The only situation in which I leave my child alone in the car is when I am loading or unloading many or heavy objects between car and house AND there is nobody available to help me. For example, when we come home from the grocery store, I leave him strapped into his carseat while I carry the groceries into the house--not into the kitchen, just inside the front door--and then I go out and get him. The car is parked in the street (if I can't find a space very close to our house, I double-park while unloading, then park the car properly before unstrapping EnviroBaby) but our front yard is only 7 feet deep; the only time I can't see the car is when my back is turned to unlock the door and set down the groceries.
Why do I do this? Because I believe he is much more at risk being let loose in the house while I go back and forth to the car, than being strapped into his seat. The times when I've brought him into the house first, since he learned to crawl, he's come over to the door to watch me return to the car, which means that when I return carrying heavy objects he's underfoot; it was because of several incidents of almost dropping things on him and one incident of actually tripping over him (which bruised his face and threw out my back) and one of the storm-door closing on his hand because I couldn't catch it, that I decided it's safer to leave him in the car.
Typically when I'm doing this, the car doors are locked but the trunk is open. Sometimes I have cargo on the front seat or floor of the back seat as well, in which case doors may be open. The keys always are with me. Thus the car can't be stolen. It would be very, very difficult to get EnviroBaby unstrapped and maneuvered out of the car (it's a compact; you have to rotate him at an awkward angle to lift him out the door) before I'd notice. The fact that child abductions by strangers are extremely rare also makes me feel that the risk to my child is low. Not nonexistent, low.
|I mean if I felt it was OK to leave my child in an unattended car I don't see why I would worry about protecting them at all? Does that make sense.
No. If you assess the risks and decide they are low enough compared to the benefits, you might well decide one thing is OK while still protecting your child in other ways. I mean, YOU LET YOUR CHILD RIDE IN A CAR EVEN THOUGH CAR ACCIDENTS ARE A LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH AND INJURIES IN CHILDREN. Every time you put your child in a car, no matter how well restrained and supervised, you are taking a risk. Does that mean you don't bother protecting your child at all??