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Leaving a kid in the car - Page 2

post #21 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
Maybe the worst possible thing happened to them so they know how easy it is to happen to a child and they want to protect their kid from that pain. I don't see how other people's decisions as knowledgeable parents should in any way disturb someone who isn't in that family. It isn't as though they are making everyone in the parking lot come into the store with them so it in no way affects the people who choose not to believe that something bad will ever happen to their kid.
Except that often these people call the police and get involved in other people's decisions. I would allow my daughter to walk a half a block to the gas station to buy herself an ice cream if I wasn't so worried about "do gooders" getting upset and involved. She has the maturity and it is very close to home, but other people who get worked up and could get CPS or the police involved.
post #22 of 73
I'm not sure that's true.

My daughter has a serious lack of impulse control. That's just who she is. And I would never allow her, at age 8, to walk to the store (assuming we had a store within walking distance) alone. Yet I would never dream of calling CPS on parents with different kids and different decisions.

Yes, some people are fearmongers and busybodies. But some others of us just know what our kids are capable of.
post #23 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairejour View Post
Except that often these people call the police and get involved in other people's decisions. I would allow my daughter to walk a half a block to the gas station to buy herself an ice cream if I wasn't so worried about "do gooders" getting upset and involved. She has the maturity and it is very close to home, but other people who get worked up and could get CPS or the police involved.
yeah, see, that would be my biggest concern with leaving a kid in the car - any kid, who happened to even look younger than about 12. People will call the cops, and the possibility of being arrested is real. Arrest of child endangerment/neglect most likely will involve CPS - and besides any small risk of abduction or other harm in the parking lot - that's not a chance I'm willing to take. Turn our whole world upside down just b/c my kid didn't want to go into the grocery store to grab a few items with me? Not worth it.

ETA: and fwiw, I would never call CPS/cop in that situation - and don't think it's the right thing to do at all. But there are certainly people who feel that way and won't hesitate to get the authorities involved b/c they are so 'concerned'.
post #24 of 73
Quote:
It also depends on the child and how attractive they are probably.
if my child were unattractive, i would still probably not leave her in the car by herself...
post #25 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
I don't think I will ever be comfortable with my dd staying in the car alone while I am off shopping. If she is old enough to stay home alone (13) then I will let her choose to do that. I remember having to stay in the car sometimes and it got very hot and uncomfortable, I don't want my dd thinking she has to endure that.
Wouldn't you be available to avoid that by saying "Come find me if you get hot or bored?"

If I give my son the following choices:

1) Come with me and come in the stores as I run errands.
2) Come with me, enjoy the drive and the conversation, and then sit in the car reading your book for 10 minutes a few different times.
3) Stay home alone for an hour.

He'll pick 2. I assume that if he were hot and uncomfortable he'd choose 1 or 3. I'm not sure why he'd think he had to "endure" something that he chose to do, and that he has the ability to undo (by coming in and finding me) at any time.

OP, I started leaving him around 8 or 9, in neighborhoods I felt were safe when I could see the car from the door, and it was quick (think 7 - 11). Now at 11 I pretty much always offer the choice, unless it's something like Target where I could be a couple of hours.

When the weather's hot, I've also let him sitting under a tree near the car with his book or the dog.
post #26 of 73
I will leave my 7.5 year old in the car if it's a quick errand - like running into the store for one or two items. He asks to do it everytime, but 99% of the time I make him come in with me.

I just don't think it's that big of a deal - he's mature, likes to sit there and play his DSi & we live in a low crime, safe area. In fact the police substation shares a parking lot with the grocery store I'm talking about.

I like to give him freedom and choices. When he does come into the store with me, his favorite activity is for me to give him a list of a few items - he'll go off on his own, gather them, and bring them to our cart. Some people probably think that's unsafe too.
post #27 of 73
I will not leave my children in the car until they are old enough to be left home alone. For me and my kids, that would probably be 11 or so, depending on the child. Middle school age? But I worry more about hyperthermia then I do about stranger abduction. The bottom line for me is that alone, is alone, in the house or the car. They need to be old enough and responsible enough to handle their own problems, come and get you, etc. Also, it would only be in fall and spring. Not in a running car, so no hot or cold weather, period.
post #28 of 73
I hate this subject. I want to tell you that you can but in today's society, I wouldn't. One time I parked on one side of a busy street and needed to put something in the mail slot of a business across the street. I felt it was safer in that situation to leave my two boys ages 4 and 7 in the car while I ran across to deliver the envelope. I locked the car (and they were secured in their seats) that was parked in a legal spot, ran across and came right back. The car was never out of my sight. When I got back a man unleashed a diatribe on me about what a terrible mother I was and how his wife would never do what I did and how horribly irresponsible I was and on and on and on. It made me feel terrible because I'm NOT an irresponsible mother and I didn't want to try and drag my two little kids across a rather busy street. Be careful leaving them unless this type of encounter is something that wouldn't bother you. People can be rather meddlesome and sometimes it is because something bad has happened to them or someone they know in a similar situation.
post #29 of 73
I was thinking of this thread this afternoon - I picked ds up from school and ran into our neighborhood market to get wheat buns for dinner. He wanted to wait in the car & it's a beautiful day so I let him. Before I got out, he asked if I would buy him a kit kat. I said I will try to remember.

As I was picking up the buns he met me in the grocery store with a handwritten note that said "Don't forget my kit kat" and then went back to the car.

He's perfectly capable of coming to get me if he needs me (obviously!) and I think it's grossly underestimating his abilities to say he needs to be in his teenage years to do that.
post #30 of 73
My 11 yr old and 9 yr old wait in the car for me when they choose to. But....our car has dark tinted windows and unless someone was really searching or the sun was just right I don't think the fact that they are without an adult is that noticable. I think it depends on the child and the area you are in. But having tint makes me feel better.
post #31 of 73
I guess the same age I'd trust them to go to a friend's house on their own and do things independently. At that point they can stay home instead of tagging along. Any less than that and I'd be too concerned about heat (as they say for dogs, even an overcast and cool day can still become unbearably hot in a car) and creepy people. In regard to the latter, a cell phone will become requisite once he gets that independence. Not that he needs to OMGTXTUFRND!!! (though he will I'm sure) but so he can push the little emergency button and summon help. I will know what age this all is when we get there. Right now he has no choice but to tag along since he's literally attached to me when we go :-p
post #32 of 73
My 8-year-old knows how to unlock and open car doors, so I'm not worried about her roasting in there in the two minutes or so I'm in a convenience store or whatever.
post #33 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by firewoman View Post
I hate this subject. I want to tell you that you can but in today's society, I wouldn't. People can be rather meddlesome and sometimes it is because something bad has happened to them or someone they know in a similar situation.
post #34 of 73
It depends on the situation. Neighborhood, time of day, etc. I have and do sometimes leave my oldest (DS-14) and sometimes the older two together. I usually leave the car running (for ac/heat) & locked though. , and DS has his cell if he needs to reach me before I get back.
I've left my oldest with the baby to run in for a couple of minutes but not for longer. I do like that we have dark tinted windows and you can't really see if there is an adult with them or not.

That being said, I have a friend who was attacked while sitting in her car. She was 17 years old and was waiting for a friend who went in to the mall to return an item. It was a nice day and she was parked in the shade with the sunroof open, reading a book. A man jumped on the car and climbed in through the open sunroof before she could even react.

There is always the worst case scenarios..always. What I do is do the best I can at any given time and do what feels right to me at the time.
post #35 of 73
Teenage girls are attacked at a much, much, much higher frequency than pre-pubescent children. The ironic thing is that sometimes we hire teenage girls to safeguard our kids when as far as stranger-danger goes, the child is in more danger because he/she could be in the way of someone trying to get the teenage girl. Obviously kids need babysitters to protect them from more common dangers, but lurking strangers are a much bigger problem for teens than little kids.
post #36 of 73
My DD is 9 and we live in a big city. Our specific community is like an oasis within the city in many ways. I don't leave her at home alone (personality+circumstance) and I don't leave her in a car alone (personality+weather). She is an only child and spends plenty of time alone as is. She doesn't need or want any further alone time at this point in her life. Our weather can be tricky in regards to heat. The sun is often out and the breeze can be cool. Perfect weather when you are outside. Inside a car gets very warm very quickly.

She can walk to grandpa's alone and she can walk to a few other neighbor's homes alone. She also takes out recycling and/or trash sometimes. She can do those because there are no streets involved. We live in an HOA with only peripheral three-sided street access. Fourth side is a canyon, which is a whole 'nother issue (wildlife+teenagers). I can see her or hear her arrive at neighbors. She calls me from grandpas because he lives further away. It takes 60-90 seconds to walk it. If she is uncomfortable with strangers around, she will come right back home and ask me to go with her. That is her personality.

Our community is very walker-friendly on the surface. Pedestrian lights and crosswalks. Sidewalks and bike lanes. Low crime rate. Plenty of other walkers and cyclists around. Drivers are honestly the biggest danger! Everyone is in such a hurry and pay less attention than is needed.
post #37 of 73
I'm pretty comfortable with it in general. I think my kid's way more likely to be hit by a car walking across the parking lot than have something like an attack or an abduction happen to them when I'm out of sight.
post #38 of 73
My oldest is 9 right now and I wouldnt do it. I am not sure when I would be willing to do it since I havnt gotten there yet.
post #39 of 73

Not even for a minute!

Every summer we hear about the tragic deaths of children who die of hyperthermia from having been left in a hot vehicle. Sadly, even the most caring and vigilant of parents are often the unwitting perpetrators of these horrendous fatalities. In an effort to increase public awareness the Heat Hurts™ symbol was created as a reminder to NEVER leave your child in a vehicle unattended for any reason - Not even for a minute! http://www.heathurts.org
post #40 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by twosetsoftwins View Post
Every summer we hear about the tragic deaths of children who die of hyperthermia from having been left in a hot vehicle. Sadly, even the most caring and vigilant of parents are often the unwitting perpetrators of these horrendous fatalities. In an effort to increase public awareness the Heat Hurts™ symbol was created as a reminder to NEVER leave your child in a vehicle unattended for any reason - Not even for a minute! http://www.heathurts.org
A site every parent should read, thank you. And welcome to MDC .
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