I know things can happen anywhere but after many years of living in a town like this, you start to get used to the innocence.
Many parents I know in town (including me) have left kids in the car while running into a store for just a minute. The range of safety seems to vary a bit. Personally, I have only done it in situations such as - babe's asleep in the car, its a cool day, lock the doors w/windows up, run into dry cleaners - can see car the whole time - pay and leave. Others I know have been more lax, others say they would never do it. Someone I know said she only does it if her dog is in the trunk as he would bark if anyone came near the car.
Several women I know have had people come up to them and threaten to call DSS on them, or in one case the police. I can understand why in certain situations, in others it seems surprising given the circumstances. I guess I don't think its a black and white issue but it seems to be treated as such. I would never leave my kid alone in a car in a more urban area, nor in a situation where I couldn't see the car, or would be gone more than 2 minutes. But do people really unbuckle kids and bring them back in the house every time they forget something? I find that so hard to believe.
Anyway, just curious your thoughts on the subject.
Personally, I think it's fine, if you live in a safe area, lock the doors/windows and/or are within eyesight, and are just gone a minute.
Ymmv. Lots of people's on this site do.
Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010
However, there have been multiple time when the boys are asleep in the car when we get home so I will leave them in their carseats, windows rolled down, back door open (which leads to the carport) until they wake up. I only do it when the temperature is below 70, even though the carport is shaded.
(ymmv stands for your mileage may vary).
Given the actual statistics on children being kidnapped kids kidnapped by strangers in the entire US), that's not my concern. I'm more worried about an overheated car or one of the kids doing something like pretending to drive and accidently putting the car out of park or something.
I see nothing wrong if you can see the car at all times. I also only do it when a dog is in the truck (you didn't mean trunk right?? cause that's bad!!)
I will say that everyday I leave dd in the truck in the driveway while I load my daycare dogs. We are also in an area where nobody locks their houses or vehicles, I have no idea where our house keys are.
The only place that I leave my kids in the car is at the dry cleaners and only if I am the only customer. The whole front of the building is glass and so I can see if I'll be the only one in there. If I am, I turn off the car and take the keys (but I don't lock it ) and go in and get my stuff, all the while looking out the window. On one level, I feel slightly uncomfortable doing it, but when I've really taken the time to examine my feeling, I think it's because of the climate of fear that abounds. When I think of it logically, really, what could happen? Neither kid can unbuckle themselves and I'm inside for less than 3 minutes, usually less than 2. I live in small-ish safe town and I'm comfortable with what I do in this particular instance. Of course, if I really felt they were in danger, I would take them in with me, even if it meant more inconvenience, but I just don't think they are in any danger.
(I used this as an example as why I didn't think she could handle CIO on a mainstream board and they starting screaming about how Emily should be taken away from me. It upset me for a long time afterwards but it is nice to know that I'm not the only one who has done it. In certain cases, it's not a problem, IMO.)
It freaked me out.
Who knew children left alone in cars are at risk for, and there are personal stories concerning:
being left alone in a hot vehicle (hyperthermia)
inadvertently setting a vehicle into motion
getting trapped in power windows
getting trapped in a vehicle trunk
starting a fire inside a vehicle (?!)
being abducted while left in a vehicle
I think the power windows, being abducted, and starting fire scenarios were the ones that fuh-reaked me out. If a person stopped to think about it, a car is nothing but a little powder keg on wheels, ready to strangulate anyone inside. Ok, not really, but if you read the site you might think so.
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
http://www.kidsandcars.org/ has lots of um, disturbing facts and stories.
It freaked me out.
But why DO cars catch on fire with kids inside? That is the nagging question in my mind. It seems so... not right. I mean, you think maybe it's just a one-off 12 year old smoking when mom goes into the store, but how do toddlers start fires in cars? Do the cars self-immolate? How weird.
I really think it's about calculating actual risk and then deciding what risks you are willing to take for your family--I would NEVER not strap my baby into a carseat, but I would (and have) gone to the bank machine while my truck is parked at the curb.
When it's -40F out and your pinkly warm baby is happily snoozing in his car seat, you gotta weigh the 100 percent likelihood of having a cold and screaming baby against the fraction-of-a-percent likelihood of something freaky happening while you're battling the elements for a minute.
OTOH, I've seen unattended kids that I've said something about and it reeeeeally pissed the other mama off. We were at a realtor's office getting some paperwork on a Saturday, and I stood outside for what seemed like an eternity while two kids, around the ages of three and five, bounced around the front seats of the car, with the engine running and keys in ignition!
Finally, I went inside and asked the realtor if she knew whose kids those were... turned out to be her secretary's kids. I don't know what the situation was-- maybe the secretary had to be at work on short notice, maybe she didn't have daycare on a Saturday, but I couldn't just sit there and watch those kids bounce around inside that car.
Their mama was peeved that I'd meddled in her business, but eeek!
Originally Posted by TranscendentalMom
does anyone have a link to the other threads about this subject?
Here is another thread about kids left in cars. The OP deleted her OP
so you might have to read a little to piece it together. If I remember
correctly it was about the OP witnessing a woman who left her baby in
the car when she went to mail a letter at the post office, and crossed the
street to get to the PO.
I went threw all the www.kidsincars.org stories and made a list of how
these children died in cars (my reply is on page 5 of the above post).
I would attribute the majority of the child deaths to be highly negligible
rather than simply “child left in car”.
ETA I would have no problem walking somewhere to drop something off if the I could see the car the entire time, but that scenero has yet to happen.
Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012) Married to awesome SAH DH.