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Leaving kids in car unattended for just a minute...how bad is it? - Page 2

post #21 of 164
I don't personally have issues with leaving a child in a car for literally just a minute or two as long as the car stays within sight at all times. I think that I have enough common sense and decent enough judgement to decide if/when it is safe and reasonable to do...and of course, that doesn't mean leaving it unlocked and running, LOL.
post #22 of 164
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
http://www.kidsandcars.org/ has lots of um, disturbing facts and stories.
It freaked me out.
It freaks me out to leave my child alone in the car, too. The only time I do it is when I am in sight of the car, say at the ATM or returning library books in the outside return slot. And it literally is only for a minute or two and I am just feet away. I think it is just too easy to go inside somewhere and get distracted and forget about your child. I've heard horror stories. I don't need to go to this site to know that they exist. I don't even like to leave her alone in the house where I cannot hear her.
post #23 of 164
I agree Wabi.

I have done it when the twins were younger.
post #24 of 164
But I would find out the laws in your particular state first. Its good to know what the law is in the event that someone threatens to call the police on you for running a movie up to the blockbuster slot.
post #25 of 164
ITA with Wabi Sabi too.
post #26 of 164
Well, I'm just neurotic and very easily swayed by personal stories of horrific car-induced trauma, so you'll be wanting to take whatever I say with a grain of salt. I'm an anti-carite.

But why DO cars catch on fire with kids inside? That is the nagging question in my mind. It seems so... not right. I mean, you think maybe it's just a one-off 12 year old smoking when mom goes into the store, but how do toddlers start fires in cars? Do the cars self-immolate? How weird.
post #27 of 164
Ahh, but are you equally swayed by stories of pedestrians being mowed down in crosswalks? Do those stories make you less likely to walk?? I don't know about your area but around here there's at least one pedestrian killed every month but I've never heard a story around here about spontaneous combustion of a vehicle with a toddler in it, or for that matter a story of a baby being stolen from a vehicle when a parent is in sight.
I really think it's about calculating actual risk and then deciding what risks you are willing to take for your family--I would NEVER not strap my baby into a carseat, but I would (and have) gone to the bank machine while my truck is parked at the curb.
post #28 of 164
Add me to the guilty list.

When it's -40F out and your pinkly warm baby is happily snoozing in his car seat, you gotta weigh the 100 percent likelihood of having a cold and screaming baby against the fraction-of-a-percent likelihood of something freaky happening while you're battling the elements for a minute.

OTOH, I've seen unattended kids that I've said something about and it reeeeeally pissed the other mama off. We were at a realtor's office getting some paperwork on a Saturday, and I stood outside for what seemed like an eternity while two kids, around the ages of three and five, bounced around the front seats of the car, with the engine running and keys in ignition!

Finally, I went inside and asked the realtor if she knew whose kids those were... turned out to be her secretary's kids. I don't know what the situation was-- maybe the secretary had to be at work on short notice, maybe she didn't have daycare on a Saturday, but I couldn't just sit there and watch those kids bounce around inside that car.

Their mama was peeved that I'd meddled in her business, but eeek!
post #29 of 164
Originally Posted by TranscendentalMom
does anyone have a link to the other threads about this subject?
I cannot believe what I witnessed today.

Here is another thread about kids left in cars. The OP deleted her OP
so you might have to read a little to piece it together. If I remember
correctly it was about the OP witnessing a woman who left her baby in
the car when she went to mail a letter at the post office, and crossed the
street to get to the PO.

I went threw all the www.kidsincars.org stories and made a list of how
these children died in cars (my reply is on page 5 of the above post).
I would attribute the majority of the child deaths to be highly negligible
rather than simply “child left in car”.
post #30 of 164
I would leave my seven year old and in the car if I have to run into the house real quick to grab something I forgot, otherwise no, I wouldn't leave my kid in the car alone. I always pay at the pump when getting gas etc. Beyond the house scenero, I've never been in a situation where I felt the need to leave the kids in the car. The library has a drive up drop off box and so does the movie store. I think if the weather were bad and I didn't want the kids out in that weather, I would just wait until DH was home to run my errands.

ETA I would have no problem walking somewhere to drop something off if the I could see the car the entire time, but that scenero has yet to happen.
post #31 of 164
Me and my sister live in the same town. There have been several times I have pulled up to a gas station or a grocery store to see her mint condition cadillac park in the fire lane with kids in it. Her dcs were 2.5 and 4.5. If the fire marshall were to see the caddy he will pull up on it and god forbid he sees kids in it. Yep there would be trouble. I would usually go up to the window and her older son would unlock the power locks and let me in. She would come out and say what the h*ll are you doing here. I would say if I was in the the market for a nice ass caddy the boys would have been walking around the parking lot and I would be driving and wrecking you vehicle. Two weeks after the last incident that very same caddy is yep you guessed it GONE. No kids in at the time but it is just that easy. LEAVING KIDS IN THE CAR IS DANGEROUS EVEN FOR REASONS NOT OBVIOIUS. I WOULD NEVER DO IT. If I saw someone doing it I cant say I woulndt report it.
post #32 of 164
I'll leave dd in the car for a minute if she's asleep and I can see her. The (to me) obvious safety rules apply: doors locked, she's in her carseat, it's not too hot or cold out. . . . Likewise, if she's snoozing when we get home and I have other things to carry into the house, I'll do that first, then come get her.

She can't get out of her safety belts yet. I don't see me leaving her in the car if she were able to climb out of her seat and reach the door or parking brake/gearshift.
post #33 of 164
I have left DS in the car while I have run back into the house to grab something. I have also gotten out to drop movies in the drop box, but I am only 2 feet from the car for about 10 seconds. I always pay at the pump and the library has a drop box I can pull up to with the car and the cleaners picks-up and drops off DH's clothes. We live in the suburbs and don't have any corner stores that I can just run into for just a moment.

I am more worried about the car getting to hot or DS getting out of his booster and putting the car in gear or getting out in a busy parking lot or something.
post #34 of 164
There, probably as long as the car was on (for heat or air conditioning) and the kids either couldn't get out of their carseats or were old enough to know not to mess with anything that could make the car move. After having lived other places, though, I don't think I personally could because I am too used to living where it would be a bad idea.

I live in the middle of a city right outside Washington DC. Absolutely no way at all that I'd leave my kids in the car alone. It's just not safe. Of course we'd also never ever leave the door unlocked, unbolted, or unchained at night (during the day it is set to automatically be locked, but that can be picked pretty easily).

And, yes, if I ever forget something in the apartment I get the kids back out and take them in with me (it's actually only happened once). It's just not safe to leave kids outside (in or out of the car) alone here in my opinion (there are people that do it, but I won't just in case).
post #35 of 164
I was just talking about this the other day!! I just moved to a new town and it is so much different than my hometown. Up here, it gets quite a bit colder and there are days when it really isn't the safest to take your kidlets outside (-40 windchill Eep!) so it's evidently pretty common for people to leave their children in cars for dry cleaning pickups,gas paying, etc.

One store in our downtown area actually PAYS an employee to stand in the doorway watching all the cars with kids in them while the mamas run in for milk, etc when it's really nasty out. :
post #36 of 164
I live in an urban area close to Boston, and I'm guilty --


only for dropping books into the library's outdoor drop-box (less than 10 feet from where the car is parked


paying for gas inside -- while literally keeping my eyes on the car the entire time (time away from car, approximately 1-2 minutes)

I'm comfortable with the above, but I'm not comfortable with anything else.
post #37 of 164
When we lived up north we shared a driveway on a hill with our neighbor. The neighbor's daughter was over for a minute with her kids in the car. She ran into her mom's house for just a minute and in that time frame, one of her kids had moved the gearshift and the car started rolling down the hill--luckily mom of the kids saw this and was able to get out there in time to get into the car and stop it from going *into the street*--which was a busy one by the way (even with a speed limit of only 25 MPH people always sped down our street at like 40 MPH. Luckily nothing happened. I think you just need to use common sense about the individual situation (obviously this mom's common sense was out the window that day!).
post #38 of 164
I leave my dd in the when I'm running back and forth from our apartment to our car. Its either leave in the car or in the apartment by herself and restrained in the seat is much safe IMO than allowing her to roam the apartment by herself. The longest I'm out of sight is 30 secs or so. I do leave her in the car if I'm running in to pay for gas but that is exceedingly rare because I hate getting gas so I usually make dp do it and when I do have to get it myself I usually pay at the pump. Of course this is all weather and surroundings permitting. If it 100 degrees or I'm in a shady neighborhood I wouldn't leave her. I listen to my gut in these cases.
post #39 of 164
This subject HAS been sort of exhausted at this board, but here's my $.02:

In my area, we do lock cars and houses, and I would never run into a store with DD in the car - she's 7 1/2. Believe me, she's asked, "Can't I just wait for you in the car?" but I say no. Unless I'm taking ten steps to drop library books or videos in the drop, she comes with me.

When she was younger and fell asleep in the car, I would pull the car into the garage, leave the car windows open and the door to the house (it's an attached garage) open, and sit in the family room (which is where the door is) and read a book. Never when it was hot in the garage, though.

That's about the extent of it. I don't know when I'll feel comfortable leaving her in the car while I run into the deli for a quart of milk, but it isn't going to be anytime soon. The fact that she's alone - no siblings - is a factor, too. Although sometimes when I see three kids bouncing around a car in a parking lot, I wonder if they're more likely to do something dangerous in a group.
post #40 of 164
I've done it many times. I come from a small town like the OP, my parents had to break into our house once when we came back from vacation. It was the one time I remember they locked the house and apparently the keys they thought worked in the doors didn't.lol

When I leave the kids in the car they know not to get out of their seats(only 2 are in carseats still). But even if they did they can't get the gearshift out of gear without pushing on the break pedal. I leave the car running(with either the heat or a/c on depending on the season) but take the keys with me. Our car starter has a feature where I can leave the car running but I take the keys with me. I don't park on hills, there just aren't any here.lol when I leave the doors are always locked.
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