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Leaving a kid in the car - Page 3

post #41 of 73
Being that I live in a very hot and humid state, my child will never be left alone in the car. Once of legal age and at proper maturity level. he will be able to stay home alone but being that he is only 5 that won't be happening for many many years..

I was raised as a latchkey kid and took care of my 2 younger brothers because my mom was single and had to work. I was mature for my age (10) but my brothers were 6 and 2. I was always afraid when home alone with them. Once we all went to the grocery store and my mom told us to stay in the care. Well, somehow one of my brothers got to the emergency brake and our car rolled down the hill and crashed into a light pole. What did I do? I ran crying into the store to find my mom and I left my 2 younger brothers in the car. Even though I was mature for my age, in an emergency I had no clue what to do.

So, be very careful.
post #42 of 73
We live in AZ and the answer is NEVER. A person can die in a car in a few short minutes from the heat here.

Now DS is 9 and he can stay home alone while I run errands for about an hr. but he can NOT stay in the car.
post #43 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
Certainly a child who isn't old enough to easily and without fear leave the car if it gets hot shouldn't be left in the car. And I wouldn't leave my 8-year-old in the car on a hot day as it would certainly get hot and she'd have to leave the car anyway. But an older child who could easily leave the car, and on a cooler day, is not the same as what this web site is about. For instance, I'm comfortable waiting in a car because I know how to open the car door if it gets hot. My 8-year-old is just as capable of leaving the car and would just walk into the convenience store to get me if she got too warm. I would not leave my toddler in the car due to heat and because she'd be scared if she were left alone.
post #44 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
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.
I wonder how the rate of increase in attacks on a 16 year old girl vs (let's say) a 6 year old girl corresponds to the greater frequency with which 16 year old girls are alone in places where they could easily be attacked? Also, most attacks on teenage girls come from someone they have been romantically involved with, which means the most frequent attackers of teens just don't exist in relation to a 6 year old. Stranger attacks are almost always attacks of oppertunity, and there are MANY more oppertunities to attack a teen than a child.

I do understand how un-likely a stanger abduction from a vehicle is, but I agree with some of the PPs that my kids won't stay in the car while I run into a store until they're old enough to get out and walk around alone if they feel like it. My oldest is 5 so we are totally not there yet.
post #45 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post
We live in AZ and the answer is NEVER. A person can die in a car in a few short minutes from the heat here.

Now DS is 9 and he can stay home alone while I run errands for about an hr. but he can NOT stay in the car.
Yup here too. It would be a death sentence in the summer. When its cooler I even would hesitate to do it as there are so many illegals here and they have been known to steal cars with kids in them from time to time. If I was in a small town maybe different. Yet here in the big city I won't allow my kids to play in the front yard with out an adult and they certainly can't ride their bike with out an adult. Thats not because I am paranoid, but because of the world I live in today. WE ave three pedophiles living with in 1/2 mile of my home and we live in a very nice part of town. My daughters three friends were almost kidnapped just walking home from school. Our state is the kidnap capitol of America and I cringe to see people let their kids out of their site. Hopefully we can move to a safer place soon.
post #46 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreeblim View Post
I wonder how the rate of increase in attacks on a 16 year old girl vs (let's say) a 6 year old girl corresponds to the greater frequency with which 16 year old girls are alone in places where they could easily be attacked? Also, most attacks on teenage girls come from someone they have been romantically involved with, which means the most frequent attackers of teens just don't exist in relation to a 6 year old. Stranger attacks are almost always attacks of oppertunity, and there are MANY more oppertunities to attack a teen than a child.

I do understand how un-likely a stanger abduction from a vehicle is, but I agree with some of the PPs that my kids won't stay in the car while I run into a store until they're old enough to get out and walk around alone if they feel like it. My oldest is 5 so we are totally not there yet.
My understanding is that even if you just look at stranger abduction, and don't include ex-boyfriends or anything like that, WAY more teenage girls are abducted. Also, teenagers are less likely to play outside alone so I don't think it's due to opportunity. The reason they're abducted so much more is because a much larger percentage of the population is attracted to teenagers than to pre-pubescent children.

I didn't leave my dd alone in the car until she and I both felt she could walk around outside alone though, and that was around the time she turned 8. She walks around the neighborhood to friends' houses all the time. Though really she might have been in the car alone for like 30 seconds while I returned a DVD or something before that, but she would have been within my line of sight the whole time.
post #47 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
My understanding is that even if you just look at stranger abduction, and don't include ex-boyfriends or anything like that, WAY more teenage girls are abducted. Also, teenagers are less likely to play outside alone so I don't think it's due to opportunity. The reason they're abducted so much more is because a much larger percentage of the population is attracted to teenagers than to pre-pubescent children.
Do you have citations for any of that? Because I live in a really heavily populated area and I see TONS of teenagers just walking places all alone, whereas I can't remember seeing a child as young as 6 doing the same at any time in recent memory. Bus stops, parks, sidewalks, fields, malls, grocery stores etc. are all places where I see lots of lone teens (or even pre-teens) but almost never a 6 year old. And there are 3 elementary schools within walking distance so it's not for a lack of children.

I don't doubt that teenagers are more often the victim of abduction, I'd just like to see the actual stats or studies on why and under what circumstances.

Following your line of thought it's almost as if you are saying that my 6 year old girl is better off playing at the park by herself than with a 16 year old female babysitter, because she is more likely to be injured in the abduction of the 16 year old than to be abducted herself if she was there alone. I apologise if I have misunderstood, but if any speculation needs to be supported by studies and statistics, it's this kind of speculation.
post #48 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreeblim View Post
Do you have citations for any of that? Because I live in a really heavily populated area and I see TONS of teenagers just walking places all alone, whereas I can't remember seeing a child as young as 6 doing the same at any time in recent memory. Bus stops, parks, sidewalks, fields, malls, grocery stores etc. are all places where I see lots of lone teens (or even pre-teens) but almost never a 6 year old. And there are 3 elementary schools within walking distance so it's not for a lack of children.

I don't doubt that teenagers are more often the victim of abduction, I'd just like to see the actual stats or studies on why and under what circumstances.

Following your line of thought it's almost as if you are saying that my 6 year old girl is better off playing at the park by herself than with a 16 year old female babysitter, because she is more likely to be injured in the abduction of the 16 year old than to be abducted herself if she was there alone. I apologise if I have misunderstood, but if any speculation needs to be supported by studies and statistics, it's this kind of speculation.
It was talked about in Protecting the Gift, but I don't remember the specifics.

Your 6-year-old would be less likely to be abducted than in the way of someone trying to abduct a 16-year-old, but your 6-year-old would have the potential of being injured in some other way if there weren't someone older there. Or at least the 16-year-old would be there to help if there were some other kind of injury. And other ways of being injured are much more common than abduction, so the 6-year-old would probably be safer with a 16-year-old, but not because of the potential of abduction.
post #49 of 73
hmmm i donno...never?

not being a smart a$$, but i just cant imagine it right now!
post #50 of 73
I wouldn't let my child sit in the car.

Where I live I would be more worried about them being carjacked than kidnapped or expiring from heat.
post #51 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
It was talked about in Protecting the Gift, but I don't remember the specifics.

Your 6-year-old would be less likely to be abducted than in the way of someone trying to abduct a 16-year-old, but your 6-year-old would have the potential of being injured in some other way if there weren't someone older there. Or at least the 16-year-old would be there to help if there were some other kind of injury. And other ways of being injured are much more common than abduction, so the 6-year-old would probably be safer with a 16-year-old, but not because of the potential of abduction.
I can't believe this is the first reference to Protecting the Gift. It's a book every parent and caretaker needs to read.

In answer to the original question~ no time soon, and my oldest is 9.
I was a latch-key kid too at 7. Ran wild and probably coined the phrase free-range-kid .
It's not only abduction that is my concern, it's accident, injury and random acts of violence. Really, to think about it, I can imagine each of us probably knows someone touched by random violence, accident or injury, if not ourselves. And I could never forgive myself or live with something happening to my children that could have been easily prevented.

That's my reasoning.
That said~ I don't judge another for allowing their 9 year old to wait in the car while they run into the corner store. That said, I ahve been a dawdling 'do-gooder' who hung around for a bit until a parent/grownup returned.
post #52 of 73
Here is a list of the laws in the various states from ndaa.org (National District Attorneys Association). It's a .doc file:

http://www.ndaa.org/pdf/Kids%20in%20Cars.doc
post #53 of 73
I've always taken my boys shopping with me. I have taught them how to read all the labels, and price shop, and have pretty much weaned them off of junk food, which is now only a special treat.

I now make out two shopping lists -- one for myself, and the other for my boys. They also help put things away when we get home. My oldest son is now in charge of rotating the food in the freezers, refrigerators and all the shelves.
post #54 of 73
I don't know...depends on the kid, I think. I didn't get a driver's license until ds1 was 12, and I've always been okay leaving him in the car for brief periods of time. These days, I leave him with his siblings sometimes, especially if I'm just getting a couple of things.
post #55 of 73
If I get my girls in the car and forgot something in the house, I will lock them in and run in. Never longer than 2 minutes and I can always see/hear them from my apartment. I have never left them in the car in a public place other than getting gas.
post #56 of 73
Probably 8 or 9, but it depends on the kid.

I second/third the recommendation to read Protecting the Gift and Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy.
post #57 of 73
I thought of this thread today, as I ran my DS1 to the potty while ds2 was sleeping on the way home at a gast station. There was just no freaking way I was going to the hassle of waking up, unbuckling and hauling ds2 into the gas station bathroom in order for ds1 to pee. Just. Wasn't. Hapenning.
post #58 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
My boys are 7 and 4 and beg to stay in the car when I'm doing something "boring." I leave them, with the heat on in cold weather or the windows cracked in nice weather. I would not leave them if it was over 75º out. They lock the doors and stay in the car talking or reading. I only leave them if they are together. They know not to unlock or open the doors unless there is an emergency.
My 7 yr. old walks home from school alone and will probably be allowed to stay home alone within the next year or two. He's proven himself over and over to be responsible and capable.
My mom always let me stay in the car reading as a kid, I biked over a mile to school at 6, I stayed home after school with my little sister starting at 7, and was babysitting other peoples' children at 10. Every memory I have of these things is of feeling trustworthy and competent and I don't believe the world is a more dangerous place now. My kid is more likely to be hit by a car crossing the parking lot with me, or get in a fatal wreck on the way to or from the store, than to be what? kidnapped from a locked car in a store parking lot? sitting in the car for 10 minutes.
I thought this was well written and makes good sense. Parents are often worried about totally wrong things and don't have a good concept of what's really safe and what's not.

This question is in reality impossible to answer since it depends so much on how a parent raise a child, the child itself, what country and area we are talking about, etc. I would personally have no problem leaving my 6.5 year old in the car for a while here in Sweden. He has from an early age proven to be very trustworthy.

Risk for kidnappings etc are about the same as an asteroid hitting my car.

There is no right or wrong way to do this since so many difficult factors are involved but it's still an interesting discussion to get a wider perspective on the issue.
post #59 of 73
My boys are 5 and 7. They wait in the car while I go into a gas station to pay or grab drinks. They also wait in the car when I run into the dry cleaners. They've been doing that since they were around 4. They don't wait in the car when I go into the grocery store or the library or the bank. I think the difference is how long the errand will take. It's more than 5 minutes, i don't leave them in the car. I'm not worried about kidnapping/car jacking I'm worried that they'll decide to do something that leads to trouble.

When can they wait in the car alone for more than 5 minutes? 9 probably, 10 definitely. I'll try not to do that, though, because it bored me to death as a kid. I hated it. 9 or 10 is the age that I think they'll old enough to be home alone for about an hour.

I don't worry too much about kidnapping. It happens but it's as rare as hens' teeth. My kid is more likely to get cancer than he is to even know a kid that has been kidnapped. I'm not living my life based on the fear of a low incident/high damage event. I think it is damaging to my kids to worry about something like that. It teaches them to be afraid all the time.
post #60 of 73
I think there is no *one* answer to this question! So much depends on location, situation, circumstances, etc.

I own a children's resale store and we have parents who pop in all the time while their children sleep in the car. We have a safe parking lot, they park right in front of our windows, and we actually offer them a baby monitor to put in the car to listen for their children if they want it. We live in a really family oriented, small town. I guess it's pretty laid back about this type of thing.


Personally, I've left my own kids (ages 5 & 8) in the car if I had to run into the co-op for some bread or into the library to return something, etc. But I wouldn't do it we were in a bigger parking lot, etc. Depends on situations.
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