What would you do if you saw kids left in a car? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 84 Old 04-26-2013, 04:07 PM
 
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It totally depends on the situation for me. If I felt there was a danger, I'd investigate it myself first, check to see what's going on in the car, second, look around to see if anyone else has any concerns and the last thing I would do would be to call police. 

 

I once defended a woman who had the police (and about 4 fire trucks and a news crew) called on her because she left her newborn infant and 8 year old son in the car while she ran into Babies R Us to grab some diapers (which are in the front of the store next to the cash registers). I saw the whole thing take place and the person doing the calling was just making a spectacle of herself. First she started yelling outside of the store, then she came in through the automatic doors and started announcing the entire situation for everyone to hear and loudly discussed which phone they should call the police from... The poor mom was devastated, and so was I, it was my first real "outing" by myself with my son with the car. When I gave my side of the story that she really was only in there for a second, it seemed like no one wanted to hear it, it was mid April, the weather was warming up and the news needed someone to make an example of.

 

That taught me for a lifetime that the most dangerous part of leaving my son in the car is someone calling the police on me... even though my truck is probably the safest vehicle to leave a child unattended in... the only time I would really need to leave him in the car would be at dog-realted event, which means he'd be in there with at least 1 protection trained dog with a heat/cold sensor, so if it gets too hot or cold, an alarm goes off on my keychain and the engine kicks on.

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#62 of 84 Old 04-27-2013, 02:02 PM
 
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More dangerous? Sitting in a parked car or a driving car? The latter...by a factor of about 100.
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#63 of 84 Old 04-27-2013, 02:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilgreen View Post

 

I prefer to challenge the climate of fear around parenting that I sense from our culture. I don't put my kids at risk, I simply weigh the risk vs. value.

 

This.


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#64 of 84 Old 05-05-2013, 11:43 PM
 
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I "leave" my baby and toddler in the car to walk up to my kid's school and pick him up (wave through window). But it is literally 15 feet from the car, and I never leave them if they are awake or it is hot.

 

We live in the PNW so it is usually cloudy/rainy during the school year... and I guess I am not technically leaving them since they are in my sight at all times, and it literally takes me 3 minutes to collect my son from school....

 

I would call the police if I waited at a car for 10 minutes and the parent didn't come out... but this is a 8 year-old or younger child. If it is hot though, I think I would call for any child under 14/15.... it is just too hot!
 


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#65 of 84 Old 05-06-2013, 06:23 AM
 
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You would call the police on a 13 year old sitting in a car alone? That 13 year old could get out if he wanted!! Maybe he didn't want to get out. I just can't imagine calling police on a bigger kid/teenager.


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#66 of 84 Old 05-07-2013, 08:32 AM
 
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In Alberta, Canada, the 14 year old could be the driver of the car lol

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#67 of 84 Old 05-19-2013, 01:34 PM
 
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^^^Maybe the family routines changed and you forget that it was your turn to take him to day care or whatnot. Maybe you're distracted by something else. It happens, and to people who are otherwise good parents. Somebody upthread posted that she went to a medical appointment with some family members and in all the chaos forgot her son in the car for a little while. 

 

I have heard some moms say that they stick their purse in the car seat when the kid isn't with them, so that they'll always have to go to the back seat in order to find their purse and therefore be in the habit of always checking the back seat to make sure the kid is or isn't there.

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#68 of 84 Old 05-19-2013, 04:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

I have heard some moms say that they stick their purse in the car seat when the kid isn't with them, so that they'll always have to go to the back seat in order to find their purse and therefore be in the habit of always checking the back seat to make sure the kid is or isn't there.

 

Hey, thanks, I'm gonna make use of this tip someday, because I already know I'm one of the stupid, stupid people who'd forget their baby in the car. orngtongue.gif I'd misplace my own body parts if they weren't so firmly attached, so misplacing a baby would be easy.

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#69 of 84 Old 05-19-2013, 06:35 PM
 
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I did this too. I put her in the seat and then, I don't know, had something else to do and meant to tighten it once I finished that other thing (putting my bag in the front seat and taking the Mei Tai off, or some such), and then forgot to go back and tighten it, so after that I decided I just would always tighten it fully as soon as I put her in rather than trying to wait and then forgetting. 

 

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Originally Posted by skycheattraffic View Post


I'm sure this is one of those things that seems impossible until it happens to you.
I haven't ever forgotten my child in the car but I DID forget to buckle her into her carseat once. 
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#70 of 84 Old 05-21-2013, 05:31 AM
 
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Wow. So many different opinions. My 12 year old likes to sit in the car sometimes & listen to the radio while i'm shopping. I leave her the keys to listen to the radio & it's hot or cold she can run the heat or air. She knows if she gets out let me know first, then lock the car & bring me the keys. if my 2 younger kids are with me 9 & 6. I'll let my 9 yr old if my 12 yr old does, but not my 6 yr old. I feel more comfortable with him w me & he likes going in. The reason I don't like to leave my 9 yr old is bc she was sexually abused when she was 5 & to be honest I trust NOBODY when my girls are concerned. My 2 oldest have cell phones if they needed me & are always texting me when we're apart lol. If i'm getting gas or running into the bank I don't mind leaving them in the car, but they all usually wana go with me lol. Getting the police involved in another parents decision, I would consider alot of factors; ie age, weather, how far away the store is from the car.
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#71 of 84 Old 05-21-2013, 05:40 AM
 
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Adding to my previous post. I've heard on 2 different occasions of a parent leaving kids in a car at a bar. Are you kidding me?? A parent would leave their child in a car so they can have fun, dance, get drunk, party?? That's a responsible loving caring parent that puts their child first! (sarcasm of course)

And for the lady that forgot her baby in the car at a Drs appointment. Bless your heart! I know you had to have been stressed with what was going on w your Mom (been there done that, with my Mom). I can't imagine realizing I made that kind of mistake & the worry you felt running back to your baby. We are all human & make mistakes at some point.
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#72 of 84 Old 05-21-2013, 02:06 PM
 
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I'm sure this is one of those things that seems impossible until it happens to you.

A little arm-chair psychology tells me I'm perhaps overcompensating for the haphazard, traumatic upbringing I had, but I would never forget I left my daughter in the car, like a piece of luggage. In my world, I would really have to reexamine where my mind was if I was so self-absorbed and so 'busy' that my priorities where that out of whack. That said, her age and maturity would determine for me whether I would consider leaving her in there deliberately, and certainly only if she was safe in any situation.

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#73 of 84 Old 05-21-2013, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can see myself forgetting a baby in the car, if the baby were sleeping and if having the baby in my car wasn't routine. Not because I ever thought a baby of mine was like luggage, or because I'm self-absorbed, but because when I'm focused on one thing, I lose focus in other areas. It has nothing to do with the level of importance of any particular thing that has my focus or doesn't have my focus. It's just that when I concentrate on one thing, I'm unable to pay attention to other things. However, I recognize this in myself, so I developed a habit of keeping my purse in the back seat so I'd always have to check the back seat no matter what.
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#74 of 84 Old 05-21-2013, 03:49 PM
 
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I can see myself forgetting a baby in the car, if the baby were sleeping and if having the baby in my car wasn't routine. Not because I ever thought a baby of mine was like luggage, or because I'm self-absorbed, but because when I'm focused on one thing, I lose focus in other areas. It has nothing to do with the level of importance of any particular thing that has my focus or doesn't have my focus. It's just that when I concentrate on one thing, I'm unable to pay attention to other things. However, I recognize this in myself, so I developed a habit of keeping my purse in the back seat so I'd always have to check the back seat no matter what.

Yeah I think most people are like that. I can easily say I would never do it but you just never know. I like the idea of always putting your purse in the seat but I'll probably forget to do that as well!

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#75 of 84 Old 05-21-2013, 04:51 PM
 
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I was such a sleepless spaz the first year of DD's life that I probably shouldn't have been driving at all. I can most definitely see how someone might forget baby in the car.
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#76 of 84 Old 05-22-2013, 03:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by g33kch1ck View Post

A little arm-chair psychology tells me I'm perhaps overcompensating for the haphazard, traumatic upbringing I had, but I would never forget I left my daughter in the car, like a piece of luggage. In my world, I would really have to reexamine where my mind was if I was so self-absorbed and so 'busy' that my priorities where that out of whack. That said, her age and maturity would determine for me whether I would consider leaving her in there deliberately, and certainly only if she was safe in any situation.

 

I gently suggest you read some stories about people that have done this and the circumstances leading up to it.  It's not about priorities, it's about changes in routines, huge amounts of life stress, etc.  

 

I've misplaced my baby inside my own house, I'm no one to judge.  Accidents happen.  

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#77 of 84 Old 05-25-2013, 07:55 AM
 
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I have three children and have never left them alone in the car. I don't have any family to help me and my dh travelled a lot with work. Honestly, I didn't find it that difficult. Sometimes a pain but not to the point that I couldn't pop a baby in a sling to return a shopping cart. I just shake my head reading some of these. I'm not a over-paranoid person but things go wrong. Better a moment of inconvenience vs. a lifetime of regret. 

 

What I do see here in France are parents who leave sleeping babies at home and go get older children from school. That, I did try once. Turns out there was some type of recent accident on the way home and I had to drive alllllll the waaaaaay around... I took it as a sign. Don't do this! 

 

If I had to pick, I would say leaving a sleeping baby at home is safer than leaving them in a car. I just say, easier to do neither. It took some coordination but I just didn't put myself in a position where I had to even make the choice. I used gas pumps where I could pay right there. I shopped with small babies in slings. I just dragged my kids around sometimes. They weren't left in the car. 

 

We do have p/t daycares and I did have that, three mornings a week. I would run around like a madwoman doing all my shopping, chores, etc. while they were there. I did plan my shopping and days around when they were awake, with me, etc. Added problem here; everything closes at 7pm and much is shut between 12-2pm but I digress...

 

For the record, I do things here in France that I would never do back home in California. I will leave my 11 year old, in the car, during the day, with a cell phone (she's usually playing games on it anyway) and she knows how to lock the door. I will make a quick visit to one store. I would not do that on visits to California. We're in a small town here and near San Francisco where my family lives, children go missing. 

 

I also let my 11 & 13 year take public transport with cell phones. I want to say "during the day" but that would be a lie because in winter, the sun sets at 4:15pm so they will take it as late as 6pm. It's a short ride, with the commuter crowd. I would not do that if I lived in Paris or another big city.

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#78 of 84 Old 05-25-2013, 12:16 PM
 
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I have read some stories, and I have the same opinion after reading them: what the f*!@? I suppose I must seem judgmental to you. So be it; I'm not apologizing for being judgmental about the health and safety of children. In my opinion, that sort of lack of judgment and focus is how babies die. I'm tired and stressed, too, but I don't forget where I put my kid. It is about priorities, and being too selfish and self-absorbed to prioritize correctly. Sorry, I don't know you, but I can't fathom how you can misplace a baby. I DO judge.

 

Wow - what's it like to be perfect, and not have normal human failings?

 

My ex and I once forgot out baby (only a few weeks old) in the car. We were going to a reunion of our prenatal class, of all things. DS1 had fallen asleep in the carseat. When we got there, we unloaded my purse, the diaper bag, the food we'd brought (potluck), etc. We went through the diaper bag to make sure we remembered everything. Then, we went to the front door and rang the bell. As the host buzzed us in, we heard his baby in background, and went "OMG!". I do wonder how long it would have taken us to remember him if we had been attending something less baby-centric. That's never happened to me again in 20+ years of parenting, but it did happen once.

 

If you actually believe that you have some kind of superpower that overcomes the normal functioning of the human brain, I'm happy for you. But, people like you need some compassion. Some of the people who have forgotten babies in cars have ended up with dead children. I know what it is to lose a child because of a mistake, and if you can't feel compassion for people in that situation, you might want to get off your high horse about how selfish and self-absorbed other people are, because you're being all about you. Basking in your own feelings of superiority isn't a particularly attractive character trait, and believing you're a better parent than those around you doesn't make it so.


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#79 of 84 Old 05-25-2013, 03:42 PM
 
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I'm surprised there aren't more babies forgotten in cars.  When you're driving a baby around, you're supposed to be focusing on driving...it really is in the baby's best interest, and everybody else's too.  And the baby is supposed to be rear-facing, which makes the baby harder to see, but is really in the baby's best interest.  It's a good thing to not be focusing on the baby the entire time you're in the car, and considering that sleep deprivation is an extremely common problem of being a responsive parent to a newborn, it's not surprising parents sometimes have trouble shifting gears back to baby-focused when they reach their destination.

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#80 of 84 Old 05-28-2013, 09:45 PM
 
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I'm surprised by how many people say they wouldn't be concerned with a child being left in a car by themselves as long as the child was old enough to leave the car by themselves.  I have a 5 year old.  She's been able to unbuckle herself and leave the car by herself since she was 4.  She's almost 6 now, but I still wouldn't trust that she'd safely know how to navigate a busy parking lot or street, or that she would yet be old enough to have the common sense to go looking for the adult she came with, instead of finding a little park to play in or the nearest toy store she can go "shopping" in.  There's a gap between able to get out of the car themselves and keeping themselves safe around moving cars.


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#81 of 84 Old 05-29-2013, 03:19 PM
 
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I think believing it can never happen to you is possibly the worst thing you can do if you want to AVOID making awful mistakes. The reality is, it can happen to anyone. Knowing that is really important.

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#82 of 84 Old 05-30-2013, 01:19 PM
 
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Ok, I have reopened this thread. I have removed several posts that either do not contribute to a comfortable atmosphere or included name calling. Please check your PM box to see if any changes in posting behavior have been requested of you before continuing to post to this thread. MDC does not welcome name calling of any kind but especially towards members or others who have lost a child. 

 

Discussing accidents, misjudgments and etc. can absolutely be done without the use of name calling and insensitivity towards families who have experienced a loss. I acknowledge that it takes more time, tact and thoughtfulness to do so, but dedication to this sort of civility is what makes our community so great. Thanks to those members who took the time to post in this way. I'm sorry if your considerate responses were removed along with the deleted posts or quotes of deleted posts. 

 

Also lets keep in mind that we all process news of tragedies differently and for some of us we feel a lot of anger when we hear about seemingly preventable accidents resulting in the death of a child. Processing those feelings does not justify insensitivity but as members we can help others identify that this is a process and help our fellow mothers and members move away from anger and towards empathy. 

 

I welcome members to continue this conversation but ask that you keep in mind the sensitivity and potential for strong disagreement on this subject. 


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#83 of 84 Old 06-03-2013, 08:16 AM
 
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I'm surprised by how many people say they wouldn't be concerned with a child being left in a car by themselves as long as the child was old enough to leave the car by themselves.  I have a 5 year old.  She's been able to unbuckle herself and leave the car by herself since she was 4.  She's almost 6 now, but I still wouldn't trust that she'd safely know how to navigate a busy parking lot or street, or that she would yet be old enough to have the common sense to go looking for the adult she came with, instead of finding a little park to play in or the nearest toy store she can go "shopping" in.  There's a gap between able to get out of the car themselves and keeping themselves safe around moving cars.

 

I'm actually surprised that "knowing how to get out of the car" is a good thing when deciding to leave a child in a car. I would be MUCH more comfortable leaving an infant or toddler who CANT get out in the car than an older child (like 4 or 5) who CAN...they are much more likely to "get in trouble"/put the car in gear/wander off/attract the attention of nosy passersby. 


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#84 of 84 Old 06-03-2013, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess when I've parked I've always parked right up next to the building (say bank with an ATM I'm at) so they wouldn't have to navigate the parking lot. My concern would be whether they were old enough to not run off I guess, but I kept them harnessed as long as I could and the older one couldn't undo a harness until she knew not to run off, and the younger one still can't unharness herself. If they'd been able to unharness themselves I would have had to take that into consideration as well.
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