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Do you leave your kids in the car? - Page 4

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 #61 of 129

I wouldn't. I knew of a case where a child (older than 6) was left alone in the car while their parent went into a building for several minutes, and in that time frame, the child had strangulated in a seatbelt and suffered permanent, severe brain damage. Someone passing by saw the child, disentangled them, and began CPR - this means the door must have been unlocked, so if the child had been left in a locked car, they might have died. 

 

I also witnessed the aftermath of a child knocking a car into gear at my elementary school. The car ran into a soccer goalpost and was stopped in a ditch right in front of a busy main road. 

 

There are just too many things that could go wrong. 

post #62 of 129

I have on occasion. I would never do it if I was going to be gone for more than a few moments or if I can't see the car from where I am going to be. I have done it to go to the ATM once, and at times to pay for gas. My usual incination is to take them with me but if they are sleeping or if we've already been in and out of the car a lot that day I'm more likely to consider it. My kids are also quite young (2 and 3), if they were older and asked to stay in the car I might let them considering what their ages were at the time and where we were/how long I was going to be gone. 

 

On the note of how.. I leave the radio on, car might be running if its chilly out but I always crack the front drivers side window. Not enough to anyone could get their hand through.. just enough to vent. I have an old car so I can take the keys out without killing the engine. The car is always locked and they keys are with me. I am also checking constantly and will leave whatever I"m doing (even an ATM transaction) if someone so much as pauses by my car and looks inside. 

 

I just bought a minivan though.. so I'm not quite sure how that will work out. Getting the kids out is a little easier in my van than it was in the car.. so that might change what I do.. I've only had the van a few days so it hasn't come up yet. 

post #63 of 129

I wouldn't do it. Not worth the risk. I'm even nervous when I'm pumping gas with her in her car seat or walking 1 car over to the cart corral to get a cart to sit her in, and if I forget something in the house I won't run back for it without taking her with me. It's so unlikely anything would happen, but I'd never forgive myself if it did. I would rather leave her sitting in the kitchen and take bags out to the car, then take her out, than take her out first and then the bags. (Can't see the car from the house because of where it is parked.) When I'm unloading groceries from the cart into the car I'm either wearing her or holding her or she's right there in the cart within my reach.

 

With older kids, I think I'd only leave them in the car if I'd feel comfortable leaving them in the house a longer length of time. I'd think I'd be okay with, oh, a nine-year-old staying home alone for a little while, so I'd let a nine-year-old sit in the car while I run a brief errand.

post #64 of 129

This is a sticky place with me because Ive seen quite a few times where I thought it was pretty bad that the kids were left alone. Once was 3 children that weren't even buckled in (maybe a year, 3 and 5/6) that was left alone and were climbing all over the car. I actually caught one as he fell out of the window. The mom was inside chatting while she paid a bill, she just didn't want to "hassle" with the kids. Another was a woman who needed to withdraw money but didn't want to take her 18ish month old with her to do it so she left him absolutely hysterical in the car (poor thing was screaming mamamama, it was heartbreaking) and spent the time waiting making fun of him on the phone to her friend. Ughs! Both times I had taken all 3 of my children (all under the age of 5) out of the car because it wasn't a good idea to leave children unattended.

 

Short answer, at this point in their lives NO I wouldn't leave them if Im going inside a building. I would leave them if I was doing something like checking the mail or dropping a letter off to someone (not going into the house). If I have to go inside then they come in, if I can't fully see the car they come with me, if it takes more than maybe 2 minutes they come.

 

Maybe when they are around 8 I could see leaving them alone in the car while I ran in to pay for gas or paid a bill. Even that would only be if it was comfortable enough to stay in the car without it running.

post #65 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3xMama View Post

:I only will consider leaving  my kids in the car in a situation where I can see the car at all times, like at the gas station if I have to go inside or like the above where I could see my car through the window. Otherwise, its really not a option. I do leave the car running if its cold or hot enough to warrant temp control. 


i explicitly do *not* leave the car running. temperature control? really? if you are gone only a couple of minutes, how hot / cold can it possibly get in that space of time ... vs ... the risks of leaving a running car, which include: some stranger jumping in and taking off with your kids (kidnapping or carjacking), one of the kids getting out of their car seat and going for a drive, freak accident in which your car is hit by another car, and being that it is "running," it taking off, etc. etc.

post #66 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

When I'm unloading groceries from the cart into the car I'm either wearing her or holding her or she's right there in the cart within my reach.

Kind of sidetracking a bit, but I think it is probably safer for a child to be in the car than sitting in the grocery cart. The grocery cart can roll off while you're putting bags in the trunk, or tip in uneven parking lots or if kiddo tries to climb out, or the cart could even be hit because people drive so horribly in parking lots... I don't see much risk to leaving a kid in the car, buckled in, while you're right there loading the trunk up for 2 minutes, but I do see some risk with leaving a kid in the cart. I do it too though, because DS likes to help & be near me and is getting to old to be in a carrier, but I keep one hand on the cart at all times, which makes it a bit tricky to pick up bags! I guess I would think about why you're so nervous leaving her in the car even when you're right there touching the car (pumping gas etc.)?? Assuming you didn't leave the keys in the car and the window is open if necessary... I think you might be being a bit paranoid. duck.gif lol I am one of the most paranoid people on the planet so I can relate and I hope you take no offense at me saying that!
post #67 of 129

Yeah, I know I'm paranoid! :) I just get worried about getting carjacked or something! When possible I get my husband to put gas in that car--we share both cars, and I figure he's less of a vulnerable figure--or I do it on something like an evening supermarket run when he's home with the kid. As for the shopping cart thing, putting her in the cart seat is relatively new to us since she has only been able to sit up in the past month or so, so we're still figuring that out. But typically we don't buy that many groceries for just 2 adults so it's not a big deal to keep one hand on her while unloading 1 or 2 bags worth of groceries. And she's too little to climb out. As she gets bigger, we'll see how it goes.

post #68 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

Yeah, I know I'm paranoid! smile.gif I just get worried about getting carjacked or something! When possible I get my husband to put gas in that car--we share both cars, and I figure he's less of a vulnerable figure--or I do it on something like an evening supermarket run when he's home with the kid. As for the shopping cart thing, putting her in the cart seat is relatively new to us since she has only been able to sit up in the past month or so, so we're still figuring that out. But typically we don't buy that many groceries for just 2 adults so it's not a big deal to keep one hand on her while unloading 1 or 2 bags worth of groceries. And she's too little to climb out. As she gets bigger, we'll see how it goes.

Maybe you should take a martial arts class or something. smile.gif In case someone tries to carjack you while you're pumping gas. I keep wanting to take a class myself but I haven't quite gotten around to it.
post #69 of 129

Hubby wants daughter to study martial arts when she's older. Maybe she and I can both go.

post #70 of 129

I wouldn't do it. I'm pretty paranoid- I'm always afraid someone will steal my car or someone will hit it and my son will be injured without me. A friend of mine does it all the time. She lives in a condo community and leaves her 22 month old son in the car to run into her condo. There's a path from her parking space to her building so he is completely out of sight. Makes me and DH cringe every time she mentions it. 

post #71 of 129

I wouldn't leave a kid young enough to get scared or wonder where I was, so I wouldn't leave a kid that young, but older kids? I am not worried about car jacking (though I take the keys iwth me) and I'm even less, much much less, worried about people kidnapping them because of how rare that is.

post #72 of 129

I live in a small town, so most of the kidnapping/car jacking concerns are non-issues for me. But I do leave the kids in the car sometimes. Once, on a road trip by myself with a baby in the car seat, asleep, I had to stop to pee. I realized that if I ran inside and back out, it would take less than five minutes and the baby would probably sleep through the whole thing. If I took him inside, I would have to carry the baby in the sling, plus he had the tendency to pee upon waking, so I'd end up changing him, and he would take a while to go back to sleep. It was a judgment call. I left him locked in the car. No muss, no fuss, no problem. I worried the whole time about it and breathed a sigh of relief upon getting back to the car and still-sleeping baby without incident.

 

That's when I came up with the idea of parking lot ushers in large truck stop-type gas stations. If you buy something, no charge; if you don't, a small fee ($1 or less). They watch kids asleep in cars while the parents make a quick trip inside. They also will take small, simple orders for drinks, cigarettes, etc. while people pump gas, so they don't have to run inside when they pay-at-the-pump. *sighs* My dream world.

 

I think that it's the shopping for a half hour types of people who make leaving kids in the car for a few minutes unacceptable.

post #73 of 129

No, never.

 

My kids are 3.5 y/o and 1 y/o and I've never left them in the car. I'm the one who unbuckles both kids and carries them to drop the mail in the mailbox and then puts them back in. I also live on the second floor, and I won't leave the kids in the car to take something upstairs into the house. Unfortunately, I seem to have a friend/story for everything... and I know someone who lost their child because they left them in a car and forgot (I know that sounds completely impossible, but sleep deprivation is an insane thing), and I know someone who left their kids in the car running and locked the doors just to run to the ATM, and locked the keys in the car and had to call the police. 

 

Something in my brain always imagines worst possible scenarios, so everytime I feel tempted to just leave them buckled and comfy where they are *for just a minute*, my brain travels to car-jacking, kidnapping, keys locked inside, 3 y/o unbuckles himself and runs away, God knows what... would any of this ever happen? Almost certainly not, but it's definitely enough to keep me from ever leaving them in the car.

post #74 of 129

I had my purse stolen at a fireworks show once. Somebody walked by our blanket and just walked off with it, and of course I never had any idea who. That just underscored for me that something bad can happen in only a second, so even though the chances of me being carjacked in a decently nice residential area are pretty low, they're not nonexistent. And a heck of a lot more is at stake! Hence my paranoia, I think.

post #75 of 129

Where I live it's illegal to leave children 12 or under in a car alone. I wouldn't risk it - too dangerous for them and too legally risky for me.

post #76 of 129

Never. Ever. I wish we lived in a safer time, but we don't. I am certainly one of THOSE people who will call security on anyone leaving their kids in the car if I can't see an adult in the car (usually one is sleeping with the seat reclined-Ido that all the time if my daugher is sleeping). If you aren't going to take your kids in, why did you bring them? Don't mean to be callous but I have issues with such things. Plus I live in an increasingly criminal town. It's not even a big city! It's just that people are bored and want to make names for themselves because they have no chance to in a real city ...

 

Just the other day a guy that had JUST been released from prison (on manslaughter charges) grabbed a 9yo girl who's mom left her in the toy section while she was getting produce. Also a few weeks back a girl and her brother were left in a car and a man saw the mom leave them and approached them and tried to take them both but the girl got out and the guy stole the car WITh the boy -purposefully! The girl tried to get her brother out but could not and had to go to the store to get her mom. I know I can't protect my kids from all harm, but why put them in an unnecessary situation.

post #77 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by AImom View Post

Just the other day a guy that had JUST been released from prison (on manslaughter charges) grabbed a 9yo girl who's mom left her in the toy section while she was getting produce. Also a few weeks back a girl and her brother were left in a car and a man saw the mom leave them and approached them and tried to take them both but the girl got out and the guy stole the car WITh the boy -purposefully! The girl tried to get her brother out but could not and had to go to the store to get her mom. I know I can't protect my kids from all harm, but why put them in an unnecessary situation.

I heard about the Wal-Mart incident. How scary for that 9yo girl. But really, I actually do think 9yo is old enough to be left alone in the toy section for a few minutes while the parent shops for other things (assuming the child is comfortable w/ that). I don't know...my oldest is 7 and she and my 5 yo play outside, alone, for long periods of time. Of course, we live in a safe neighborhood, non-busy street,tons of kids always out playing, know everyone, etc.

And yes, I do leave my kids in the car occassionally. Only at places where I can get a sopt RIGHT IN FRONT of the store (cleaners, Goodwill drop-off, movie rental) and onlt have to walk 10-15 feet to the front door. I can see them at all times and I always take the keys and lock the car. And it's never for more than a minute or two.
post #78 of 129

Only to pay for gas at my regular gas station right outside my neighborhood and a few other ones in MY town, only if I can park at the first pump, the front of the gas station is all windows, and there is no line inside. I never leave the keys inside the vehicle and always lock it. I also have done this when dropping off at the UPS store in our town. Same scenario. Good weather, I can see her the whole time through the store windows, vehicle locked, keys in my hand. We live in a small town outside of Little Rock. I NEVER do this in Little Rock regardless of the circumstances. I am literally in these stores less than 30 seconds. As long at it takes to set down a package or say "$XX on pump one" and I am looking at her the whole time.

post #79 of 129

.


Edited by member234098 - 5/27/12 at 1:45pm
post #80 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by miriam View Post

My husband did it all the time - ALL the time. 

 

I did it once.  I had three LOs in carseats.  I parked, turned off the motor, rolled down the window an inch, locked the doors and walked a few steps to an ATM. My children could see me and I could see them. A police car drove up and gave me a ticket for child endangerment. Great. Story of my life.



 

 

Wow! Did you fight the ticket? That's just plain crazy. Just walking a few steps up to an ATM?

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