So, how old IS old enough to leave a child unattended in the car? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#31 of 45 Old 10-04-2008, 07:21 PM
 
sapphire_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 27,052
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
I am comfortable running in to the gas station and leaving my kids in the car. I have also run into our small health food store with my kids in the car with it parked out front where I could see it.

I don't do it when it's hot outside (unless we're talking about running in to pay at the gas station). And I'm not worried about things like the kids releasing the brake because anyone stupid enough to do that would be buckled into a car seat.
We thought my little brother wouldn't. I got to go from buckled in the back seat to resetting the parking brake in the front (minivan) while the car was starting to roll at 11 or 12. So I'd make not messing with the brake be a specific rule.
sapphire_chan is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#32 of 45 Old 10-04-2008, 07:38 PM
 
Debstmomy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: I prefer REALITY, How about You????
Posts: 3,168
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
I am comfortable running in to the gas station and leaving my kids in the car. I have also run into our small health food store with my kids in the car with it parked out front where I could see it.

I don't do it when it's hot outside (unless we're talking about running in to pay at the gas station). And I'm not worried about things like the kids releasing the brake because anyone stupid enough to do that would be buckled into a car seat.
I HOPE you always remain this lucky!!!

Cristina - "If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded." Maya Angelou
Debstmomy is offline  
#33 of 45 Old 10-04-2008, 08:01 PM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
My kids also ride their bikes & electric scooters around our farm. We live rurally so we have lots of acres for them to do this. This is a different situation to me than leaving them alone in the car in the city. We are home, I am home, I am right there should anything happen...and I know every adult around us.
I can't really understand the logic of being ok with your children being *acres* away from you, but not mere steps/feet away from you (like to run in and pay for gas, or run in and get a pop from 7-11, places practically within eyesight of your car)...i understand you are afraid of "the city" but i think it might be beneficial to look more logically at what you are saying.

Quote:
I can't see why this would be strange to you. I frankly think it's strange to lack the instinct to keep your kids with you when you're in a city, surrounded by people you do not know.
Well, i dont live in The City (i am picturing the heart of NYC or Chicago or something??)...i live in a city with about 20,000 people, and there has been maybe one murder here in the past fifty years (it was a family thing, not stranger), the extent of the crime is people getting tools stolen out of their garage.

"Lack of instinct"? Very confusing to me...what does instinct have to do with it? I dont leave my house assuming people are out to hurt us. If there seems to be a situation that is sketchy, i act accordingly. If i'm not sure of what type of neighborhood i'm in, i'm more careful. If there seems to be people around that appear unsafe, i'm more careful.

Frankly, i would be MORE nervous living on acres and acres of land, in a rural area than i would leaving my kid in the car for two minutes at a gas station. To each her own. I remember thinking, when dog sitting for a friend that lived in one of those suburbs surrounded by farmland, how scared i'd be to live there (in fact, i didnt even spend the night, i drove all the way back home to the city, this was when i lived in Cincinnati...i was never so happy to see all those people and lights!)

There have been kids kidnapped right off the road in their rural areas, playing in front of their homes, heck even kidnapped right out of their bedrooms in the middle of the night.

What, precisely, do you think is going to happen to your 12 yr old sitting in a locked car for a few minutes? Your 16 yr old with a license, driving around, is FAR more at risk of "something happening"....i dont get it (havent yet read your other response, so hopefully i will get it then!)

Quote:
Yes, something could happen wherever you are. I guarantee you though, that if something does happen, I will be right there to take care of the kids and help the situation if I can.
So you think if you run in to pay for gas (drop off a package, get a pop, whatever) that you will be SO far away from your kids that you couldnt immediately help them?

I think as parents its kind of important to realize we can't control everything, i know thats a scary thought...that something bad could happen and there may be nothing we can do about it. You could live your life with "if onlys" but there just seems to be so much fear in what you've written...i dont think its healthy. I've made choices that could be seen as risky: homebirth, not vaxing, etc...but i know that i can live with the possible consequences of those choices.

Have your kids ever had the chance to navigate a situation on their own? My son can ride his bike down to the local chinese restaurant, order a meal, figure out the tip, and ride home. I think its good for kids to learn this kind of independance (only when they feel ready to of course)...i dont think its a benefit for an older child/teen to be with an adult 100 percent of the time, without fail. And to do that because YOU are scared or "couldnt live with yourself" if something happened seems even less healthy.


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is offline  
#34 of 45 Old 10-04-2008, 08:10 PM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonStarFalling View Post
I have found lately that ds loves freedom in small doses. He finds an awesome amount of pride in it. Children need to be alone at some point. To explore on their own for one. They love to know that they are being trusted. So I think range and amount of time should depend on maturity level. Right now I would leave ds while I dropped movies or something that was within sight. Although I don't think I'd do a whole shopping trip for several years.


Of course all kids are different, but my son has increasingly enjoyed the "alone" time he has from riding his bike to the store, paying with his own money, etc. He likes when i run an errand and trust him enough to leave him home. He sometimes prefers, if i'm running into the store and he doesnt want to go, just sit and read his book in the car. Its kind of offensive to read that this means i must not have the instinct to protect my child, or must not love spending time with him.


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is offline  
#35 of 45 Old 10-04-2008, 08:13 PM
 
kay4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've run in to pay for gas before and left them but never for more than maybe 5 minutes. I've gone in seen a long line and gone to another station because I didn't want to chance leaving them for longer than a few minutes.

Kelly,newly single mom of four wonderful children.

kay4 is offline  
#36 of 45 Old 10-04-2008, 08:17 PM
 
PassionateWriter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,662
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ks Mama View Post
I can't see a reason for a child to be in a car unattended. There's always going to be some better, safer alternative.
i agree with this statement, but we probably need to define the term "child". my ds1 was 6'2 at age 15. and not a small "child". at age 13, he was around 6'.....i think at that age, i did leave him in the car if i had to go inside the gas station for something. i guess for me, a child is not 6 feet tall! lol! but another 13 yo...i don't know. my ds2 isnt there yet (he's 10).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
Maybe I am weird. You're certainly not the first person to think it and you won't be the last. I follow my instincts with my kids and that's that.
you may be weird. im weird too though.

i follow my instincts also w/ my kids and i dont think it has to do w/ a certain age but rather whether one of my kids is a "child" or a "responsible person whom i can trust to remain in the car and be responsible and aware enough to protect themselves in case someone comes up to the car" kind of thing. I dont believe my 10 yo fits that test. My ds1, however, at 13, did.
PassionateWriter is offline  
#37 of 45 Old 10-04-2008, 08:49 PM
 
thepeach80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 6,159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
to pp who mentioned kiddo being in a car seat until age 11, is this the law where you live or just a personal safety preference? just curious as here in MN the law is age 4 or under must be in a car seat, otherwise, legally a seatbelt is fine.
Doesn't make it safe. Most kids don't fit in adult seatbelts till around age 10, some more than that. Carseats is a very loose term and can include boosters as well. My kids will be in boosters for years to come, my 5.5yo is still harnessed and will be for at least another 18 mos I bet. This whole thread isn't necessarily black and white, but carseat safety is. Rear facing is safest, harnessed is safest after that, and using a booster till they can fit in an adult seat is safest after that.

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

thepeach80 is offline  
#38 of 45 Old 10-04-2008, 09:09 PM
 
Calidris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Liming in sweet T&T
Posts: 3,802
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I recently went to a self service gas station, where I had to pay at a building, maybe 40 feet away from the pump, as I took DD (4.5) out of her seat, lead her across the open paved area, then paid (still holding her hand, since it is right next to the paved driving area), walked back, strapped her into her seat, then walked around the car get to my side and get in to drive off, it dawned on me that I was probably exposing her to more risks taking her out than leaving her in the car.

The time I am bucking and unbuckling DD the car is unlocked and the drivers side is on the opposite side to where i am, were someone to try to steal the car, when DD was half buckled in (and since most people who fear car jacking with child left alone are within a few seconds of the car, I assume it can be a very quick process) I can't imagine I would get her out in time.

When I strap DD in and walk around the car, with key in hand, I am probably at my most vulnerable to a desparate car thief.

Walking through the driving area and attepting to pay by card with DD at my side is also risky.

Really, I have no idea what I will do next time. Probably go to the normal gas station.

nothing more to say I guess :
Calidris is offline  
#39 of 45 Old 10-04-2008, 09:32 PM
 
chirp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Southern New Jersey
Posts: 1,322
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
Maybe they're not safe. I don't know. Safe is arbitrary. We're all driving around in large metal machines trying to be as careful and safe as we can.
i hate cars.

i think that every time i see a smooshed animal in the road.

OT but just had to say it.

living light husband wife loving life two sons to birth for our light loving earth. :
chirp is offline  
#40 of 45 Old 10-04-2008, 09:38 PM
 
PassionateWriter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,662
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by arismama! View Post

to pp who mentioned kiddo being in a car seat until age 11, is this the law where you live or just a personal safety preference? just curious as here in MN the law is age 4 or under must be in a car seat, otherwise, legally a seatbelt is fine.
my ds is 10.5 and still in a booster seat b/c he doesnt meet the 5 point test in our SUV. I seatbelt may be fine "legally" but IMHO the law is not protective enough from a car seat safety POV.
PassionateWriter is offline  
#41 of 45 Old 10-04-2008, 09:38 PM
 
chirp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Southern New Jersey
Posts: 1,322
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
wow...and i'd also like to say that i have drastically underestimated how convenient it is to have people pumping our gas and taking payment for us (here in NJ).

living light husband wife loving life two sons to birth for our light loving earth. :
chirp is offline  
#42 of 45 Old 10-04-2008, 11:06 PM
 
Pumpkin_Pie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vermont
Posts: 4,587
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The only time my DS is left "alone" in the car is when I am running things into the house while he sleeps in the car seat in the driveway. I can't see him from the house, but if I have groceries that are melting in the bags and a bunch of other things that need to come inside, then I leave him strapped in and snoozing with the car locked while I dash inside and drop them on the floor (or tossed in the freezer) and then dash back out and get him. Any other time, I don't agree with leaving him in the car. I once ran back into a store to get a forgotten receipt while DS played in the car with a new toy while strapped into his car seat, but I came back out and he was screaming. Never again.

I just don't think it is a good idea.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
Pumpkin_Pie is offline  
#43 of 45 Old 10-05-2008, 12:34 AM
 
savithny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Kids are 8 and 5. I will leave them to run into the PO, run to an ATM. If I couldn't pay at pump, I'd leave them in the car for that. I'll run up to a library drop box, into a friend's house, or back into the house if I forgot something. I always buckle them into the car before returning the shopping cart to the cart corral, too. When #1 had a strep throat, I left him in the car in the parking lot of preschool when I went to pick up #2 rather than taking him in and exposing him to everyone.

Honestly, in most of those situations I think they're safer. Parking lots are full of stupid drivers looking for parking spots and not looking out for pedestrians. Gas stations? You're more likely to get held up inside paying than have your car jacked while you're away from it. ATMs? Ditto. Last thing I need when using one is to have to keep track of young kids while putting in my pin discreetly and watching out for people coming up behind me.

Then of course there's the weather issue. I'm supposed to unstrap both kids and frog march them 15 feet to stand in a bitterly cold wind with me when the car is warm?


The most vulnerable I've ever felt dealing with my babies in the car was that period when you have to lean your upper body into the car in order to fasten the carseat straps - that's the moment you could get hit from behind.

My instincts, many times, tell me it would be safer to leave my kids in a locked, warm, car than to go through the rigmarole of getting them out, getting them safely across a parking lot or street, doing what I have to do, getting them safely back across the parking lot, getting them both strapped firmly and safely back into their seats, and getting me back into my seat. I do tend not to leave them in the car as much as I might otherwise because I know there are too many fearmongering busybodies who do things like call the cops if you're not close enough to the car to touch it at every possible second.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

savithny is offline  
#44 of 45 Old 10-05-2008, 12:37 AM
 
beaner&tiegs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 1,345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I leave my kids in the car if they don't want to get out - for example, when I'm getting lunch to go at a local deli and I can see them from the window, or if I'm dropping off a video/getting gas. If they want to come with me, of course they can, but sometimes they want to continue listening to their story on CD or they just don't want to get out in the rain or whatever. A few times, my instincts have felt very uncomfortable with leaving them so then I take them out, but most of the time I feel totally fine with it. My 8 year old also happens to be very responsible and mature, so that helps.

Living life as fully as we can, with our three fellow adventure-seekers ~ K (2000), T (2003) and R (2007).  
beaner&tiegs is offline  
#45 of 45 Old 10-05-2008, 01:05 AM
 
Channelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 558
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I honestly don't have a very good answer. But I have a couple thoughts on it...

-My brother and I were left alone ALOT at home and in the car, and never thought it was wrong....That said, I remember a time when I was about 3 and my brother was about 8 and we were left alone in the car at a grocery store. The driveway was kind of a slope, like a hill, and we were parked at the top and one of us (can't remember who-fuzzy memory) hit the parking brake and we started to roll, and all I remember is being scared and then my grandfather coming out and physically standing in front of the car and stopping it. My mother thought we wouldn't be able to unlock the parking break but somehow we managed...this has always made me leery of the idea of leaving a child in a car alone, especially on a hill!

-I really don't have much experience at this point as my children are my eight year old stepson and a 7 month old. I don't leave the ss alone in the car that I can think of, as he is easy to get in and out of the car and likes to go in with me. So if I go to a gas pump and have to pay inside, he just comes with me. Of course I do leave him in the car alone while I pump the gas...he doesn't come stand by me. I've never been in the position where it's just been me and the baby in the car, so I've never had to leave her alone, my mom or partner is always in the car with me. I wouldn't leave the 8 year old and the baby in there alone either, I'd be too worried that she would start crying and he wouldn't be able to sooth her.

-Also, in our apartment building, we are in a large apt. complex on the 10th floor where each floor has it's own hallway. Yesterday, the baby was asleep in the stroller, the I struggled to get out the doorway without having the door hit it and waking her up or by hitting the doorframe and waking her up. Once I got her into the hallway, I remembered something I left in the apt. So I either had to struggle to get her back in or leave her in the hallway while I ran back in. Well what I wanted was not in it's place it usually is, so I had to search for it. By the time I got back to her, I was panicked. What if she had started crying? What if someone came by the hallway and grabbed her? What if someone across or down the hall had taken her into their apts? No, I can't ever imagine myself leaving her!
Channelle is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off