Leaving kids in car unattended for just a minute...how bad is it? - Page 6 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-31-2006, 06:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Yooper
Why is it so hard to accept that different people weigh their risks vs. benefits differently? There are many factors here....temperature, location, age of kid(s), etc..... Each person is going to look at their cards and decide what tips the scale for them. Coming on here to say "I do x,y,or z" is fine. Calling one camp "lazy" and the other "paranoid" is actually against the user agreement (isn't it?).
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Originally Posted by thismama
I think it's hilarious that this thread is 8 pages long, and that there are other huge threads on this subject in the archives.

I mean, really, how long can we talk about this subject?
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-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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Old 05-31-2006, 07:37 PM
 
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Ok - simply out of curiosity - I wonder if someone would time themselves. For example, measure 8 feet inside your front door and 10 outside of your door and get someone to time you how long it would take you to run from inside to outside your home. Then get someone to time how long it would take you to run 18 feet on the street - without barriers. I really am curious - wondering if the argument holds - logic says it will - but just wondering.
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Old 05-31-2006, 11:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 4imprints
This is actually how I was kidnapped. I begged my mom to let me stay in the car because my feet hurt from my new shoes (first day of 8th grade). I also wanted to listen to the radio. She let me - this one time (usually I paid while she pumped). I layed the seat down and closed my eyes when only 2 seconds later the man jumped in the car. I do think that there is an age where kids will make the choice to stay in the car - that is why I don't blame my mom - it was my choice. But at certain ages I think it is absolutely ridiculous to leave a child in the car.
I'm terribly sorry for what happened to you. I don't believe, though, that because this happened to you in this way that it's a very large risk in the vast majority of the cases. These tragedies happen in many places. A girl from my 5th grade class was kidnapped from her bed. A woman from my college was attacked on her front porch. A woman from my grad school was attacked in dorm room. Someday my Dd will walk the few blocks to her school. Being in your bed, on your porch, in your yard, walking to school, there are risks involved. The risks are minimal, but they exist. We can't stop living. We can't control for everything. Personally, I'm very careful about all of these things and supervise my Dd 100 percent in the bathtub and the backyard, for example, but there are risks that I do take, such as kayaking and long walks in the rain. We assess our risks and make our choices. After what happened to you, I can't imagine you leaving your child alone in a car ever. It makes sense to me, but I can easily see someone leaving their child in a locked car for a few minutes when they're in sight. It's less risky than the walk to the door of the store in most parking lots.
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Old 06-01-2006, 12:06 AM
 
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Why do you chose to surpervise your children in the bath tub? Because someone's child drowned? Because you've heard "too many stories"? This is the same thing - even if it didn't happen to me I wouldn't leave my children in the car because I've heard it all too often.

Why do you look both ways when crossing the street?
Why do you have a house alarms?
Why do you lock your doors?
Why do you wear a seatbelt?
Why do you have your children where a helmet on their bike?
Why do you use a car seat?
Why do you do most of the things in your life.....

because of risks. Exactly what you said. You look at the risks and you act accordingly - IMO - chosing to leave your child in the car which is a risk is not acting accordingly. I mean seriously - so you're responsible enough to restrain them in a proper carseat but not responsible enough to not leave them alone where they are defenseless? That is what bothers me - the arguments - they just don't add up or at least I can't see how they add up. I mean if I felt it was OK to leave my child in an unattended car I don't see why I would worry about protecting them at all? Does that make sense. Now - obviously I'm not calling the mothers that do irrisponsible - its just that I don't see the logic in that arugment. They obviously have very good reason because I don't believe anyone on here would "intentionaly" cause harm to their child -but do you see the connection I'm making?

And about the kayaking - there are ways to still take all precautions when doing sports - helmets, vests, etc. I feel the same thinking should apply to cars - seatbelts, no loose heavy objects, not leaving a child unattended - and then the same thing applies to our houses - not leaving chemicals on the bottom shelf, covering outlets, keeping knives and scissors out of reach, supervising in the bathtub.

I don't leave my children in the car - but not because of what happened to me - because I try my hardest to minimize the risks in my childs life.

Sorry for the response - again - I just wanted it clear that my choices aren't "just because of what happened to me".
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Old 06-01-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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Here's the difference to me.

When I supervise my dd in the tub, I can't think of anything that puts her at risk by supervising her.
When I put her in a carseat, there is nothing that comes to mind to tell me she *may* be safer where she is.
When I change my smoke alarm battery, I don't wonder if putting in a new one is it's own safety hazzard.

When I take my child out of the car for less than a minute, the risks for me are almost equal.
My child could get away from me and be hit.
My child could be hit in the parking lot.
My child could be hit while in my arms.
My child and I could get held up at the ATM and hurt.
If someone wants to steal my child...is it easier to snatch her away from my ever strong hand as I hold her's or is easier to circumvent the locks on my truck, get through 100 lbs of dog who is trained to bite and will instantly lay down his life for that baby and then...after all that....unbuckle her from her carseat. All this while not catching the attention of any locals from my town that make it their business to know everyone and everything about them and feel obliged to protect their own???

For me, I weigh my risks. Car jacking doesn't really happen here--and they sure as hell arent' going to pick my vehicle--especially when 50% of the cars in the parking lot have keys in the ignition. Pedestrians getting hit by vehicles though, that happens all the time. For me, I analize my risks and decide which ones I can live with. Will it kill me if something happens to her--damn right!! But it will kill me if she gets hit by a car in the parking lot because I took her with me. It will kill me if we're in an accident and the backseat is demolished---even though all the risk analists told me she was safest back there.
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Old 06-01-2006, 01:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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On the www.kidsincars.org site - did anyone notice any stories where kids were kidnapped or cars stolen when the car was locked? All the ones I read the car was either running or unlocked.

"We shape the clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want" Lao Tzu
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Old 06-01-2006, 02:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4imprints
Why do you do most of the things in your life.....

because of risks. Exactly what you said. You look at the risks and you act accordingly - IMO - chosing to leave your child in the car which is a risk is not acting accordingly. I mean seriously - so you're responsible enough to restrain them in a proper carseat but not responsible enough to not leave them alone where they are defenseless? That is what bothers me - the arguments - they just don't add up or at least I can't see how they add up. I mean if I felt it was OK to leave my child in an unattended car I don't see why I would worry about protecting them at all? Does that make sense. Now - obviously I'm not calling the mothers that do irrisponsible - its just that I don't see the logic in that arugment. They obviously have very good reason because I don't believe anyone on here would "intentionaly" cause harm to their child -but do you see the connection I'm making?
]You believe that it is always safer to bring your child inside with you. My point is that this isn't always the case. Sometimes it is just as safe or safer to leave them in the car. On this point, we simply disagree.
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Old 06-01-2006, 04:13 AM
 
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I think after reading everyone's reponses, that my advice is, you do what is best for your child and your family, and I'll do what is best for mine.
I do understand where everyone is coming from.

I think everyday life is a risk, but as long as we all do what we feel is right for our family, then that is all that matters.
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Old 06-01-2006, 04:20 AM
 
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My older son used to stay in the car by himself when he was 4 years old ONLY when going into a small convenience store where i could see him, and the doors locked(keys with me) I live in a super small town where everyone knows everyone and the wait in line was zilch (honestly!) and i never once felt bad about it. It depends on a lot of things. Also, may i say that i live in europe where kids are in the car a LOT of the time...i mean i say this from babies, to older ones while their parents grocery shop. i see this a lot here, and nobody thinks twice about it.:

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Old 06-01-2006, 01:28 PM
 
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4imprints/Sara....I remember you posting about your horrific experience in a past thread like this and I want you to know I am amazed at your strength and I appreciate your willingness to post about what happened to you. Complacency runs rampant until one finds themselves in the situation that always happens to "other people". Continued peace, health, and happiness to you.

DC
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 4imprints
Why do you chose to surpervise your children in the bath tub? Because someone's child drowned? Because you've heard "too many stories"?
Not in my case. I supervise my children in the bath, because I know myself how easy it is to slip in the tub. I've done it many times. DS2 slipped and went down flat on his back with me holding him not two weeks ago. There's no way I'd leave a small child unattended in a bathtub, as I believe, from my own experience, that a bathtub is one of the most dangerous locations in any house.

Quote:
I mean seriously - so you're responsible enough to restrain them in a proper carseat but not responsible enough to not leave them alone where they are defenseless? That is what bothers me - the arguments - they just don't add up or at least I can't see how they add up. I mean if I felt it was OK to leave my child in an unattended car I don't see why I would worry about protecting them at all?
I don't feel that I'm leaving them unattended. Am I leaving them in the car unattended if they're strapped in their seats, and I'm at the back with the liftgate up, loading up groceries? Are they unattended if they're in their carseats, and I'm standing beside the car, talking to a neighbour? Are they unattended if they're in their carseats and I"m standing 10 feet away, looking at the car, talking to a neighbour? 20 feet? This isn't about thinking it's okay to leave them unattended, imo...it's about where we draw the line on defining "unattended". Plus, as Shannon says, there's the balancing of other risks. I feel that my kids are safer if they're strapped in a carseat than they are if I'm taking them with me to get a buggy. There's no physical way that I can be pushing the buggy in (or pulling it out), holding ds2 and holding dd's hand. The possibility that dd may wander into parking lot traffic scares me more than the possibility of someone getting one or both of them out of their carseat in the <1 minute that it takes me to put the buggy back (or get the buggy in the first place).

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Old 06-01-2006, 07:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride
I don't feel that I'm leaving them unattended. Am I leaving them in the car unattended if they're strapped in their seats, and I'm at the back with the liftgate up, loading up groceries? Are they unattended if they're in their carseats, and I'm standing beside the car, talking to a neighbour? Are they unattended if they're in their carseats and I"m standing 10 feet away, looking at the car, talking to a neighbour? 20 feet? This isn't about thinking it's okay to leave them unattended, imo...it's about where we draw the line on defining "unattended". Plus, as Shannon says, there's the balancing of other risks. I feel that my kids are safer if they're strapped in a carseat than they are if I'm taking them with me to get a buggy. There's no physical way that I can be pushing the buggy in (or pulling it out), holding ds2 and holding dd's hand. The possibility that dd may wander into parking lot traffic scares me more than the possibility of someone getting one or both of them out of their carseat in the <1 minute that it takes me to put the buggy back (or get the buggy in the first place).
Well put.
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Old 06-01-2006, 07:42 PM
 
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The only situation in which I leave my child alone in the car is when I am loading or unloading many or heavy objects between car and house AND there is nobody available to help me. For example, when we come home from the grocery store, I leave him strapped into his carseat while I carry the groceries into the house--not into the kitchen, just inside the front door--and then I go out and get him. The car is parked in the street (if I can't find a space very close to our house, I double-park while unloading, then park the car properly before unstrapping EnviroBaby) but our front yard is only 7 feet deep; the only time I can't see the car is when my back is turned to unlock the door and set down the groceries.

Why do I do this? Because I believe he is much more at risk being let loose in the house while I go back and forth to the car, than being strapped into his seat. The times when I've brought him into the house first, since he learned to crawl, he's come over to the door to watch me return to the car, which means that when I return carrying heavy objects he's underfoot; it was because of several incidents of almost dropping things on him and one incident of actually tripping over him (which bruised his face and threw out my back) and one of the storm-door closing on his hand because I couldn't catch it, that I decided it's safer to leave him in the car.

Typically when I'm doing this, the car doors are locked but the trunk is open. Sometimes I have cargo on the front seat or floor of the back seat as well, in which case doors may be open. The keys always are with me. Thus the car can't be stolen. It would be very, very difficult to get EnviroBaby unstrapped and maneuvered out of the car (it's a compact; you have to rotate him at an awkward angle to lift him out the door) before I'd notice. The fact that child abductions by strangers are extremely rare also makes me feel that the risk to my child is low. Not nonexistent, low.

4imprints wrote:
Quote:
I mean if I felt it was OK to leave my child in an unattended car I don't see why I would worry about protecting them at all? Does that make sense.
No. If you assess the risks and decide they are low enough compared to the benefits, you might well decide one thing is OK while still protecting your child in other ways. I mean, YOU LET YOUR CHILD RIDE IN A CAR EVEN THOUGH CAR ACCIDENTS ARE A LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH AND INJURIES IN CHILDREN. Every time you put your child in a car, no matter how well restrained and supervised, you are taking a risk. Does that mean you don't bother protecting your child at all??

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Old 06-02-2006, 07:08 AM
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You would leave your 11 mos old with no lighter, matches or flamethrower????? How irresponsible...have you NEVER watched McGyver??? I mean those things could save a life!!!!
I can't believe I'm reading this here!!!
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