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Mom left kids in car, I called 911; Right action? - Page 5

post #81 of 150
Yes I saw it and it confirmed my feelings that kids shouldn't be left in cars.
post #82 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by HippoMommy
I might've asked the store to page her -- make it a loudspeaker thing "will the parent of the children alone in their car in the parking lot please return to your car. . . " something embarassing to get her attention, but not involving the police and/or I would've watched the car and talked to her about it. But I also think it's easy to 2nd guess yourself. You were trying to help. . . . I think you did fine.
absolutely not! paging something like that over the loudspeaker is practically an invitation for any sicko that might be listening to bolt out to the parking lot, knowing that there are unattended children and do something horrible to the children. same reason if there is a lost child in a department store, managers or other store associates guard all doors and are informed of the child's description and last known whereabouts before ANY page is made.
post #83 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebethmom
I probably would have just parked where I could watch her kids in the car.
And this would have been very much appreciated... at least IMHO.

I don't think the OP did anything wrong, but I can also understand the momma's panic at having the police involved. Also, despite her being heavily pg, she MIGHT be a single momma with no other resources (for her to leave the kids with) - she might be a widow or her husband/partner may have left... so, while what she chose to do was poor judgement and possibly dangerous for her kids, try to give her a bit of understanding.

Anyway... as a single momma, I've left my 12 yr old watching my 2.5 yr old in the locked, turned OFF car if my lil one was sleeping & I was just running in very quickly (pharmacy pick up called in med - literally 5 minutes) & could see them - but not in summer or very cold winter, etc. Depends on the situation.

I know I have gone to drive in movies with YS and after he fell asleep, had to go to the bathroom BADLY... and there is no way to take a sleeping toddler into the bathroom (crowded, dirty, no counters and FILTHY floors), and I was alone... so I locked my car and asked a momma next to us if she would keep an eye on him while I went to the bathroom (10 feet from car).

So, as I started this post, I know that I would LOVE to have another momma (or poppa or aunt or granma/pa...) watch out for my kids (even though I trust OS to keep an eye on YS implicitly) if I needed to leave them in the car for a few minutes. Without judgement is best... because even if you can't imagine a situation in which you'd make that choice, there are situations and everyone's is different.
post #84 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
I wouldn't have called. I think our culture underestimates children, and then complains about our children's lack of responsibility. Most 9-year-olds, IMO, are perfectly capable of caring for a baby (who was clearly not a young infant, if the mom was noticeably pregnant) for 10 or 15 minutes. In many societies, they would be doing so for hours by age 9. The kids had instant access to the mom if something came up, via cell phone, and she was minutes away. The car doors were locked. They didn't appear distressed in any way (sobbing, screaming in terror, etc). Yes, a strange man could come along and smash in the car windows and grab the kids, all in a crowded parking lot, but the chances are pretty slim... and the same strange man could do the same thing at home, while mom was in another room.

Dar

A brave post that ITA with.

We live in such a culture of fear (thanks a lot, Oprah!). Let's keep the situation described in some sort of perspective. It's very easy to imagine 1 million things that might go wrong (meteor smashes into car full of kids while mother shops!!!), but they probably won't in actuality.
post #85 of 150
Maybe the OP is a mandatory reporter? Something that I think we all should be.
post #86 of 150
Ever heard of risk assessment? It's entirely possible that the mom did one and came up that it was okay.
post #87 of 150
Yeah but in some states leaving children in a car alone (even a 9 year old) is illegal and considered neglect. Something that has to be reported.
post #88 of 150
To OP, I feel for you - it is hard to know what to do. I think it is terrible when people see obvious problems and just don't "want to get involved". Yet, as I said, it is hard sometimes to know when to get involved.

I wouldn't worry too much about what happened with the mom - probably nothing other than them recommending she not leave her kids alone in the car. I used to work in a county hospital and had to call CPS once. AFter two or three attempts to talk to someone over the course of a few hours, I finally had to LEAVE a MESSAGE! You have to just about kill your kids to have them taken away, and I doubt there is a fine for leaving kids in the car.

I say when children are involved it is better safe than sorry.

~Tracy
post #89 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Can a nine-year old protect a baby or younger child from an intruder? Are they accountable for their actions? Do they know CPR? Do they have the negotiation skills if a younger sibling tries to hurt the baby? Do they fully comprehend risks and strategies for dangerous situations? Do they have the emotional resources to cope for a lifetime, if something DOES happen on their watch?

I don't know - I'm not signing up any nine year olds to babysit my children, they usually still need babysitters themselves. I would love to know how many others here defending this practice have ACTUALLY done so...
A nine year old can use a cellphone and have mom there in less than a minute. The same amount of time it might take (maybe less) to get mom out of the bathroom during such an emergency.
I think it is easier to watch a baby for a 9 year old than a closer age sibling.
It is that I would be more concerned about.
post #90 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
A nine year old can use a cellphone and have mom there in less than a minute. The same amount of time it might take (maybe less) to get mom out of the bathroom during such an emergency.
.
My cell phone does not work in Wal-mart, and by the time an adult could dial a cell phone in a crisis someone could smash in a window and take the children, it happens in seconds not minutes. I personally take a very hard line safety issues and overly cautious so for me this is not something I would ever think is ok. But again, everyone deals with things differently
post #91 of 150
I dont really think of stranger abduction as a real risk, more of a paranoia.
There are only a handful of cases in the entire country in any given year. THey are given so much publicity that many people believe that it just happens all the time and around every corner.
It happens just as often from a locked home (if not more) than from a car parking lot.
I do access risks all the time when I make decisions about my children, but the risk of stranger abduction doesnt often make it into my assessment.
(my kids are more likely to be killed by my spouse or a family friend than a stranger. And yet I keep my dh and friends around)
joline
post #92 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaBug
by the time an adult could dial a cell phone in a crisis someone could smash in a window and take the children
There is an *extremely* remote possibility of that happening. Resist the culture of fear.
post #93 of 150
I can't resist, really I try but I can't. I don't want to be this worried or paranoid but I am. And honestly I am not willing to be that one in a million person that this kind of thing happens to, kwim? You always hear, this was such a good community, we had no idea .......I am just not willing to take a chance when it's not necessary. I do not want my child to be a statistic
post #94 of 150
I hear you MamaBug. I try hard to resist my worry-wart impulses, and fail frequently.
post #95 of 150
Culture of fear, whatever. Maybe we lived in a area with a high statistic of weird guys, but when we were left in the car, we had men approach us and ask us to get out, try the door handles, offer things (candy, toys, pets), or roll down the windows because they "just wanted to get help." We didn't, we told our parents about it, they weren't too concerned as long as we didn't roll down the windows or get out. So I guess that was their risk assessment. Predators look for the unaccompanied child, that was their risk assessment.

I guess different life experiences probably lead to vastly different risk assessments for a child's safety while shopping at Old Navy.
post #96 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
I guess different life experiences probably lead to vastly different risk assessments for a child's safety while shopping at Old Navy.
Perfectly stated.
post #97 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
I dont really think of stranger abduction as a real risk, more of a paranoia.
There are only a handful of cases in the entire country in any given year. THey are given so much publicity that many people believe that it just happens all the time and around every corner.
It happens just as often from a locked home (if not more) than from a car parking lot.
I do access risks all the time when I make decisions about my children, but the risk of stranger abduction doesnt often make it into my assessment.
(my kids are more likely to be killed by my spouse or a family friend than a stranger. And yet I keep my dh and friends around)
joline
Thank you Joline. I realize we're going OT here but I feel the same way.

I think the OP did the best she could under the circumstances.
post #98 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by nannymom
I disagree that this is an issue about supporting mothers. Leaving kids in a car can be deadly-weather, criminals, car accidents ( cars do get hit by other cars in parking lots) etc. I have been hugely pregnant running my bosses errands and had to just suck up the fact of dragging a five year old and a one year old with me. Part of having kids is being responsiable for them even if it is inconvient.
ditto. i've been hugely hyperemetically pg carrying a toddler, i've been a partnerless parent of a toddler, yeah, things can be a pita. but regardless, you don't leave your kids alone in that situation. (i've mentioned while shopping, 'hey, i've got my kids in the car' & then, 'oh, uh my dd's 18' & seen the visible 'whew' of relief on people's faces.) are we supposed to turn our heads to straightforward neglect?

police & social workers may indeed make her life annoying & uncomfortable for awhile. maybe if the specter of injured/dead kids doesn't phase her from doing it again, the possibility of the nuisance of court appearances may. what is important is their safety, not her convenience.

susan
post #99 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Culture of fear, whatever.
No, not whatever. The phrase "culture of fear" comes from the title of a well known (1999 NYT bestseller) book by USC professor Barry Glassner. It's called "The Culture of Fear, Why Americans are Afraid of the Wrong Things: Crime, Drugs, Minorities, Teen Moms, Killer Kids, Mutant Microbes, Plane Crashes, Road Rage, & So Much More." Prof. Glassner was featured in Michael Moore's documentary "Bowling for Columbine," which you might have seen.

You might want to take a look at the book. Or not. Whatever.
post #100 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaBug
I can't resist, really I try but I can't. I don't want to be this worried or paranoid but I am. And honestly I am not willing to be that one in a million person that this kind of thing happens to, kwim? You always hear, this was such a good community, we had no idea .......I am just not willing to take a chance when it's not necessary. I do not want my child to be a statistic
I don't mean this in a confrontational way at all... but why do you think you've chosen to focus on THAT particular statistic?

After all... there are MANY things that are far more likely to happen to children... getting struck by lightening, for example. Or, having an accident in the home. Or, something that is also horrible - being molested by a friend or relative.

Could it possibly be that the media has sensationalized kidnappings and "stranger danger" to the extent that it has become ingrained in all of us to be paranoid about a fear that is, not nonexistent, but very very slim?
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