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Leaving sleeping children in the car for under 3 minutes - Page 18

post #341 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jescafa View Post
It is mysterious and frightening to me how quickly and how high the temperature inside of a car can rise, even on a cool day. For that reason, I don't dare leave my kids in a car with the windows closed, even if it's below freezing out, not even for a minute.
I think a lot of people nowadays have this sense that a car can mysteriously and unexpectedly heat up to lethal temperatures within a few minutes, even in the shade, even if it's cold out. But the way a car heats up is really not so unpredictable as that, and there's no need to be quite so scared about it. Certainly it's true that a closed car can quickly become much warmer than the outside, especially in the sun, and certainly it's good to err on the side of caution if you're not sure how hot the car will get. But it's simply not possible for a car to get dangerously hot in a few minutes on a below-freezing day.
post #342 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
I think a lot of people nowadays have this sense that a car can mysteriously and unexpectedly heat up to lethal temperatures within a few minutes, even in the shade, even if it's cold out. But the way a car heats up is really not so unpredictable as that, and there's no need to be quite so scared about it. Certainly it's true that a closed car can quickly become much warmer than the outside, especially in the sun, and certainly it's good to err on the side of caution if you're not sure how hot the car will get. But it's simply not possible for a car to get dangerously hot in a few minutes on a below-freezing day.
I get that, I really do--it's just that I personally don't know how to predict at what point it will become unsafe, so I just can't bring myself to take the risk. Kind of like drinking while pregnant--I know that a small amount is probably fine, and a large amount is definitely not fine, so for the most part (I admit to a few sips of wine last holiday season), I just don't do it. I didn't mean for my post to sound prescriptive; I was just explaining my own thought process and where I draw the line.
post #343 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jescafa View Post
I get that, I really do--it's just that I personally don't know how to predict at what point it will become unsafe, so I just can't bring myself to take the risk. Kind of like drinking while pregnant--I know that a small amount is probably fine, and a large amount is definitely not fine, so for the most part (I admit to a few sips of wine last holiday season), I just don't do it. I didn't mean for my post to sound prescriptive; I was just explaining my own thought process and where I draw the line.
Right, but have you ever just sat in your car, balancing your checkbook or reading a letter, on a comfortable (not hot) day without opening a window? In that 2 minutes, has the car ever become dangerously hot, to the point where it could have killed you or even caused you discomfort?

I'm not saying you should leave a sleeping child in the car for a minute, while you unload groceries or whatever, if that's not something you personally are comfortable with. I just have a problem with people presuming to make that call for other parents.

The sleeping child/grocery issue is something I've never personally had to deal with, since my dh enjoys shopping for groceries and does most or all of this while we have a baby or young toddler. But I'm aware that some mothers have to juggle a lot more than I do, and I don't think it's my place to criticize them.
post #344 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Right, but have you ever just sat in your car, balancing your checkbook or reading a letter, on a comfortable (not hot) day without opening a window? In that 2 minutes, has the car ever become dangerously hot, to the point where it could have killed you or even caused you discomfort?
Yes, I do that all the time. I have no problem with letting them sleep in a parked car, windows open or shut, as long as I am in there to monitor the temp and make adjustments as necessary. I do realize that there are frequently times when the temp remains totally fine even with the windows closed, I'm just saying I'm not comfortable predicting that if I'm not in the car.

Quote:
I'm not saying you should leave a sleeping child in the car for a minute, while you unload groceries or whatever, if that's not something you personally are comfortable with. I just have a problem with people presuming to make that call for other parents.
Actually, I said I do leave them in the car while I unload groceries, with the hatch open. And I repeat, I didn't and don't mean to be prescriptive or critical about what anyone else does, I have just been talking about my own comfort level.
post #345 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jescafa View Post
Actually, I said I do leave them in the car while I unload groceries, with the hatch open. And I repeat, I didn't and don't mean to be prescriptive or critical about what anyone else does, I have just been talking about my own comfort level.
Oh, sorry, I guess I got your post mixed up with those who WERE being prescriptive and critical. Some things are beyond my comfort-level, too. I'm just a big believer in trusting the parents to be the parents. Sounds like you are, too.

And my stomach turns at the thought of going around parking lots, peering into windows, "just in case" someone left a child in a car. Or watching mothers like a hawk, with my cellphone at the ready. Yes, I realize this might save a life or two. But it seems so intrusive -- and actually seems to cause more suffering than it prevents, judging by what Ocean2 is now having to deal with.
post #346 of 407
Oh, and some people will even go peer into a car, after they've seen a parent and children get out and go into a store, because of their extreme curiosity as to whether each child was really strapped into an appropriate carseat. I suppose this may inadvertently result in a life being saved, if the parent happened to unbuckle everyone else and forget the sleeping baby.

But still, I think it's more likely to cause problems (such as the outraged "good citizen" giving the parent a piece of her mind for not having the right carseat, and adding unpleasantness to that family's day) than it is to save a life.

Intrusiveness is just bad news in my book, even if it sometimes has a positive result.
post #347 of 407
Well, I think I mostly agree with you, but on the other hand, I could see myself lurking to make sure a parent returned and that kids weren't left in a closed-up car too long. I don't think I could bear it if I ended up reading about those kids in the paper the next day. I've never actually done this, and I certainly don't monitor parking lots looking for it, but I could see myself doing it just in the interest of being a good citizen.

There have been a couple of incidents in my town over the last few years in which parents simply forgot that their sleeping babies were in the car--a mistake anyone could make, IMHO. In both cases the children died--and I think the parents would have been grateful if a passerby had noticed what was going on and intervened.
post #348 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jescafa View Post
Well, I think I mostly agree with you, but on the other hand, I could see myself lurking to make sure a parent returned and that kids weren't left in a closed-up car too long. I don't think I could bear it if I ended up reading about those kids in the paper the next day.
Oh, sure, if I happened to be aware of a sleeping baby/small child alone in a car, I'd definitely wait to make sure the parent came right back -- or run into the store or place of business to have the parent found/summoned if it was taking more than a few minutes.

Quote:
...I certainly don't monitor parking lots looking for it...
Me neither! I could just see the headlines: "Mother and two small children are hit by speeding car while checking parking-lot for endangered children." I've heard somewhere that quite a few accidents occur in parking-lots -- which is possibly why some parents prefer leaving their children in the car while walking a few yards to put away the shopping-cart.
post #349 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by rharr! View Post
I don't know if any one has mentioned this,but, what if you have a freak accident while your child is locked in your car?

I once was about to lock dd in the car(in her seat) while I stepped 3 spots over to the cart spot. Then Irealised that if a car went out of control or a hole opened up or some other freak occurance happened, dd would be all alone in the car and no one would know to check for her
That is why I don't leave kids alone in a vehicle- ya just never know.
But, if the car went out of control and came to hit you in the parking lot and your children were with you, then THEY'D be hit too! The hole that opened up to swallow you would swallow them, too! This makes no sense to me, I'd rather my kids were locked in a cool, comfortable car than wiped out alongside me by a crazy driver.
post #350 of 407
Quote:
I've left my boys safely buckled in their seats to run into a gas station many times. If I can see the car at all times, it isn't too hot outside, and I'll only be a couple of minutes I have no issue with it.
Neither do I.

Quote:
Oh, and some people will even go peer into a car, after they've seen a parent and children get out and go into a store, because of their extreme curiosity as to whether each child was really strapped into an appropriate carseat.
Hmm... Did you know that more babies die every year from the effects of formula (720) than are saved by car seats (451)? And did you know that the infant mortality rate in the US is 5/1000 (out of developed countries, only Latvia is worse) due to a lack of universal health care coverage? Last year 60 children died from being left in a hot car. Those deaths are very tragic but I just wanted to put something in perspective...
Also remember that most of the children who died in the hot cars were there because their caretakers forgot about them or were off gambling or getting drunk. They did not run into 7-eleven for some milk on a cool day.
post #351 of 407
VanessaS,
That is what really gets me. Only a handful of children are killed from hyperthermia every year and it is from someone who leaves them whether by accident or intentionally for at least 45 minutes.
I suppose that since children 'have' been abducted from their bedrooms at night, then my children will have to sleep in my bedroom until they are 18 (just to be on the safe side of course).
I don't think leaving a kid in a car for 10 minutes on a cool day or whatever is evidence of 'substaintial' risk as stated in the child endangerment law.
I figure that now I shall have to call the police on any parent who does not require a bicycle helmet for their child when engaged in any activity on wheels. If I see an adult smoking near a minor, I will notify the police, if I see an obese child, then that parent should be charged, ect.
I have read that other countries aren't this psycho about everything. If we don't relocate to San Jose, we are considering leaving the country. My husband can work anywhere since he telecommuntes from home to his job in San Jose right now.
We love to travel as it is, so perhaps it would be a welcome change.
post #352 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I've heard somewhere that quite a few accidents occur in parking-lots -- which is possibly why some parents prefer leaving their children in the car while walking a few yards to put away the shopping-cart.
That's why I usually put the kids in the van before I return the cart. Before I got into late pregnancy, I would take them with me quite a bit. Now, it's really hard to chase them if they bolt and I can't carry them very far, either. I feel they're much safer spending a minute or two in the locked van than they are in the parking lot, where people are whipping around like lunatics, and backing out without checking for pedestrians (even if they could see my kids, which they couldn't). Maybe inside my minivan isn't the safest place...but it's safer than in front of someone else's minivan.
post #353 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean2 View Post
If we don't relocate to San Jose, we are considering leaving the country. My husband can work anywhere since he telecommuntes from home to his job in San Jose right now.
We love to travel as it is, so perhaps it would be a welcome change.
Oh, wow! That sounds like a total dream! Just think of all the really beautiful, low cost-of-living paradises you guys could live in. And you're absolutely right, it would be a welcome change and people focusing on day-to-day living aren't as likely to be into their neighbors' business.
post #354 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean2 View Post
VanessaS,
That is what really gets me. Only a handful of children are killed from hyperthermia every year and it is from someone who leaves them whether by accident or intentionally for at least 45 minutes.
I suppose that since children 'have' been abducted from their bedrooms at night, then my children will have to sleep in my bedroom until they are 18 (just to be on the safe side of course).
I don't think leaving a kid in a car for 10 minutes on a cool day or whatever is evidence of 'substaintial' risk as stated in the child endangerment law.
I figure that now I shall have to call the police on any parent who does not require a bicycle helmet for their child when engaged in any activity on wheels. If I see an adult smoking near a minor, I will notify the police, if I see an obese child, then that parent should be charged, ect.
I have read that other countries aren't this psycho about everything. If we don't relocate to San Jose, we are considering leaving the country. My husband can work anywhere since he telecommuntes from home to his job in San Jose right now.
We love to travel as it is, so perhaps it would be a welcome change.
ITA with you. Our family is quite reclusive because we dont trust that many people. Everyone is too eager to get up in someone elses business.
Welcome to America-Land of Paranoia.
post #355 of 407
While I would never leave my children in the car alone, I would also never attack some one for doing it. Talking to someone or giving advice in a kind caring way is one thing but a verbal attack never helps. If anything the message that you are trying to convey gets lost amid all the snark and venom.
post #356 of 407
I was once seated in the middle seat of our van when my dh was going into the store. My oldest son went in with his dad. While waiting for them to comeback the other boys were getting pretty rambunctious and were bouncing around a bit. A couple of ladies came by and wrote down our license plate number then proceeded to call "Someone' Boy were they surprised when I stuck my head out the door and asked just what they thought they were doing. They hung up the phone quickly and all but ran to the store... Nosey Whack-jobs!!!

But you know where are all these concerned helpers when my kid pukes in the store or I have a flat tire... Funny they never offer to help then...
post #357 of 407
Haven't made it through all the pages of posts here, but just wanted to say that I was pretty casual about the idea of leaving kids in the car while running in to pay for gas, etc. until I was home in Hawaii a couple of years ago when there was an AMBER alert issued for a baby who was missing--Mom had left baby in the car while she ran in to 7-11 "just for a second" and in the time it took her to pay for whatever, someone stole the truck with baby in it. Luckily a delivery driver found the truck and baby safely in it a few hours later, but that totally changed my mind about leaving kids in cars. This all happened in broad daylight with the truck parked right outside the front door of the 7-11 in full view of everyone.

I'm sorry your au pair was so shaken up (I spent a year as a "foreign" nanny when I was younger), but I would be sure to let her know never to leave the kids alone in the car again.
post #358 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by blastomom View Post
Haven't made it through all the pages of posts here, but just wanted to say that I was pretty casual about the idea of leaving kids in the car while running in to pay for gas, etc. until I was home in Hawaii a couple of years ago when there was an AMBER alert issued for a baby who was missing--Mom had left baby in the car while she ran in to 7-11 "just for a second" and in the time it took her to pay for whatever, someone stole the truck with baby in it. Luckily a delivery driver found the truck and baby safely in it a few hours later, but that totally changed my mind about leaving kids in cars. This all happened in broad daylight with the truck parked right outside the front door of the 7-11 in full view of everyone.

I'm sorry your au pair was so shaken up (I spent a year as a "foreign" nanny when I was younger), but I would be sure to let her know never to leave the kids alone in the car again.
I do not run my decision-making on anecdotal evidence, although I am influenced by certain traumas and am certainly not all the time completely logical and calculating with what will trigger me. However, this kind of decision making can lead to completely wrong behaviors risk-avoidance wise.
post #359 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcee View Post
I was once seated in the middle seat of our van when my dh was going into the store. My oldest son went in with his dad. While waiting for them to comeback the other boys were getting pretty rambunctious and were bouncing around a bit. A couple of ladies came by and wrote down our license plate number then proceeded to call "Someone' Boy were they surprised when I stuck my head out the door and asked just what they thought they were doing. They hung up the phone quickly and all but ran to the store... Nosey Whack-jobs!!!

But you know where are all these concerned helpers when my kd pukes in the store or I have a flat tire... Funny they never offer to help then...
The fact is, it's just a heck-of-a-lot easier to lift your finger and dial a number, than it is to help out with a sick kid or a flat tire. And, sadly, some people will pat you on the back as if you're a big hero for meddling and calling.

Except that it'd be harder for me, because I'd be awake at night wondering if I'd just really messed things up for some family. The flat tire and the puking may be harder and more time-consuming to deal with at the time, but they're not likely to come back and bite you in the butt later.

Of course, the "Nosey Whack-jobs" probably stifle all guilt feelings (for when they unwittingly caused a problem where none existed before), by reminding themselves of their friend who called the cops and unknowingly saved a child from being kidnapped ... and they'll sigh and think, "Maybe next time I'll get to be the hero ... next time ... when and where can I find a next time?"

...And off they'll go, past all the puking kids and flat tires, in search of that elusive sleeping child ...
post #360 of 407
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
I do not run my decision-making on anecdotal evidence, although I am influenced by certain traumas and am certainly not all the time completely logical and calculating with what will trigger me. However, this kind of decision making can lead to completely wrong behaviors risk-avoidance wise.
ain't that the truth.

The purpose of statistics is to give us an impartial measurement of what real risks are.

Car accidents and drowning - common.

Kidnapping by strangers - rare.

Kidnapping children (i.e. not teenage girls) by strangers - very very rare.

Cars blowing up in the parking lot - very very rare.

Kids dying of heat in parked cars - rare.

Kids being hit by cars in parking lots - common.

I try to reduce risks to my kids in a myriad of ways. But when I need to decide what to focus on or weighing up different risks, I will try to use impartial statistics, combined with my own knowledge of the situation, to make the best decision possible.

I also have a few hot ticket issues where reason and logic go out the window - but I accept the fact I am not acting rationally in those cases.
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