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Leaving sleeping children in the car for under 3 minutes - Page 6

post #101 of 407
I have not read the replies.

I would never ever leave my kids in the car, but that is based more on paranoia than actual logic. The chances of something happening to them are very slim, probably less than getting hurt while being out of the car. But I still would not have done it.

And if I saw kids alone in a car, I would stand by it for a few minutes to see if anyone showed up. If after 3-5 minutes no one showed, I would call the police. Not to punish the person, but for safety issues, cuz I don't know what the story is.
post #102 of 407
I think I am more shocked at all the "I am so shocked to see mothers at MDC saying__________________" than I am at the turn of this thread. Seriously, we go through this exact same discussion every 6 months I think LOL.

If I lived in the middle of nowhere my stance on this would be different than where I live now. Now, I live in vegas, its hot, its busy, and no I would never leave my kids alone in the car. Heck every government vehicle in this city (and many non government vehicles) have those "NEVER leave kids unattended in a car" stickers on them, you can't escape them here
post #103 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by woobysma View Post
(by the way, I just realized we live in the same neighborhood, I'm on the Eastside)

There was a story in Bothell a few years ago where a woman had left her infant sleeping in her SUV. The car was running because she wanted to keep the AC on. Someone stole her car while she was in picking up a pizza (or something like that). The police think the thief must not have realized there was a child in the car. They found the car a couple blocks away with the baby safely inside - the guy must have realized there was a child involved and ditched the car pronto. I'm sure plenty of people heard that story and thought "well, there you go, don't ever leave your kid in the car". My thought was "take the freaking keys with you and lock the doors when you go into Dominoes, people!"
*waves* I'm in the north-end (da Lynnhood). I remember that story. There's a HUGE difference IMO between this story and that story, though. I would definitely say that leaving kids in a car that is unlocked and ESPECIALLY still running (AND out of view) is completely irresponsible.

While I'm on the fence about this, but don't really have a huge problem with it, there is something I just remembered reading about this exact situation. I can't remember where I read it, but it may have been here on MDC. Would you leave stacks of $100 bills sitting on your seat in a car while you ran in somewhere? Now, I do think that it's far more likely that a random person would break into a car to steal a wad of money rather than steal the car or break in to take the kids, but I do think that comparison still has a point.

Now, in my own personal experience, I have encountered far more craziness at my own house than anywhere in public. We recently had someone break into our landlord's trailer that is on our property, while dd and I were home. I also had a guy with a gun come around to the side of the house to find me on the deck (while dd was napping). He claimed to be an investigator and was looking for a former tenant, but showed me no credentials (but was more than happy to show me his gun) and acted suspicious. I called the police and he ended up being a bail bondsman, but it was still very scary. In that same time period, DP saw a bunch of cops walking a guy in handcuffs down our quiet residential road. We have no idea what that was about. Am I going to lock myself in the house 24/7? No. I'll admit that this example is a little bit of a stretch, but it definitely still applies. I refuse to live in fear. It's just not worth it, and there are far bigger things to worry about (car accidents and disease statistically being top of the list). Yes, I'm cautious when appropriate, but finding that fine line is crucial. I don't think that judgment in this situation is warranted. Whether or not you would do it is your own opinion based on your experiences and beliefs. Can't we just leave it at that?
post #104 of 407
Stories like this really make me wish that since we drive most places there should be more drive thru options available.It does make me nervous to leave my kids in the car to go to the ATM,put the cart away,unload groceries,get just a drink or use the bathroom.Its just me and the kids for months at a time sometimes and there is no family or neighbor to leave them with.When I was in VA there was a real dearth of drive thrus, most fast food places other than McD's (which none of my children will eat) were all sit down places.Drive thru ATMS are very hard to find.
Its great that there are more places taking credit cards now and its really great that more places have a place to put a baby while you use the restroom(the drive from WA to CA took alot of planning and that was just with 2 kids).
More Drive thrus and less yelling,maybe just hover to make sure everything is okay.
post #105 of 407
It's not something I would ever do, but I wouldn't yell at her, either.
post #106 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum View Post
I have had personal experience on this issue, and can say that not all police officers share the same paranoia about this issue as many members of the public. So the blanket 'it's against the law' argument is not necessarily a good one. I think you'd find that most police officers would take it on a case by case basis, and would not all share your conviction that this is a terrible crime.
In my state, from what I recall, in response to the deaths in "car turned oven" cars, they passed a law that says that I can't leave my children in the car under unsafe conditions.
post #107 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa49 View Post
I disagree. There's so much wrong here, but assuming that parents who pride themselves on doing what's best for our children would leave their children in a car for what?....a coke? that's crazy. So much wrong with ThAT. What's so important that you just can't get it later when the children are asleep.
I think you have forgotten mothers without co-parents.

I also remembered after I went to bed, what it was like to be on lifting restrictions with my 2 and 3 year olds while my insides healed from surgery. If the kids and I were out of the house and had any conflict, like my kids wanted to run in multiple directions, if there was no helpful person about, I literally had no alternative beyond destroying my surgery. It's not like I could take the pulling safely. One day my son got out, and wouldn't come back in while my daughter was in the livingroom unaware, and wanted to go down the street after his father. I sat there on the ground outside crying for a couple of minutes restraining my son until a stranger came by whom I could ask to carry my son inside.

I wonder if the people so critical of people leaving children in the car on brief errands under otherwise safe conditions, have considered that the mom may be on lifting restrictions, in chronic back pain, or actually disabled.
post #108 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflowers View Post
Actually, the scenerio LilyGrace describes is very real and not due to a culture of fear. I've seen several young kids- 4,5,6yo- wander into a convenience store looking for their moms or dads. It would not be unusual for that to happen. Would you allow your 4 or 5yo to get him/herself out of the car and go looking for you?
Child Safety Locks? They've been in cars since 1980 and are so simple to use.....
post #109 of 407
Cars are death traps for young children... I don't care how safe you think the circumstances are. A car in 60F, during daylight, even in shade, will heat up quickly. I would never leave a sleeping child in a car unless at least 2 doors were wide open and it was was 65F or below, and I was within eye and ear shot. Your au pair made a terrible mistake by locking the doors (and I assume no window was open). The nasty woman was right, I'm afraid.
post #110 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
A car in 60F, during daylight, even in shade, will heat up quickly.
In shade as you state this is not factually correct. The heat has to come from somewhere. Ambient light isn't going to do it.

A car in 60F at high noon is going to heat up eventually but I'll tell you what, I'll go keep a temp log of my car the next time I pull into the driveway in the early afternoon and it's sixty. I'll get the kids in the house, roll up all the windows and chart the internal car temp.
post #111 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama View Post
It's a little trickier with more than one sleeping child.
EXACTLY. I never left my sleeping child in the car until I had my dd and I was driving ds to preschool and dd fell asleep everyday on the way. I left her napping in the locked car while I walked ds in. The mama congratulating herself for waking her sleeping child to get coffee has not yet had to carry a preschooler and a baby, diaper bag, books, papers etc etc thru a parking lot. I have a fear of kids getting hit in parking lots, getting more than one child (and never mind more than that!) in and out is always scary...it requires attention and free hands to make sure your toddler doesn't run off. To me it seemed safer to leave my baby who is safely stapped in where I can see her and give a free hand to walk ds in safely. Anyway, its not a black and white situation at all. I understand why the law is making it that way because there are some people without common sense and would push it too far.

Maybe some of the mamas on here live in dangerous areas? We live in a small town, we know our neighbors, I can't imagine being that paranoid. And the weather is almost always cool in the mountains so heat isn't usually an issue. Smash a window to "save" a child? Mama...you sound like a raving lunatic!

This thread reminds me of the Dr. Laura show. Smug, judgemental, irrational. I'd rather have a mother that left me sleeping in a locked car for a few minutes than a mother who was a self righteous zealot.
post #112 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by TranscendentalMom View Post
Smash a window to "save" a child? Mama...you sound like a raving lunatic!

This thread reminds me of the Dr. Laura show. Smug, judgemental, irrational. I'd rather have a mother that left me sleeping in a locked car for a few minutes than a mother who was a self righteous zealot.
Exactly.
post #113 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
Cars are death traps for young children... I don't care how safe you think the circumstances are.
Do you not put your children in cars?


I know that car accidents are one of the #1 causes of death for children in the US...is that what you mean by "Death Trap"?
post #114 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by TranscendentalMom View Post
EXACTLY. I never left my sleeping child in the car until I had my dd and I was driving ds to preschool and dd fell asleep everyday on the way. I left her napping in the locked car while I walked ds in. The mama congratulating herself for waking her sleeping child to get coffee has not yet had to carry a preschooler and a baby, diaper bag, books, papers etc etc thru a parking lot. I have a fear of kids getting hit in parking lots, getting more than one child (and never mind more than that!) in and out is always scary...it requires attention and free hands to make sure your toddler doesn't run off. To me it seemed safer to leave my baby who is safely stapped in where I can see her and give a free hand to walk ds in safely. Anyway, its not a black and white situation at all. I understand why the law is making it that way because there are some people without common sense and would push it too far.

Maybe some of the mamas on here live in dangerous areas? We live in a small town, we know our neighbors, I can't imagine being that paranoid. And the weather is almost always cool in the mountains so heat isn't usually an issue. Smash a window to "save" a child? Mama...you sound like a raving lunatic!

This thread reminds me of the Dr. Laura show. Smug, judgemental, irrational. I'd rather have a mother that left me sleeping in a locked car for a few minutes than a mother who was a self righteous zealot.
Um, the mama you're speaking of (me) has in fact had a small child, no partner, my own school things, his school things, his bag, and 12 dozen cookies baked for the Christmas cookie swap... I have no partner, either. It's all mommy all of the time.

Yeah. I never left my older child in the car alone while he was young, either. If you look at my siggy, I have a 15yo as well as a 2yo. This is my second time around. And I am in no way a self-righteous zealot. Car safety is something I am concerned about. The same way that some are very adament about infants sleeping on their backs.
post #115 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
Cars are death traps for young children... I don't care how safe you think the circumstances are. A car in 60F, during daylight, even in shade, will heat up quickly. I would never leave a sleeping child in a car unless at least 2 doors were wide open and it was was 65F or below, and I was within eye and ear shot.
There's definitely something to be said for a "better safe than sorry" mentality on this. But there's also something to be said for common sense. Think of all the times YOU have waited in a car while someone ran into a store, without having the doors or even the windows open, and without worrying that you were about to die. If you're not sure whether the car is going to get too hot, it's better not to risk it, and it's probably good to assume the car will get hotter than you expect. But you don't have to take it so far that you disregard a lifetime of personal experience with what actually happens in cars that are parked for 5 minutes. If it was 60F and my car was in the shade and I was planning to wait in it with my kids, I wouldn't open the doors or windows and wouldn't even consider the possibility that we might get too hot. So why should I suddenly consider the car a death trap if I'm going to leave them alone? (Yes, of course I need to consider the possibility that the sun might come out, or that the line in the store might be longer than I expected, etc. etc.)
post #116 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
That would be criminal destruction of property, possibly kidnapping, would risk traumatizing the kids, and I just don't understand it. It's also a near complete waste of time and energy to protect other people's safe as houses children. We could fight for children's lives who are in actual danger. I understand the children of Darfur are suffering.

If there is no danger of climate issues and I want you to tell me why a stranger gets to pick that I can't choose some far-fetched risk for my children of being in the car rather than the far-fetched risk of being in or on the way to the 7-11 during, say, a holdup or mugging or a car careening through the lot and crashing into the plate glass window. What child is easier to snatch, the child following me out to the car or the child locked and buckled inside? Child snatchings are fantastically rare outside of the family.

I doubt anyone could defend criminal charge in that situation with "But your honor she left them in the car." Or the civil suit. Even if it's a misdemeanor for the mom to leave her kids in the car. Not unless there was some actual danger to protect the children from. Not the bogeyman, not what if clouds suddenly darkened the clear blue sky and a lightning strike felled the tree next to the car and crushed it. Actual danger.

If there's a law that says my babysitter has to be 12, and I leave my sleeping kids with a trusted 11 year old and cross the street for coffee, you are not allowed to break down my door and carry them to some place you choose.
I think I love you. Hey - where's your sig quote from? That's delightful.
post #117 of 407
Well, chalk me up as a horrible neglectful mother.

Yesterday (and countless times before), I left my DD sleeping peacefully in her car seat, with windows down or a door open, while I unloaded groceries from the car. We live on the second floor of an apartment in a building with a "controlled access" front door (read, it locks autmoatically). Yep, it's easier for all of us for me to carry the groceries up while she sleeps right outsides. I'm a terrible mother.

I'm sooooo done with "stranger danger" and hypervigilence. Honestly, life happens, crappy things happen. Three days ago, I was walking from the library with DD in her carrier, and I tripped (on air, apparently) and fell, and DD smashed her head fairly hard, but, luckily, no real damage. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have walked to the library. Maybe I should have put her in the stroller instead of in the carrier. Maybe I should have driven the car to the library and then kept her in the car seat while I ran in. I mean, then she wouldn't have hit her head when I fell carrying her, right?
post #118 of 407
I think what the au pair did is reasonable. I don't do it when I'm going into a grocery store b/c typically that would involve more time and there aren't the kind of windows you describe, but I have left the kids within site distance in the car in the parking lot to go to the ATM when I knew temperature wouldn't be a problem. It's like "stranger danger" -- a few instances get so publicized the the risk gets completely blown out of proportion in the average media-watching person's mind.
post #119 of 407
Has it really been 6 months already?

Oh yes, and right around post #60 we start in on the "you cannot possibly be AP or NFL if you do x, y, and z".......

Tee hee.

Sorry, I hate to be glib, but this is an issue that will never be resolved. It is one of those teeny tiny little differences among parents that really does not make much difference safety-wise (for every kidnapping from a parked car there is also the kid that got hit walking across the parking lot......) that we like to use to fling the words "negligent" and "paranoid" at each other.

That said, I have left my child in a car unattended. Never out of sight, car is always locked, and I lock the steering wheel to prevent the whole putting-the-car-in-reverse possibility....not that my 4yo can even get herself out of her seat yet anyway....... Returning videos, ATM machines, returning the cart to the cart-thing..... I have also done so in my driveway when I have had to run back into the house for something or in someone else's driveway to drop something of or pick something up. I live in a very safe area. I am not comfortable doing so if I have to go inside somewhere. That is where my personal comfort level drops off.

I would not be cool with what the OP's au pair did. But I would have made that clear on day one. However, I do not allow anyone to drive dd anywhere. That is my personal paranoia. I do not consider other's judgment calls and comfort levels that differ from mine to be irresponsible and WILL NOT call the cops on someone just to "teach them a lesson" unless it is clear neglect (hot day, gone forever, etc.....) I assume most parents love their children and are doing the best they can.

Now to move on to name-calling...... Anyone that ever puts their kid in a moving car at all are extreme risk-takers (far more dangerous than anything we choose to do with a parked car and kids), not NFL (the FUMES!!!!), and certainly not AP (you are suppose to be wearing your child 24/7)! So there
post #120 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by woobysma View Post
I'm telling you, it could save your life. It's late, I think the kids and I are going to get our helmets on and go sleep in the car.
Okay, no, it's official, I love YOU.
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