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Do you leave your kids in the car? - Page 3

Poll Results: Do you leave your kids in the car while you go into an establishment?

 
  • 34% (75)
    No, never!
  • 42% (93)
    Sometimes, depends on the circumstances.
  • 19% (43)
    Only when the child/ren are at a responsible age.
  • 3% (7)
    All the time!
218 Total Votes  
post #41 of 129

As a general rule, I won't leave them in the car if I'm actually going into a building, but will if I'm outside and can see the car. I will leave them in the car when I go into our house, though. Our parking space is right in front of the house - like maybe 15 feet from the front door, and it's all flat. When we're going somewhere, I usually get the kids all strapped in, then go back in for whatever else we may be taking (snacks for homelearning meetup, diaper bag, library books to be returned, etc.). It's way less insane than trying to do all that with them in the house, where they can easily slip past me and bolt. DD2, in particular, is usually happy to be in the car, because then she really knows she's going somewhere.

But, I won't leave them in the car with the keys inside at all. DS2 likes to play with the console, and he has no hesitation about locking me out. It's scary. I can also see him starting the van and trying to drive, which would be....amazingly terrifying.

post #42 of 129
Hehe, my parents used to do this OFTEN when we were kids and we HATED it! We'd all bicker and fight the whole time! A couple years ago I was remembering a winter night I went into a party sobbing to my parents that my siblings were so mean. I must have been 6 yo? The more I thought about it, the more I realized, my parents left my 4-5 siblings in the car alone while they went to a company party?!?!? I was appalled and can only imagine how my parents must have felt with me wandering in among my Dad's colleges! wink1.gif

I left DS in his carseat at a yard sale once, with my car parked along the road and me in the person's front yard. He yelled and I had to go get him wink1.gif It felt kinda scary leaving him there...

I've also left him sleeping in the car in a family member's driveway if I can see him from the house.

Other than that? Nope, he hates being left and I'm fine bringing him with me. When we have another kid one day, I imagine they'll try to kill each other if left alone in the car so, nah, they'll come in with me wink1.gif
post #43 of 129

DD is 7 now and I still would not do it if it involved going into a building, being out of eyesight or being out of reach even. Maybe in another couple of years for a quick errand, if she is OK with it. I never did it when she was a babe/toddler - not worth the risk. Though it was tempting at times - she was a lousy sleeper and was a beast when she woke up from naps (we learned to give her a 10-minute buffer before engaging her) - so having to wake her up from a nap to run in somewhere for two minutes was not something we wanted to do often. We managed to avoid those situations as best we could. I spent a lot of time reading in a parked car, waiting for her to awaken, so that I could take care of business. Not fun when you have only limited time in the evenings/on weekends to get stuff done, but we also knew that it was for a short period of time that we had to accommodate that. Though I understand if you have more than one kid, that period of time might be looooong (and look different!) but that was our situation so we worked with it.

post #44 of 129

I remember my mom would leave me in the car if we went to home depot. (I hated home depot with a passion) I was around 10 ish but I was somewhat responsible and was actually afraid of the car driver's seat.  (still am..) But... she didn't want to hear my bickering. The only other time she left me was when she had to get a few groceries, pay a bill, or go to the atm machine.  But if it were left up to me, I would never leave my kids alone. I don't know. So many bad situations happened when I was left alone and I don't want my kids to be in the same situation if it can be avoided, yk?

post #45 of 129

I would never leave kids who were still in car seats to run an errand.  To pay for gas, yes, but beyond that, no.  My boys are 9 now and there have been a couple of times when they've wanted to stay in the car rather than go inside a store.  I'm OK with that as long as the doors are locked.  My 6 yo dd comes with me. 

post #46 of 129

I have a 9 year old and I am not ready to leave her in a car while I run errands. Many times they (her and the 6 year old) have said they want to stay in the car but I just can't do it.  It may be because I am veritas vitae's twin sister and I was in the car when the guy was staring at us rubbing his penis, I mean that was really scary! Even my older siblings didn't know what to do, we were afraid to leave the car, afraid to stay in the car. I won't even go buy gas with them in the car. Although I will leave them in the car at home and at their school like I mentioned previously.

post #47 of 129

Yes, but only to gas the car or run inside our house to grab something quick.

post #48 of 129

Yes, but my oldest is 13-so only when she's in the car, too.

post #49 of 129

yep....I leave the 10 year old in the car with the baby all of the time. It's never for a very long time...maybe 20 minutes at the most. Baby is ALWAYS falling asleep in the car ( poor 3rd child...lol) while we are out running around to activities and she will be an awful crank if we wake her. So, 10 year old will sit in the car with the a/c on with her while she sleeps. He is VERY capable and is able to turn off the car, if needed, unbuckle the baby, and remove her from her carseat and the car, if needed. It doesn't worry me in the least.  Baby is 17 months and ds is 10 years old. 

post #50 of 129

I used to do this sometimes when my son was a baby if I could see the car and I totally regret it. I guess I saw my husband do it a time or two and thought it was acceptable. And we live in a very hot climate!!! It was really dumb. Now I only do it on occasion in cooler weather to pick up my daughter because my son is 9 and he doesn't want to get out of the car to go inside the pre-school. I get just as nervous bringing him inside, with all the little kids running around him.

 

Not only can someone steal your car, but someone could crash into it, or your child could get out, or something could happen to you while you are running into the building or something could happen to you while you are in the building and no one would know there was a child in the car! How scary!!

 

One time, I ran into CVS...got a space right out front. Daughter was really little but son was probably in kindergarten or 1st grade. I needed to drop 35 mm film in the film box. The film was too big to fit in the box for whatever reason (I think it was one of those disposable cameras with film inside it), so I had to give it to the clerk. Turns out, there was already a guy waiting to talk to the clerk and as he was taking his time and I was getting more nervous and about to leave....I saw a friend of mine and the first thing she asked was "where's the kids?" I was honest and told her they were in the car...that I didn't think there would be a line and I was just dropping off film...etc...she walked out at the same time as me with her mom and they both waved and smiled at the kids as we left, but she was standoffish with me after that. Can't blame her. Didn't look good. 

 

Where do you draw the line though? I guess it's good to know the laws in your state. One time I went to put a grocery cart away after loading up my daughter and drop off a library book at the same time (the book drop is next to where the carts go). The book drop was full, and I wanted to make sure they got it, so I went inside for a second to put it in the indoor box. When I came out to the car a crazy woman was screaming at me and telling me she was going to call the cops. My daughter was probably 2 or 3 at the time but looked a lot younger because she was practically bald. I told her I went to return my cart and she was all in my face. I get where she was coming from, but I was parked four spaces over from the cart return/book drop. You mean to tell me she never returned a cart to the cart return before when she had kids....she was one of those people who just left it in the middle of the parking lot? To me, it's much safer to just load the kids up first, instead of trying to hold all of their hands while loading the trunk with groceries and while returning a cart, etc....but I can see the argument that something could happen in that 15 seconds it takes to return the cart...but I really think that woman was out of line since I was gone one minute. A cop actually started following me a minute later too! 

post #51 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarroq View Post

Where do you draw the line though? I guess it's good to know the laws in your state. One time I went to put a grocery cart away after loading up my daughter and drop off a library book at the same time (the book drop is next to where the carts go). The book drop was full, and I wanted to make sure they got it, so I went inside for a second to put it in the indoor box. When I came out to the car a crazy woman was screaming at me and telling me she was going to call the cops. My daughter was probably 2 or 3 at the time but looked a lot younger because she was practically bald. I told her I went to return my cart and she was all in my face. I get where she was coming from, but I was parked four spaces over from the cart return/book drop. You mean to tell me she never returned a cart to the cart return before when she had kids....she was one of those people who just left it in the middle of the parking lot? To me, it's much safer to just load the kids up first, instead of trying to hold all of their hands while loading the trunk with groceries and while returning a cart, etc....but I can see the argument that something could happen in that 15 seconds it takes to return the cart...but I really think that woman was out of line since I was gone one minute. A cop actually started following me a minute later too! 

I think it's because you went inside. I assume most people return their carts or drop off something at an outdoor drop, but going inside just feels... different. IDK why and IDK if that's a good or bad thing, but that's where I draw the line -- going inside.
post #52 of 129

I say "no, never" (except an older child... 7 or older) Because I live in Phoenix, and I don't feel like it's safe.

 

But, in another town that I felt was safer, I would leave even a small child in the car if I could see them.

post #53 of 129

No, never. The only time I can ever think that I left my daughter in the car was when I drove from Utah to Kansas alone with her, she was a little over a year old and I needed to pre-pay for gas and she had finally fallen asleep, so I pulled up to the front door, locked the car door and ran in, threw down my cash and ran back out. She's 6 now and I still don't leave her in the car alone. Now if she were older, I might, but I'm still not trusting her yet with that. I on the other hand remember sitting in the car for hours while my Dad did boring business things and I'd just sit and listen to the radio. I can remember doing that as young as 4 years old. I also was tied down to a motorcycle tank (with bungee cords and a pillow to rest my head on) on overnight trips as a baby and toddler (and I never wore a helmet, just a bandanna because no one wanted to brush out that mess winky.gif) and I was never required to wear a seat belt in the car and I always sat in the front, never the back unless both parents were present... irked.gif I'm totally the opposite of my parents. I DON'T KNOW HOW I SURVIVED! orngbiggrin.gif

post #54 of 129

Yes. I don't live in the states, so no legal rules against it. And no "cultural rules" about it here either. Just common sense. You are going to be gone an hour, take your kid. You are going to be gone 5 or 10 minutes, ask your kid if they want to come in or stay in the car. My kids say which they prefer. FWIW, they are 7 and 5.

post #55 of 129

I think it all depends on the temperature outside, the age of your children, where you will be, etc. . .  I left my babies in the car to run in and pay for gas, in the driveway when they were sleeping as toddlers (we lived on a mountain with no way they'd be abducted and it wasn't too hot or too cold and I left the doors open to hear them), etc. . .  Now, they are 10 and 7, I let them choose if they want to go inside places with me.  They often choose to stay in the car when I grocery shop, run into the bank, etc. . .so they can listen to their book on tape (the car doesn't have to be on to run the radio).  There are places where I don't let them stay in the car, if it's an area that freaks me out, of course I wouldn't let them stay in the car.  We aren't in the US, so I feel a bit more comfortable doing this.  However, in the states, when I'm in an area that's "safe" I wouldn't worry about leaving them in the car to run a quick errand.  In a city, nah, I wouldn't do it.

post #56 of 129

No! 

 

This happened right down the street from my house when I was in high school, and even though I didn't have a child until a couple years later it really stuck with me.  And still does, to this day.  The mom went into a sandwich shop to get a Coke.  It was in a strip mall and the car was parked right outside where she could see it.  Yes, it could have been prevented if she had taken her keys with her, but the point is that anything can happen, at any time.  It's just not worth it to me.

 

ETA:  This didn't happen in a bad area either.  It was a nice middle class suburb.

post #57 of 129

Well, I do sometimes leave two of my three in the car. Each time I say, "who wants to stay and who wants to go?" I have a two yo, and of course, she doesn't get to choose. The oldest NEVER wants to go in, and it varies with my five yo. 

 

My kids know how to dial 911, and I only leave them when I feel it is safe to do so. They are five and almost nine. I would not leave my five yo without his older bro. 

 

We homeschool and are always together. So, this works for us. my oldest also goes to the neighborhood park with another 8/9 yo (without me) and they bring a cell phone. 

post #58 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleMa View Post

No! 

 

This happened right down the street from my house when I was in high school, and even though I didn't have a child until a couple years later it really stuck with me.  And still does, to this day.  The mom went into a sandwich shop to get a Coke.  It was in a strip mall and the car was parked right outside where she could see it.  Yes, it could have been prevented if she had taken her keys with her, but the point is that anything can happen, at any time.  It's just not worth it to me.

 

ETA:  This didn't happen in a bad area either.  It was a nice middle class suburb.



Well, this story makes me about want to throw up.  I cannot imagine.  I do think that leaving the keys in the car is a drastically different situation than not leaving the keys.  Someone else mentioned carjackings earlier and I think that when someone sees a car running with no driver in it, that's a whole different thing than picking your parked car to steal and hot wire or whatever.  That is just something that doesn't happen  --  cars don't get hot wired while their owner has run into the post office to drop some mail in the box or run into 7-11 for a gallon of milk or is walking their kid up to the front of their school or whatever.  OTOH, if the car is running and there's no one in the driver's seat, that's like an invitation.  (I don't mean to place any blame on the mama in the story.  Smart, caring people have lapses.)  If I was you, though, BubbleMa, I wouldn't be able to do it either.  I'm sure you've laid awake nights thinking about that poor boy and it's hard to shake that kind of image.  

post #59 of 129
My childhood has a bad "kids left in the car " story , too. I'd never do that to my kids.


Mom had an old car, all three of us in the car while she ran into the store. I was 6, sister 5 and little brother 2. The car slipped out of gear or the brake didn't hold or something and we rolled into traffic. The car was hit by an oncoming car.. thankfully none of us were badly hurt.
post #60 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post



Well, this story makes me about want to throw up.  I cannot imagine.  I do think that leaving the keys in the car is a drastically different situation than not leaving the keys.  Someone else mentioned carjackings earlier and I think that when someone sees a car running with no driver in it, that's a whole different thing than picking your parked car to steal and hot wire or whatever.  That is just something that doesn't happen  --  cars don't get hot wired while their owner has run into the post office to drop some mail in the box or run into 7-11 for a gallon of milk or is walking their kid up to the front of their school or whatever.  OTOH, if the car is running and there's no one in the driver's seat, that's like an invitation.  (I don't mean to place any blame on the mama in the story.  Smart, caring people have lapses.)  If I was you, though, BubbleMa, I wouldn't be able to do it either.  I'm sure you've laid awake nights thinking about that poor boy and it's hard to shake that kind of image.  


Absolutely!  I do think taking your keys reduces the risks dramatically, but still.  You just never know what could happen.  I'm sure that mama never thought someone would steal her car in the middle of the day at a busy shopping center in the suburbs.  There are just so many things that could happen in a split second.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

My childhood has a bad "kids left in the car " story , too. I'd never do that to my kids.
Mom had an old car, all three of us in the car while she ran into the store. I was 6, sister 5 and little brother 2. The car slipped out of gear or the brake didn't hold or something and we rolled into traffic. The car was hit by an oncoming car.. thankfully none of us were badly hurt.


How scary!  That happened to our car when we were kids.  It popped out of gear and rolled through the parking lot, down a steep hill, and hit a tree.  Luckily none of us were inside.  But that's one of those things that can happen in a split second.

 

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