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What would you do if you saw kids left in a car? - Page 2

post #21 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by JelloPanda View Post

It is against the law (here) to leave a child under the age of 10 unattended - even if it's just 20 minutes while you do your grocery shopping.


"Just" 20 minutes? I've always been on the "wrong" side of the "kids in cars" discussion on MDC (ie. I don't think it's automatically morally reprehensible), but I think 20 minutes is quite a long time. I've left my kids in the car many times, and much younger than 10. But, I've done so to return shopping carts, or while I'm unloading groceries at the house (with young kids, I feel they're safer in the car than they are running around between the car and house - and possibly into the parking lot - while I'm going in and out with bags).

 

I think set ages (eg. "under 10") are kind of ridiculous, personally. My oldest was more able to look after himself at six than my third one is at almost eight. DD1 would have been fine on her own for a few minutes (eg. five or less) when she was about five. (I never left her, because ds2 was with her, and he was too young.)

 

Someone here on MDC once commented that 14 was too young, because the threat of kidnapping still existed. I can assure anybody who's interested that ds1, at 14, was far more able to defend himself against a kidnapper than I was! (He'd reached almost six feet in height, was training as a gymnast, had some martial arts experience, etc. - I was very pregnant.)

 

It's not the age. It's the child. That's why the laws about this kind of annoy me. They assume that a legislator who isn't on the scene can do a better risk assessment than the parent who is on the scene. Sure - some parents are negligent. You can't legislate that away.

post #22 of 84

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4657818/toddler-dies-after-being-left-in-car-with-the-heater-on.html

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/30/mother-leaves-her-kids-in_n_2217766.html

 

http://www.hlntv.com/article/2013/01/18/heather-jensen-sons-died-hyperthermia-car-sex-nearby

 

even in cool weather with the heat on it isn't safe. one boy was 4.

 

Even this car thief knows better.

 

http://blog.sfgate.com/sfmoms/2010/11/22/car-thief-yells-at-mom-for-leaving-toddler-unattended/

post #23 of 84
My cutoff age would be if I was comfortable sending the child to the corner store alone then they could wait in the car for a few minutes. Otherwise I'm very cautious about turning my back as a local small town had a case of a kidnapping which ended up with finding the young child's remains. I could just never live with myself if something very unlikely DID happen. I pay at the pump if it's just DD and me and we drop off books while going to the library to play and read. I'm lucky to have a very supportive and involved DH and if needed he'd run to gas up or drop stuff off in the evening. DD comes with me to drop off grocery carts before we get in the car. I'm not saying it's reprehensible to leave a small child in the car for a minute, I just can't do it personally.

ETA as for seeing kids, I'd contact business owner or the authorities for infants and toddlers if an adult didn't show within ten minutes, less in extreme temperatures.
post #24 of 84
wow. I seriously think I am a really overprotective mom at times. but I have left my 7,5,and baby in the car to pay for gas. 30ft away from the van and my eyes never leave the van. I am not going to drag them all through the rain, cold, snow, whatever for the less than 30sec it takes to pay. I know they are safe. I also put them in before I return my cart. although I always park next to the cart return. I do know someone who left their 2 year old in for a second to drop something off, was only a few feet away from her car and never out of sight and someone called the police on her. I am glad there are concerned people out there but sometimes people get a little carried away. Use your judgment. If the kids are ok, just watch to make sure mom comes back quickly...if they are out there for a while, yes, I would call 911 too.
post #25 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by dejagerw View Post

 

Also, if the child can get out on their own (like age 4+), there is no way I'd call the police on someone for leaving their kid in the car. There is no way the car is going to get stolen with the kid in it, or a kidnapper's going to come and snatch the kid. The odds of that happening or so small. They are much more likely to get hit in the parking lot. Or you are much more likely to ruin the poor kid's life by getting CPS involved.
 

 

I think the child getting out of the car on their own is exactly what I would be worried about.  You'd have to be darned sure that your child is trustworthy enough to stay in the car.

post #26 of 84
Quote:
I think the child getting out of the car on their own is exactly what I would be worried about

yeahthat.gif  that happened to me one time. I was obviously a little bit uncautious there. I left my four year old in the car, played his favourite tape, to pick up his sister from school. This takes about 3 minutes, but I could not see the car, because I had to walk around a corner. When I came back around the corner, my son was with a stranger walking on the school ground who said he found him wandering on the parking lot. 

 

He obviously did not stay in the car for longer then 30 sec. I will never ever leave a kid alone in a car if I cannot see the car the whole time. 

 

And, I never lock my car if I leave the kids in there, like at the gas station or when I bring back the grocery cart. (I only bring it back if I can see my car the whole time) I actually leave the trunk open at a supermarket lot (it's a van) because I figure, if something happens to me (like mom getting run over by a car) nobody would know that my kids are in there, so I need them to be able to be heard if they cry. That might be obsessive though. 

post #27 of 84

How could a mom leave her two sons alone in a car for two hours while she had sex with some guy in another car. That is so sad for those boys and I'm just blown away by that womans poor judgement.

post #28 of 84

I really agree with the poster who said its a grey area.

 

I'm sure there are scenarios that absolutely warrant intervention. TBH if I saw someone of any age in a car asleep on a very hot day I might intervene. Leaving kids unable to get out of the car alone seems like a bad idea. 

 

But I have zero problem with leaving my 9 year old in the car at the local grocery store while I shop. Its local, he can get out of the car if there 's a problem.  He has a mobile (cell phone?) and tbh the issue for him is that he'd rather be reading than shopping, especially since we seem to end up shopping way too much right now (I'm not being that organised). Although its a big supermarket, the staff turnover is low and we've been shopping there since before he was born, and all our local friends shop there, so its an enviorment where he's known by sight. He's not a shy kid, to say the least. He also walks down to the same store, or smaller local stores, on his own. He's pretty sensible and we are texting back and forth while I'm in there. TBH if he saw an adult lurking nearby making sure he's safe the odds are he'd text me to say someone was watching the car (maybe...or he might be too engrossed in his book).

 

I wouldn't necessarily leave my younger kids even when they reached his age. My next child coming along is just that much less sensible and far more likely to freak out, she'd panic and not know what to do if a stranger knocked on the window.

 

I'd personally never take kids out of the car to pay for petrol unless they were older. I really think the safest place for toddlers on a station forecourt is in the car, though generally we have a pay at pump option anyway over here. Every so often you get someone trying to get away without paying for petrol, and that to me is a much bigger danger than the risk of abduction, ten feet from me, with multiple CCTV cameras trained. (it might be that UK petrol forecourts are smaller than US ones, BTW, ours typically have six to twelve pumps at most)


Edited by Fillyjonk - 4/20/13 at 10:33am
post #29 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 I've left my kids in the car many times, and much younger than 10. But, I've done so to return shopping carts, or while I'm unloading groceries at the house (with young kids, I feel they're safer in the car than they are running around between the car and house - and possibly into the parking lot - while I'm going in and out with bags).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammatobecca View Post

wow. I seriously think I am a really overprotective mom at times. but I have left my 7,5,and baby in the car to pay for gas. 30ft away from the van and my eyes never leave the van. I am not going to drag them all through the rain, cold, snow, whatever for the less than 30sec it takes to pay.

 

 

 

At least my understanding is that what's being discussed are much lengthier periods of time, not just the few seconds it takes to return a cart while you're still in view of the car. If people really are saying that they wouldn't leave their child in the car while pumping gas or unloading groceries at home then I'm in the "it's okay to leave them in the car in certain circumstances" camp.

 

I really thought this discussion was more along the lines of children left alone during a grocery shopping trip or while returning merchandise at a store in the mall, situations where you stand around for a bit and the parent(s) are obviously nowhere to be seen.  If the parent is in view of the car and it's been only a few moments, I don't have any issues with that.

post #30 of 84
I leave my kids (3 and 6) in the car to bring a cart back. I never even realized this was debateable!
post #31 of 84
Where I live, it's illegal to leave kids under 12 in a car alone. Illegal to the point where the kids go into fostercare, not illegal meaning a ticket and a fine. Those of you who do it - Reconsider!
post #32 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post

Where I live, it's illegal to leave kids under 12 in a car alone. Illegal to the point where the kids go into fostercare, not illegal meaning a ticket and a fine. Those of you who do it - Reconsider!

But they do allow for some gray here, right? There's cart returning (30 seconds tops? and staying outdoors, usually in view of car?) using an ATM.. just a few steps from the car. Returning library books into the drop box, when there's usually a couple designated "drop off" parking spots right in front of the drop box! What about if the car is parked in the driveway of the home? 

 

Personally, I recognize that the absolute biggest risk if I were to leave my kids in the car is CPS involvement. The risk of kidnapping is so remote. With the rare exception however, I do not leave my kids alone in the car. When shopping, I don't buckle my kids in until after I've returned the cart. I rack up library fines on occasion because my closest library has a drop box that is around the corner from the parking lot (grrr!!! Seriously?! Its brand new too, and no one thought of this during the construction planning?!) so I never get around to returning books unless we're *all* going in (I hate going to the library with 3 kids!) or I manage to go kid free. Unless we go to the next closest library, that one has a parking spot just a few steps from the drop box. So yeah, I'll leave my kids alone to drop books in there ;) You wouldn't be able to count to 5 during the time I'm out of the car! Another time, at ds1's preschool pickup, dd was sick so I didn't want to bring her in. Its an in home preschool and the parking lot is behind the house, very private feeling, and very safe feeling. So I left her in there rather than expose a preschool full of kids to whatever she had! My biggest offense is, I'm the QUEEN of buckling the kids in, then realizing I forgot my keys, or my cell phone, or a spare diaper, or something stupid like that. No way am I unbuckling all 3 of 'em just to run in real fast! Our driveway is at about a 45* angle to the street down a slight hill with plenty of tree/bush coverage so a passerby wouldn't notice kids... again with the feeling private/safe. "safe" I guess being measured by "how likely is someone to walk by, notice, and call 911?"

post #33 of 84

marsupial mom wrote

 

"Where I live, it's illegal to leave kids under 12 in a car alone. Illegal to the point where the kids go into fostercare, not illegal meaning a ticket and a fine. Those of you who do it - Reconsider!"

 

I have to say, depending on the area you live in, that does seem like an OTT law. If thats the deal where you are  and CPS would seriously have kids enter the care system because, say, their mother let a kid old enough to walk to and from the same store alone-say 10-, wait quietly in the car with a book, water and a cell phone, then that is  incredibly constricting.

 

I feel fortunate that that is not the situation where I am, at least in practice, so I can make considered decisions based on the needs of my own family.

 

ETA clarity, sorry my quotes thing isn't working properly

post #34 of 84
I leave my kid in the car to pump gas, return carts, use the ATM, whatever. If I can see the car then it's not a big deal. I can't imagine it being a big deal for anyone else either. Are we really to think that there is a stranger lurking behind a bush just waiting for me to leave my kid in the car for three minutes? I don't live in that kind of world.

Now, if there was someone I knew that was trying to take off with my kid (such as an ex husband or something), you can bet I would have an armed guard standing by at all times. That is what the vast majority of kidnappings are: people the victims knew, and usually a parent kidnapping from the other parent. Kidnapping by a complete stranger is extemely rare.
post #35 of 84

This is from a few days ago, but I didn't know that going to great lengths to avoid taking a sleeping child out of a car seat was sign of poor attachment or maternal depression.

 

I did regularly leave 2-3 year old ds asleep in the shade with the windows rolled down to fetch dd from preschool.  This entailed me going around the corner, out of site of the car.  No way on earth I was going to wake him up and haul him in with me under those circumstances.

 

That instance where someone called 911 with the mom in sight a little ways away-  that sounds like a waste of my tax dollars and the caller should be sent the bill. Don't do hyper vigilant, hyper righteous crap like that.

 

Sorry, I might be a little grumpy today. 

post #36 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by JelloPanda View Post

It is against the law (here) to leave a child under the age of 10 unattended - even if it's just 20 minutes while you do your grocery shopping.

Breaking into a car to rescue a child is legal here if you suspect the child is in danger (because of heat, cold, etc)

I wouldn't do it if I saw mom leave a sleeping child in the car to run a book into the drop off slot at the library, for example. But with our incredibly cold winters and HOT summers here, I would *definitely* call the police and rescue an infant that was shut in a car alone at the grocery store or something.

With an older child, I'd stand by the car and wait for mom or dad to come back, as long as the child looked "okay".

 

This is the most ridiculous law in the history of laws. Criminy. What a world we live in. You can't leave a nine year old in a car? WTF???

post #37 of 84

Thank you for this very sane post.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

This is from a few days ago, but I didn't know that going to great lengths to avoid taking a sleeping child out of a car seat was sign of poor attachment or maternal depression.

 

I did regularly leave 2-3 year old ds asleep in the shade with the windows rolled down to fetch dd from preschool.  This entailed me going around the corner, out of site of the car.  No way on earth I was going to wake him up and haul him in with me under those circumstances.

 

That instance where someone called 911 with the mom in sight a little ways away-  that sounds like a waste of my tax dollars and the caller should be sent the bill. Don't do hyper vigilant, hyper righteous crap like that.

 

Sorry, I might be a little grumpy today. 

 

 

post #38 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post

Where I live, it's illegal to leave kids under 12 in a car alone. Illegal to the point where the kids go into fostercare, not illegal meaning a ticket and a fine. Those of you who do it - Reconsider!

 

Absurd. I hope someone sues the crap out of your town and has this law overturned.

post #39 of 84

anyone have a link to find out the laws from state to state?

post #40 of 84
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