Leaving a kid in the car - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 73 Old 06-14-2010, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
Maybe the worst possible thing happened to them so they know how easy it is to happen to a child and they want to protect their kid from that pain. I don't see how other people's decisions as knowledgeable parents should in any way disturb someone who isn't in that family. It isn't as though they are making everyone in the parking lot come into the store with them so it in no way affects the people who choose not to believe that something bad will ever happen to their kid.
I do think, however that one can take it too far. Living in fear is not so great either. Personally, I am infinitely more paranoid about my kid getting hit by a car while she walks through a parking lot than her getting kidnapped. Still, I wouldn't leave a kid under 12 alone in a car, because I would worry about someone calling the cops on me. And I certainly wouldn't ever leave anyone in a hot car.

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#62 of 73 Old 06-14-2010, 07:31 PM
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I think it depends on the kid and where you live.

DD is 4 and I've run in very briefly before. For example, I've left something in the house I needed to grab, we're in a hurry, she's already buckled in....so I'll lock the car tell her to stay put and run in and out in a matter of 60 seconds. Now actually leaving her in the car while I go in to shop for 15minutes or more would probably never take place for our family.

I've seen a lot of people mention that if the kid can unlock and get out of the car if need be they would go ahead with it. I could see this totally being okay in a more rural area, but where we live this is actually the thing I would be most uncomfortable with. We live less than a half mile from downtown in a pretty good sized city. Most parking lots here are busy and people in our area are natoriously bad drivers. The way people zoom in and out of parking lots scares the crap out of me. I'd be too concerned that even at age 8 or so, she would be just small enough not to spot in a busy parking lot. Also, anywhere we go for shopping sake is pretty busy. Well, busy enough that I couldn't be confident that she would be able to go right in and find me if she needed to. So basically if I ever left her in the car it would have to be a case of "Stay put until I get back." which I'm not comfortable doing unless for a very short time.

Like some others have said, I think I'll probably feel more comfortable leaving her at the house alone for short periods of time before I would feel safe with her in the car.

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#63 of 73 Old 06-15-2010, 12:06 AM
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My mom started letting us sit alone in the car while she ran an errand... hmm well I'm sure I was in middle school by then. Close to or an actual teenager. We lived in a pretty small safe city, and we knew to keep the doors locked. Oh, I remember maybe being a bit
younger but big sister being there, too.

If there was a reason to, I guess I'd do it about the same age. I'm sure my mom wanted to be able to run an errand quickly, but sometimes she just knew we'd rather sit and talk or sit on our own and space out than come with her into a friend's house to drop something off, or whatever.

Right now, I'll leave DD in the carseat in the garage, and run back inside very quickly. I used to close the garage door, but I don't always, I just lock the car.
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#64 of 73 Old 06-15-2010, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Minxie View Post
Here is a list of the laws in the various states from ndaa.org (National District Attorneys Association). It's a .doc file:


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#65 of 73 Old 06-30-2010, 05:22 AM
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Caden is 7 and asks if he can stay in the car, usually when he's tired'ish. The answer is always "NO!" lol.
Just ain't happening. To me he just seems so little, he's smart but he just doesnt have the skills to go there yet, and Im not sure when either he or I will be ready.

Sometimes he gets to stay in the car if someone else is w/us and they dont mind hanging out in the car (ie PaPa) so he just always asks anyway lol.

Im pretty much home all the time now w/my lovely morning sickness (all day sickness) so he never really has to go on errands now if he doesnt want to, he can just stay home.

The kid only likes shopping if he knows he's getting something out of it, otherwise it's boring and sometimes it overstimulates him, but I digress.

I remember once I left my dog in car w/the windows half way down and I was at a Sally's beauty supply and COPS came in looking for the lady who was abusing her dog by leaving him in the car for 15 minutes.
I think it didnt help that I *KNOW* he was freaking out because I was gone. lol
He started panting and jumping up all crazy as soon as I closed the door so I knew I wouldnt be gone long. Only cuz he's not use to being left in the car and he's very umm "attached" to me lol, he's like MOMMIE where are you going? lol
I was the one freaked out when the cops came in. Yeah, it was warm but now HOT, he was fine, I love my dog I wouldnt have been gone long enough to where he had heatstroke or anything ugh!
Imagine if I had left my kid in the car?

OH and my kid is pretty darn attractive, another reason I couldnt leave him in the car alone

HSing mom to Caden 02/17/03 , and suddenly expecting #2 due 01/11
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#66 of 73 Old 06-30-2010, 11:00 AM
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Pretty much never! Like someone else said... not entirely because I fear something awful would happen to my child (injury, abduction, wondering off etc). But I fear someone would call the cops!

It happened near me a couple of weeks ago. The mom is facing charges for leaving her 7 year old for about 20 minutes. OYE!


In searching for that article I found the story of a mom who left her 9 year old, 2 year old, and 1 year old for 15 minutes was arrested last January and had her kids taken away! Are you KIDDING me? Taken away?


In my state I guess the magic age for leaving kids alone is 12. Sheesh! My mom would have been given a life sentence for what she did with me. I was a latch key kid starting at the age of 6! I sat in the car alone all the time from probably 4 or 5 on.

I don't think the world is more dangerous today but I wouldn't do these things because I fear being arrested and loosing my children.
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#67 of 73 Old 06-30-2010, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
gosh, I can't even imagine my kids not wanting to go into the store with me. In fact, as soon as we pull up somewhere, all four are fu-reaking out b/c they want to come inside with me - and I have to choose who to leave (with DH) in the car and who to take in...or if I'm in a mood, I leave them all and let him deal with their craziness.

No, but seriously, I dunno. Maybe 12-13? My older two kids are 9 and 7 and even if I could talk them into it, I don't think I'd feel comfy leaving either one of them while I go shopping. If it were a quick in and out thing like gas/library books/dry cleaners/pizza pick-up - then maybe.

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#68 of 73 Old 06-30-2010, 11:25 AM
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my 11 year old is very mature, and has her black belt in karate. I know that sounds silly, but her sensei is VERY big on self defense for kids her age and I'm pretty confident that if someone tried to grab her, she could defend herself enough to get free. She couldn't have passed her test if she couldn't get away from a 200 lbs sensei trying to grab her (and he doesn't screw around). That said, I'm probably overly cautious. Usually my 5 year old is with me, and the baby, so I would not put her in a position of being in charge of the two of them unless it was a very fast errand and I could see the car from where I am (the post office, dropping off the bunny at the vet this morning). Never for shopping or anything. If it's just her and I, she generally wants to go with me anyway.
For DS, he will sometimes ask to stay in the car when we stop at home for something in between trips (for dd's karate gear, etc) but not longer than 2-4 minutes. I'll admit I'm also worried about someone calling the police over it.

She's allowed to walk the 1 mile to her school by herself, there are crossing guards and it's very populated and her entire middle school pretty much walks home so there are kids everywhere. Plus, she always has her cell phone. I tend to be nervous, like i said, but when I was a kid her age I would ride my bike 5 miles to a friend's house in a very rural, sparcely populated area where looking back on it, it would be WAY easier for someone to grab me - no one would ever see it - than for someone to grab her. Like someone else said, I'd be more worried about accidents than I would be about someone grabbing them.

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#69 of 73 Old 07-01-2010, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
I do think, however that one can take it too far. Living in fear is not so great either. Personally, I am infinitely more paranoid about my kid getting hit by a car while she walks through a parking lot than her getting kidnapped. Still, I wouldn't leave a kid under 12 alone in a car, because I would worry about someone calling the cops on me. And I certainly wouldn't ever leave anyone in a hot car.
I agree with this. But. When I was 7, I was practicing walking home alone for the 1st time (yes, the VERY first) and my Mom was waiting at the halfway point with my little brother, in our minivan.

A man pulled up in an Orange VW Bug, and asked me if I'd like to see his penny. I think he said penny. I may have blocked the real word out

I said, my Mom is waiting right down there, and pointed down the block towards where she was, and the guy drove off.

Freaky, right?

So... I am way cautious with my kids anywhere in public.

That said, DS, who is 8, runs around our 5 acres and goes down near the river by himself almost every day. I can't see him, but we're always within shouting distance.

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#70 of 73 Old 07-02-2010, 03:09 AM
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It's illegal here, not sure there's an upper age limit. I would say probably 13 or so, at which point you could just leave them at home -- safer and easier.

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#71 of 73 Old 07-04-2010, 02:10 AM
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As a child I was left in the car a lot...I did not like it. Then last year I heard a story about a woman who was taking her kids and some children that she babysat somewhere. She literally ran in-but due to a problem with her engine, the car burst into flames. The kids, who were young and in carseats could not get out. I can't imagine watching that. Since then, I don't think I could do it at all.

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#72 of 73 Old 07-06-2010, 01:35 AM
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I left all 3 of mine in the car to pay for gas a couple times in the last couple months. And I left them when I ran in the car seat I rented from the car company, since I'd only needed it to get home. And the only thing I worried about was busybodies noticing them and freaking out.

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#73 of 73 Old 07-06-2010, 05:06 PM
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I agree with this. My oldest is 7 and I live in a safe neighborhood, but throw in young boys, a car, street or parking lot....just doesn't sound like a good idea to me. I really try not to be paranoid, but this is something I wouldn't feel comfortable doing for a long while. And if I were comfortable, I still wouldn't b/c I'd fear someone calling the police.

Originally Posted by mamabearsoblessed View Post
I can't believe this is the first reference to Protecting the Gift. It's a book every parent and caretaker needs to read.

In answer to the original question~ no time soon, and my oldest is 9.
I was a latch-key kid too at 7. Ran wild and probably coined the phrase free-range-kid .
It's not only abduction that is my concern, it's accident, injury and random acts of violence. Really, to think about it, I can imagine each of us probably knows someone touched by random violence, accident or injury, if not ourselves. And I could never forgive myself or live with something happening to my children that could have been easily prevented.

That's my reasoning.
That said~ I don't judge another for allowing their 9 year old to wait in the car while they run into the corner store. That said, I ahve been a dawdling 'do-gooder' who hung around for a bit until a parent/grownup returned.
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