that's why she wasn't paying attention and got hit (i'm not speculating about the 'not paying attention part' ...she was definitely not paying attention for fact-- neither was the driver--)

it's never a good idea to share a horror story now is it!
post #64 of 102
I wouldn't do it.

what I have done is DH and I went to lunch once. we parked literally in front of the outside table we were sitting at so the car was facing us, with the windows down and my baby sleeping in the carseat in the back.

another time we parked in front of a picnic table. the distance between us and baby would be comparable to going camping and having baby in the tent. it was one of those restaurants where they have tables on the side walk in front of the restaunt and the parking spaces are right in front of the sidewalk.
face the sidewalk.

I would never leave a child unattended for ANY amount of time in a car or otherwise though.
post #65 of 102
When my child is out in public, she is never out of my sight.
post #66 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstridS View Post
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.
Wow! That is fascinating! I had no idea such a thing existed.
post #67 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
Wouldn't the kid have been hit by the car too if they'd both gone? It would have been a bad situation either way.
You don't know that. It takes longer for mom to get herself and a three year old out of the car which means she could have been crossing the street back too late to be hit by the car.

Every choice we makes affects the future.
post #68 of 102
Someone might call the police if they see the kid alone in the car and no one around. In some places it's illegal, but that would be a local or state law and not the same everywhere.

Depending on what kind of car you have, it could be very dangerous. My 2 year old is adept at getting out of her carseat when she wants to. One of our cars does not lock the shifter in place (it's a less expensive car, so it doesn't have that safety feature). You can move it to neutral without pressing the brake down. That means that a 2 year old could be in a moving vehicle, rolling into the street, a lake, whatever. My daughter could do it in 30 seconds if she felt like it.

For that and other reasons, I consider it too dangerous to ever leave a kid in the car unattended. I also think that if it becomes a habit, it becomes much easier to forget the child is even in the car, and then tragedy is more likely.

The only time a child is left in the car is if we're in the driveway and bringing groceries in. The car is in sight at all times and the time of absence can be counted in seconds.
post #69 of 102
They just passed a law in a community where I live that it would be illegal to leave your child in the car even if you were in plain view of the car, even just a few feet away. They were saying on the news that if you pulled up to the mailbox and couldn't reach it and got out of the car just to stand up so you could reach it would be in violation of the law.

When my oldest was a baby he would never nap except in my arms or his car seat. If you tried to pick up the car seat he would wake up. I would go shopping in the afternoon and get food for supper and he would fall asleep on the way home. I would pull up under the carport and the side house door opened to the kitchen. I would leave the car window down some and the house door open and fix dinner. I was within 15 feet of him at all times. That would be illegal under this new law. Even if you are on your own property you can't leave the baby in the car.
post #70 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post
They just passed a law in a community where I live that it would be illegal to leave your child in the car even if you were in plain view of the car, even just a few feet away. They were saying on the news that if you pulled up to the mailbox and couldn't reach it and got out of the car just to stand up so you could reach it would be in violation of the law.

When my oldest was a baby he would never nap except in my arms or his car seat. If you tried to pick up the car seat he would wake up. I would go shopping in the afternoon and get food for supper and he would fall asleep on the way home. I would pull up under the carport and the side house door opened to the kitchen. I would leave the car window down some and the house door open and fix dinner. I was within 15 feet of him at all times. That would be illegal under this new law. Even if you are on your own property you can't leave the baby in the car.

that is a bit excessive. that means if you got out of your seat to get your baby out of theoir seat you would be in violation of the law. it would take the same amount of time to open your door and stand up to grab the mail as it would to open up your door and stand up to get the child out of the car...
post #71 of 102
i don't get the arguement of child abduction being rare. it may be rare, but its possible, and its a risk we dont HAVE to take, so why take it?

I also agree things like carrying in groceries, using the ATM, dropping off a video, checking your mail - all things with your child in sight the whole time - it different then running into a store or preschool for a few minutes, with child out of sight.
post #72 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
You don't know that. It takes longer for mom to get herself and a three year old out of the car which means she could have been crossing the street back too late to be hit by the car.

Every choice we makes affects the future.
What absolutely would have happened isn't the point. The point is that the parking lot isn't necessarily safer than the car.
post #73 of 102
which is safer the parking lot of the car? indetermindable.
which is safer - a child unattended in public or a child within sight of parent/caregiver in public? child attended of course.

those are 2 seperate risk factors.
post #74 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
which is safer the parking lot of the car? indetermindable.
which is safer - a child unattended in public or a child within sight of parent/caregiver in public? child attended of course.

those are 2 seperate risk factors.
I agree that they are different issues, and like I said I personally don't leave my child in the car unless I can see her, although really it's because I'm afraid she might get out of the car and walk in the parking lot. I see parking lots as pretty significant threats. There are so few child abductions I don't see that as a realistic threat worthy of my worry, and this area has no real threat of car theft either.
post #75 of 102
I will never do it again. I left my then ten year old son in the passenger's seat for what I thought would be ducking into the store for five minutes. It took longer than I expected, but I wasn't worried because he was a BIG kid, and if he got too hot, he could always get out of the car, couldn't he?

He could have but he didn't. I told him to wait in the car and he didn't want to disobey me.

He was okay, just a bit groggy and not himself for a few minutes after I got back, but I still haven't forgiven myself after seven years. He's not even a particularly obedient kid.
post #76 of 102
Personally I wouldn't do it, not with the age of my kids. I understand how tempting it is, but 5 minutes is especially too long imo. I pay at the pump when getting gas, so the kids are right there in the car next to me. I think it also depends were you live.
post #77 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...
:

You owe me a new keyboard!

[QUOTE=ginadc;13340394]Wow. That's respectful. So at least half a dozen of us on this thread are MORONS, then.
QUOTE]

YAY! I have a label!

Quote:
Originally Posted by confustication View Post
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 #78 of 102
We don't drive, but I do leave my two year old buckled into his bike trailer outside the front door to our appartment building if I have to run back in to get something. If he happens to be asleep when we come home, I leave him sleeping and go ahead and unlock/open the doors and then bring him inside.

We have some friends (who are Dutch, incidentally) who will leave their baby asleep in the bike trailer outside while they go inside a shop or, the last time I saw this happen, a museum. They took turns going out to check on her every 10 minutes or so, but the whole thing made me really uncomfortable.
post #79 of 102
In the scenerio you describe my answer is no. I leave my kids in a locked car to run into a gas station and pay for my gas, assuming there are windows to see my kids...maybe I'm paranoid, but that's the only time I do it. I think if you can't see your kids you shouldn't be leaving them in there.

Although I remember going places with my dad where he'd run into a store for a second and leave me and bro in the truck with the truck running. We were elementary school, but still not safe.

sarah
post #80 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I agree that they are different issues, and like I said I personally don't leave my child in the car unless I can see her, although really it's because I'm afraid she might get out of the car and walk in the parking lot. I see parking lots as pretty significant threats. There are so few child abductions I don't see that as a realistic threat worthy of my worry, and this area has no real threat of car theft either.
I see all the the things you mentioned as threats, and as you said, some are worse then others. the parking lot being more dangerous then the people in it. but the reality is, child abduction is still a threat, even if its a very very small one. its still possible. and its one of the things that is much less possible if child is in your sight then if child is not in your sight. so that's how I assess risk. while something may not be VERY dangerous, it can still be MORE dangerous (even if only a little) then my other options. KWIM? I agree with you though, the other things you mentioned would be my bigger concerns as well.
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