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Leaving sleeping children in the car for under 3 minutes - Page 11

post #201 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.
What is your evidence for this? Because it's certainly not true of my car.
post #202 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivka5 View Post
What is your evidence for this? Because it's certainly not true of my car.
Not true here with mine either. In fact, that sounds pretty ridiculous. In the shade in 60 degrees? I bet it would be right around 60 degrees. In the sun? Probably a bit warmer but not too hot. In 2 to 3 minutes in the sun? Around 60 degrees.
post #203 of 407
once, my mom left us in the car to go to the post office and forgot to put the handbrake on...someone pulled up behind us, tapped the car a little, and my mom came out to a group of three people holding back the car from going into a busy intersection.

..so, nope I just wouldn't do it, which is why I do most errands on foot and live in a walking neighbourhood :
post #204 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
We used to live WAY out in the country. The only store/gas station within 20 miles was this tiny little one pump store. It gets very "winter" here and although I know it is quite dangerous, most people would fill their gas tanks with the car still running. One night (pre-dd) dh and I were driving home from work. It was dark and very snowy. We were getting low on gas so dh pulled into this little store. We had not lived there long and did not know it was an unspoken rule that as soon as you filled your tank, you should pull up to free the pump for the next person, then go pay. So I am sitting in the car with it running at the pump while dh goes in to pay. I am not really paying attention to anything and all of a sudden some strange guy hops in the driver's seat and starts to drive. I FREAKED! I startled the poor guy half to death. He had not noticed that I was in the car (I was huddled down due to the cold) and was just pulling it forward to make room for his car at the pump. After having lived there a while, we found this was the custom. If someone left their car at the pump and was inside, it was OK to pull their car forward. What a shocker. I call it my little brush with "carjacking".
Great story! I love it. Its not QUITE as quaint around here but people do stuff like that. Since I have had kids I have gotten quite forgetful and have left my wallet and cell phone in a variety of places...shopping carts, restaurants, the mall. Everytime, someone called me and returned it. One time someone even fed-exed my wallet to me (i left it at a rest stop in on a road trip...next state over) I mailed him a check to repay him for the fed ex and he never cashed it.
post #205 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjorker View Post
Aww, shucks. Hehe. How far South, exactly? I'd be more than happy to live within Seattle city limits if I could afford a house this nice there! We're in a 3bd 2ba rental, which is NOT something I can afford any further south. Unless you're talking Olympia, or something. But we gotta stay within reasonable driving distance of token major software company, so this is about the cheapest it gets within that span. And, y'know, besides all the weirdness I just described in our neighbourhood recently, and all of our antisocial suburban neighbours, and the fact that there's not much to do around here-- it's not all that bad!

Hi. Off topic rambles, wee!
HA! We're renting in Canyon Park. We can't really afford the houses here, either. Maybe in a couple years, but right now, it's just too much of a stetch. I don't want to be in a position where I might have to go back to work FT & buying a house would make that a likely scenario.
I lived in Lynnwood when DS1 was a baby and my apartment was... um, kind of scary (like where you find a pile of stems and seeds in the pantry left from the previous tenant and bail bondsmen come looking for people you don't know who used to live there.)
It was a creepy place. Glad you guys are in an OK neighborhood.

Absolutely NO leaving DS in the car in my neighborhood back then.
post #206 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by cancat View Post
once, my mom left us in the car to go to the post office and forgot to put the handbrake on...someone pulled up behind us, tapped the car a little, and my mom came out to a group of three people holding back the car from going into a busy intersection.

..so, nope I just wouldn't do it, which is why I do most errands on foot and live in a walking neighbourhood :
But if she would have been able to see the vehicle the situation would have been different.

ITA that if the vehicle is completely out of sight there are LOTS Of things that could happen. But if you can see the vehicle you can intervene in an emergency.
post #207 of 407
Can someone please enlighten me and tell me what are the dangerous thingss that could happen again, besides the armed robbers needing a get away car, the only examples given here are from puttin the car in reverse, eveyr car I've driven lately you have to have the ignition key on and your foot on the break to be able to move the shifting stick so those scenarios are out.
post #208 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
It's odd to me that you keep using the term "servant." It seems like a very demeaning word.
Thank you for saying that. I am highly offended by Meg's continued usage of that word. 13 years ago, I was an au pair and an accepted member of the family (I was practically begged to call the children's grandparents "Oma" and "Opa" as the children did). Although I did work for the family -- taking care of the most precious parts of their lives -- I was in NO WAY a servant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Sorry, would you prefer "wage-encouraged nonfamilial child caregiver"?
I'm not fond of euphemisms. They disguise inequities.
Hey, I got an idea . . . how about nanny or au pair? Both of those worked for me. And I never felt inequal when I lived there. Perhaps that is how you imagine YOU would treat someone in your employ, but it certainly was NOT the case with my loving, lovely Dutch family.

Oh, and how about some definition in return for yours. Here's the definition I found for au pair: au pair [ˌou ˈpə(r)] noun
a young person from abroad employed by a family to look after the children and help with the housework in return for room, meals, pocket money and an opportunity to learn the language

Wow . . . look at that . . . those were all the things I got while I au paired. Funny how we both can find definitions that fit our world views.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3boobykins View Post
FACT: (regarding those posting to this thread)

The mamas here who would never leave a child in the car love their children to the moon and back infinite times.

The mamas here who would and have left their a child in the car while in sight love their children to the moon and back infinite times.

What we think is best in a given situation is not always the same, but the love is.
Thank you for saying that. I was truly horrified and sickened by the smugness I perceived from the majority of the "I would never do it" crowd . . . as though they feel those who would do it must not love their children.
post #209 of 407
Once I left both kids asleep in our van, in our garage, with the door down, no sun getting in anywhere, and the van doors shut, for just a couple minutes while I ran in the house to pee because I really had to go and thought if I started the whole process of waking them and getting them out of the van first I would not make it. It was about 70 outside, and about 70 in our garage, so I wasn't worried about it getting hot. I was really alarmed when I came back to the van after a very short time.......with no air circulating, the inside of the van got hot very quickly even on a 70 degree day with no sun involved and they were both starting to sweat. I won't do that again. If it had been a hotter day I think it could have been really dangerous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
Not true here with mine either. In fact, that sounds pretty ridiculous. In the shade in 60 degrees? I bet it would be right around 60 degrees. In the sun? Probably a bit warmer but not too hot. In 2 to 3 minutes in the sun? Around 60 degrees.
post #210 of 407
I think it would get hotter in the garage than outside-since there isn't air circulating in the garage.

Also, 70 degrees is considerably warmer than 60
post #211 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
Electric windows don't work if the car is off and the keys aren't in it.
Maybe they won't work for you, but are just waiting for you to walk away from the car to try maiming your child. You never know, you just never know...

post #212 of 407
Thread Starter 
OP here.

Wow, I didn't check this list for a couple of days and there are 210 posts... I haven't read anything past the first page so far. This should be... interesting ; )

Clearly this is a topic people feel a lot of passion about.
post #213 of 407
Quote:
I think it's interesting that people are going on and on about how neglectful it is to leave a child in a car for three minutes for "convenience", yet no one thinks about the hundreds/thousands of miles a child spends in a car each year (a far more potentially dangerous situation) for "convenience".

I do it. It's much easier to just put Katie in the car, go do the shopping/errands/playgroup/etc. than to find someone to watch her in our home every time I need to go someplace. I toss my daughter into a potentially life-threatening situation every time we go somewhere in the car. It's not necessity; short of a true medical emergency, I probably could find *someone* to watch her. But, convenience wins out. Yet, as long as she's buckled into her car seat, no one flips out about it.

I think people really need to think about what neglect and child abandonment is, and think about when the tossing about of that word is warranted. I think the fear-mongering and self-righteousness is sorely misplaced, and, unfortunately, some family is going to suffer the effects of it.
This needs to be restated. The risk here is tiny. Our fears and worries need to be proportionate.
post #214 of 407
Thread Starter 
Okay, I just read all the posts.

Some clarifications are in order:

1. our au pair does not normally leave the kids in the car - she does usually bring them in or go through a drive through. In this particular case, she thought the kids were awake, pulled into the parking lot of the 7-11 which is down the road from the park, and then realized the kids were asleep. She made a snap decision - since the parks around here do NOT always have water fountains (and the one she was going to doesn't have them) and she knew that as soon as they woke up they'd demand something to drink (she normaly brings stuff with her, but had run out earlier. since they had been out and about for a few hours already). Her first thought was how to get something for the kids that wouldn't upset them.

2. Neither our au pair nor I nor my husband think that leaving kids in the car is a *good* thing - it is a "avoid if you can" thing.

3. Our oldest cannot unlock his carseat - believe me, he has tried. I believe the car has child safety locks on the back seats. And the car is an automatic where you have to depress the braketo move it out of park. So I think the biggest danger there would be if he could suddenly learn to unlock his carseat straps (could happen) and climb into the front seat and then get out of the car. This to me is the most realistic danger.

4. This wasn't in Annandale, it was in fairfax. There is another 7-11 in annandale that both my au pair and I would never leave the kids alone in because there are a lot of day laborers hanging around the parking lot. While I intellectually know that 99% of them are just trying to get work to send home to their families, the entire vibe is threatening.

My biggest reason for posting wasn't really to justify whether leaving kids in the car for X minutes is safe or not - clearly there are some dangers and very strong opinions about it. My biggest reason was about the, in my opinion, inappropriate and over the top response by a complete stranger. I liked what a PP said about "lazy samaritan". I do suspect the woman who verbally attacked her was more interested in feeling superior and self-righteous than about actual concern for my kids. But I might just be feeling defensive ; )
post #215 of 407
Haven't read all the posts, but I do this all the time (okay, not ALL the time but when needed).

Only in MY town though...I live in an itty bitty town (population around 8,000) and once in a while I gotta get gas and don't have the bank card. If James is asleep I get gas, drive to the door, fill out the check, get out, take my keys, lock the doors, walk to the door, open it, take 5 steps into the gas station, toss my check on the counter say "$## in gas." and leave. I've cut in front of people...no one cares. It happens quite often in my town, the cashiers just set my check aside and ring it up when they can. Not a huge deal, IMO.

I'm sure I take MUCH bigger risks every day...Leaving him, sleeping or awake, in the car for 15 seconds isn't high on my 'risk scale'...

JMHO
post #216 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by woobysma View Post
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!"
Actually it was a liquor store. The woman went in to buy a present for a friend or something. It happened when DD was a newborn and I remember thinking why-oh-why would she leave her baby in the car to go into a liquor store with the car running? It wasn't even that hot out.

You can count me in as a mom who would leave her sleeping child in a non-running car to return a cart or step up to an ATM. I don't leave her in the car when I go in somewhere but I wouldn't yell at anyone who does because that is right on my boundary of comfort.

To add my $.02 about the cart thing. Once I was taking the cart back with DD in it after I had loaded up the groceries. Sometimes my back goes out of whack and I have trouble carrying her so I sit her in the appropriate area of the cart. Someone almost backed over the cart. Now I always leave her in a non-running car when I return the cart. Parking lots are dangerous for small people.
post #217 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAMama View Post
I was truly horrified and sickened by the smugness I perceived from the majority of the "I would never do it" crowd . . . as though they feel those who would do it must not love their children.
Just as I am horrified by the "there is no real danger" group trying to make those of us in the "I would never do it" group seem like loons and paraniod crazies that are raising a generation of kids that are afraid to walk out of their houses. Oh, and the fact that we are less inconveinenced than those that have 2 children. I guess having 2 kids makes it better to leave them unattended and they must clearly love children more because they have more children.
post #218 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflowers View Post
Just as I am horrified by the "there is no real danger" group trying to make those of us in the "I would never do it" group seem like loons and paraniod crazies that are raising a generation of kids that are afraid to walk out of their houses.
Well, at least no one in the "there is no real danger" group has threatened to break in windows or call the cops on those they disagree with.

It doesn't horrify me that each mother has a different comfort-level: what horrifies me is the desire of some (those in the "I would never do it" group) to coerce others into doing it their way.

Some on this thread have even mentioned they'll avoid things they personally feel okay about, simply for fear of some meddling person getting the urge to call CPS.

The sad thing is, some of you probably see this fear as a wonderful tool for getting other parents to toe the line; you think it makes a better world for children, scrubbed clean of all the unpredictability and diversity that comes with living in a free society.:
post #219 of 407
i haven't read all the posts so sorry if I'm repeating something.

If I saw a child unattended in a car I would call the police. I don't care that a parent was just inside a store buying juice. I would call the police. furthermore I would jot down the license plate number and if I hate a camera take photos of the car and call Child Protective Services. I don't care if you are running into a store for thirty seconds, it is neglect and I think it is wrong under ALL circumstances. I have a friend who was abducted from her car when she was a kid while her mother ran into her house. Mom wasn't gone more than three minutes and the girl was gone for months, raped and tortured.

I have no doubt that the women who would do this love their children beyond measure, but I think this is a very poor parenting judgment call. There is a big difference between loving your children and making good parenting decisions, this does not seem like a good parenting decision to me.
My husband was a cop for a couple of years and when parents would do that where we were the children would be removed from the home for investigation of neglect and the parents would have to attend parenting classes for this.
post #220 of 407
Where were all of you do-gooders when I grew up?

My mom left five children in a car and would go into a department store for hours. I was ten and her directions were to leave me in charge and hit the brake if the car rolled. She told me that I better watch the others or I would never forgive myself if something happened.

Yes, hours.

Thanks.
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