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Leaving sleeping children in the car for under 3 minutes - Page 7

post #121 of 407
I have a number pad thingie on my door, so I can lock my car with H inside and leave it on. Does no one else have that? I haven't seen anyone say anything about that option. When returning the cart or something else that takes 42 nanoseconds, I will turn the car on to cool down and lock them in, buckled, and then unlock it using the pad. I won't go to the trouble of googling, but I would bet my right arm that the chances of them getting stolen out from under me while I return the cart at HEB 50 paces away (or even if I were to run into the convenience store to get a paper and could see them at all times, so 2 minutes?), is less than someone hitting us as we cross the street in the empty cart. Risks - gotta assess them and draw the line somewhere.
post #122 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto l&a View Post
I would do the same as your au pair.

: I think the fear culture here is out of hand. I routinely leave my child in the car to get gas, run in the store, etc. As long as it's brief and I can see her, IMO it is not remotely a big deal.
post #123 of 407
I think the only response I have here is: WOOOOOOWWW. Coming from a mom who has left sleeping children in the car to pay for gas.


Apparently most folks don't know how long it takes to slimjim and hotwire a car. This isn't a twenty-second endeavor. I would know. I was a "troubled teen", don't ask. DH, as well. Now, we have a professional slim-jim kit for his job (mechanic) where people often lock the keys in their car at drop-off.

It takes some time in order to pick a lock. And professional slimjim sets aren't cheap OR easy to come buy. Most use a wire hanger or another "made at home" knockoff. Best time I have ever gotten just to slimjim a lock was 6 minutes; and that's on OLDER model cars that don't have the theft prevention systems, such as barrier blocks at the bottom of the window, and rods that surround the lock cylinder.. making things a hell of a lot more complicated.

Now, let me help get you in the "criminal" frame of mind. People who can very quickly and easily get into a locked car are not just random carjackers. They are professionals. They aren't going to just drive around in a car with a GTA alert out on it. They're either boosters, who typically do NOT take anything that's not brand-spanking new and on the higher-end of black market value, OR they're grunts for your local chop shop.

Either way, whichever person you're looking at wants it fast, easy, with no deterrances and as little to no interest/curiosity/onlookers/witnesses. So, taking a car in the middle of a 7-11 parking lot in the afternoon with plenty of people/traffic around is HIGHLY unlikely.

Taking a car with KIDS in it is even more unlikely. That adds in an element of not only GTA, which is a pretty punishable offense, but kidnapping. Like I said prior, most criminals who are competent enough to steal a car want as little interference with the plan as possible. Two kids in a car is interference.


Now, people who take cars with kids IN them are scary people, but they're usually limited to: people who are INTENDING to snatch children, or people doped out of their minds or getting sloppy 'on the job' and don't notice there are children. Once again, people intending to snatch children don't usually want to draw undue attention toward themselves by breaking into a car in broad daylight in a crowded parking lot... too many witnesses.



Sometimes if one would really sit down and think about the LOGIC about the supposed situations that are "totally likely", most would find it makes NO sense.

I HAVE left my sleeping children in the car to hit up Getty (local gas station), which has CAMERAS aimed at the individual car pumps, and video monitors inside, which I just ask the attendant to switch over to my car. I don't feel COMFORTABLE leaving my kids in the car, but more due to nosy people who, in my opinion, are completely paranoid and who will usually flip their lid in the parking lot to feel "righteous" abotu something.
post #124 of 407
Recently my FIL left DD (3yo) in the car, sleeping, while he went into the library to return books (out of view of the car). He took the time to pick out another book and check it out. The windows were cracked but it was 84 degrees out. He had no idea why I was livid with him when I found out.

I wasn't so freaked about abduction (although of course it crossed my mind) as I was about the temps... and also, IF anybody had reported it I would have had CPS up my ass.

I do realize that there are plenty of times that it is safe to leave a child in the car but that sure wasn't one of them!

My rule of thumb is any time/place you'd feel comfortable leaving your purse and your engagement ring sitting on the front seat with the windows open, it's probably okay to leave your kid in the car, then, too.

Other than that, not such a great plan.
post #125 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Novella View Post
There's a lot of people who would leap at the chance to "save" a kid or a dog in a car, but who would avert their eyes and keep on driving past a mugging/assault/tire-slashing. It's so easy to be a hero when there's no exertion required on your part and not likely any danger to you for intervening. This isn't entirely idle imaginings on my part. I've heard lots over the years of people recounting how they were too scared to do anything about a bad situation, and conversely (sometimes the same people!) how they interferred in a much more innocuous event.
(The bolding is mine.) This is an excellent point. I think the desire to do something heroic may be the motivation behind the choices many make to intrusively intervene in the lives of parents and children.

I'm boggled by the poster who said she'd break in the car windows and pull out the children! Maybe she needs to train as a paramedic or fireman, to get a legal outlet for her window-busting fantasies.

Oh, but then the "saving" would actually put her, the savior, at risk. I guess the only risk-free "saving" is the kind where you're really accomplishing nothing.

And I wouldn't choose to do what the au pair did -- but that's probably just related to my comfort-level with my neighborhood. I really think each parent needs to go with her own instincts on this issue.

I think this trust in our own instincts in caring for our own children, and our trust in the instincts of other parents in caring for their children (or in choosing caregivers for their children), is at the very heart of AP.

I'm sorry that woman screamed at your au pair. to her and to you, too. I guess she's getting dunked, head-first, into some of the more abrasive aspects of our culture.
post #126 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, slightly O/T

Last year, I read a news article that reported that France was trying to pass a law that says you MUST wear a safety helmet while operating ANY vehicle. Apparently the bicyclers and construction equipment operators are steamed that they have to wear helmets and people driving in cars don't. : I hope I can find a metallic navy blue helmet to match my 1994 Buick (which, btw DOES have child safety locks)
post #127 of 407
What bothers me about this particular thread is that the actual 'judgment' in play is judgment of the woman who dared to concern herself about an unattended child. I think one thing that should be clear from these threads is that the view that this is NOT a prudent action is widespread and persistent. Therefore you cannot reasonably expect never to get challenged by members of the public when they see you doing it.

What makes the irony especially rich is that you are implicitly relying on these other folks presence and awareness to deter the 'bogeyman' from actually showing up.

Criminals actually exist. One tried to strangle me to death with his bare hands when I was 9 years old. It is offensive to crime victims to refer to predators as 'the bogeyman', as though what happens on the rare occasion a bad guy does shoe up isn't real. I would also be at least a teeny bit concerned about the karmic potential of all this tough-gal 'what could happen?' swagger.

And BTW I recently made a radical lifestyle change in order to greatly reduce the amount of driving I have to do with my kid.
post #128 of 407
Regardless of the whole would-you-or-wouldn't you bit, I just think the woman in question was rude.

There are plenty of polite ways to make the same point, if one really feels it needs to be made.

But then I'm Canadian. "I'm sorry, mr. carjacker, but would you mind if I retrieved my child first? Thanks. Have a good day."
post #129 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by candiland View Post
I personally think there is a happy medium in all things.

It used to be accepted and normal to be too laid back....... no car seats, swatting, yelling, spanking, kids running all over the neighborhood up to no good.

Now the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme.... where common sense isn't allowed to dictate that there are some circumstances where the "rules" can bend a bit. Now we're seeing a generation of kids so overprotected they are like animals in cages afraid of their own shadows.

Poor girl. She must've felt awful.
:

I say it depends on the circumstances-ages of children, car locks, weather, time, where you are. If I was in my hometown, I wouldn't think twice about letting them sit in there for a minute while I ran in somewhere provided I could see them at all times and was close by.
post #130 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjorker View Post
*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?
Well, now that I admitted that I shagged in a convenience store....I can never meet either one of you: There was a bloody homeless guy sleeping in my backyard, drunk off of his butt a few weeks ago. I STILL will not leave my children in the car for a minute. And I'm in a suburban neighborhood in Mill Creek/Bothell. Want to talk about math and logic....Why do I make an effort to touch NOTHING in a bathroom, but then feel the need to wash my hands which means touching nastiness that I've avoided before that point just so I can appear to be clean to others when I leave? Really I think that I just soiled my hands on the sink. Sometimes the things that we do are just to avoid conflict. Even if I felt it were safe to leave the kids in the car for a minute, I would be surrounded by people who don't and any one of them could waste my time on a lecture or police report that would anger and humiliate me. It's easier to take the kids inside with me.
Lisa
post #131 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.
I have 3 small children. There was a time when it was just us and I remember the dread that I would get when the gas machine pay thingy wouldn't work and traffic was too busy to dare risk trying to get to another gas station or when the fridge and pantry were empty and I had to get some food. At preschool, I would ask another mother to watch my car for a minute and I would do the same for them while we took our older children inside. You can't assume that we don't leave the kids in the car because it's truly less inconvenient for us. Now, true, I don't have medical issues that would make it impossible for me to handle multiple children. That's something I can't judge there.

I don't think I'd smash a window, not unless a child was covered in sweat or in a true panic and there was no other way. Those situations aren't really what we're talking about here though.
Lisa
post #132 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalateaDunkel View Post
What bothers me about this particular thread is that the actual 'judgment' in play is judgment of the woman who dared to concern herself about an unattended child.
It's just hard for me to understand the rage some people feel over other parents' choices. I'm pretty busy with my own children, and someday hope to be busy being a Grandma. I honestly don't have energy to fret because one of my friends feels comfortable letting her babe finish her nap in the car, and so on.

Thus I judge people who scream at complete strangers in parking-lots, as being in serious need of getting their own lives.

Quote:
What makes the irony especially rich is that you are implicitly relying on these other folks presence and awareness to deter the 'bogeyman' from actually showing up.
I don't rely on other people to protect my children, at least not in the sense that you mean. I DO tend to feel we're safer taking our walks in the daytime when others are out and about, too. I DO believe in safety in numbers -- and I guess that means I think the presence of other families makes parks and city streets a little safer than they are, say, late at night.

Quote:
Criminals actually exist. One tried to strangle me to death with his bare hands when I was 9 years old. It is offensive to crime victims to refer to predators as 'the bogeyman', as though what happens on the rare occasion a bad guy does shoe up isn't real.
What an awful thing to have happen to you as a 9yo little girl! I'm so sorry you had this experience! Criminals are definitely real in my neighborhood. Last winter my oldest (then 6) came downstairs, alone, to discover a man had forced open our dining-room window and was preparing to climb in.

She shouted, "What are you doing?!" and he took off running. I was relieved that he ran off rather than trying to overpower her, and relieved that she came down before he was actually in the house, at which point the outcome might have been very different.

The positive outcome was that we were made aware of how easy it was to force those windows from the outside, and corrected the situation, without having to endure an actual break-in.

It was naturally a long time before dd (or I) felt comfortable with her going downstairs on her own. She's just now getting to that place again, and we are letting her play downstairs when she wants to, by herself, rather than burdening her with our fears of what might happen.

Quote:
I would also be at least a teeny bit concerned about the karmic potential of all this tough-gal 'what could happen?' swagger.
I wouldn't necessarily call it a "tough-gal swagger": we all have different comfort levels when it comes to finding the right balance between protectiveness and helping our children feel good about exploring the world they live in.

Quote:
And BTW I recently made a radical lifestyle change in order to greatly reduce the amount of driving I have to do with my kid.
That's great! Minimizing driving probably does a lot more to ensure our children's safety, than many other precautions we might take.
post #133 of 407
I have not read all the posts, but I do say this: I do not think it was productive for the other woman to yell at your servant.

That said, I would have fired the au pair right then. No references. Period.

Sorry if it's the custom in Brazil. It's against the law in America. It's also against the law for very good reasons. I'm sure the other posters have done a fine and expressive job of explaining what those reasons are.
post #134 of 407
I don;t think that it is against that law everywhere...
post #135 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalateaDunkel View Post
What bothers me about this particular thread is that the actual 'judgment' in play is judgment of the woman who dared to concern herself about an unattended child. I think one thing that should be clear from these threads is that the view that this is NOT a prudent action is widespread and persistent. Therefore you cannot reasonably expect never to get challenged by members of the public when they see you doing it.

What makes the irony especially rich is that you are implicitly relying on these other folks presence and awareness to deter the 'bogeyman' from actually showing up.

Criminals actually exist. One tried to strangle me to death with his bare hands when I was 9 years old. It is offensive to crime victims to refer to predators as 'the bogeyman', as though what happens on the rare occasion a bad guy does shoe up isn't real. I would also be at least a teeny bit concerned about the karmic potential of all this tough-gal 'what could happen?' swagger.

And BTW I recently made a radical lifestyle change in order to greatly reduce the amount of driving I have to do with my kid.
I agree with you. I would say more, but I realized I genuinely have nothing but UAV-level criticism for the people who think it's at all appropriate to leave children unobserved and out of your control for something as frivolous as a convenience-store shopping trip. Every single park I've ever seen has drinking fountains. Second, there are these nifty American conveniences known as drive-thrus where one may order milk, juice, or water.

I have nothing but scorn for the idea that it is somehow more "natural" to be careless.
post #136 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
That said, I would have fired the au pair right then. No references. Period.

Sorry if it's the custom in Brazil. It's against the law in America. It's also against the law for very good reasons. I'm sure the other posters have done a fine and expressive job of explaining what those reasons are.
FWIW, it's against the law in California , Connecticut , Florida , Illinois , Louisiana , Maryland, Nebraska , Nevada, Pennsylvania , Tennessee (Effective July 1, 2007), Texas , and Washington. It is not currently against the law in the other 38 states.
post #137 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaffyDaphne View Post
FWIW, it's against the law in California , Connecticut , Florida , Illinois , Louisiana , Maryland, Nebraska , Nevada, Pennsylvania , Tennessee (Effective July 1, 2007), Texas , and Washington. It is not currently against the law in the other 38 states.
Kentucky and Missouri have laws that go into effect in case of injury, and legislation is pending in Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Virginia.
post #138 of 407
Those of you saying it's against the law....there are lots of gray areas within that as well.
post #139 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by candiland View Post
I personally think there is a happy medium in all things.

It used to be accepted and normal to be too laid back....... no car seats, swatting, yelling, spanking, kids running all over the neighborhood up to no good.

Now the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme.... where common sense isn't allowed to dictate that there are some circumstances where the "rules" can bend a bit. Now we're seeing a generation of kids so overprotected they are like animals in cages afraid of their own shadows.

Poor girl. She must've felt awful.
: For what it is worth I do versions of that same thing when I go to the dry cleaners, package store, bank, etc. If it is a big glass window and I can see them then I let them stay in the car (barring extreme heat of course). Sorry someone freaked out on her like that.
post #140 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
Recently my FIL left DD (3yo) in the car, sleeping, while he went into the library to return books (out of view of the car). He took the time to pick out another book and check it out. The windows were cracked but it was 84 degrees out. He had no idea why I was livid with him when I found out.

I wasn't so freaked about abduction (although of course it crossed my mind) as I was about the temps... and also, IF anybody had reported it I would have had CPS up my ass.

I do realize that there are plenty of times that it is safe to leave a child in the car but that sure wasn't one of them!

My rule of thumb is any time/place you'd feel comfortable leaving your purse and your engagement ring sitting on the front seat with the windows open, it's probably okay to leave your kid in the car, then, too.

Other than that, not such a great plan.
Yep! I was just thinking that when I went to Wal-mart today and accidently left my purse in the car (because I had to grab to dc out). If I wouldn't leave a purse in the car to run an errand, why would I leave my dc in there?

Also, I agree, even if there was a time when it appeared to be safe to leave your children in the car while you ran in somewhere, think of all the people out there who have their noses in everyone elses business, and would have no problem reporting you to the cops or cps. Its just better to play it safe these days.
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