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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"> Coming out of the grocery store yesterday and someones car alarm was sounding...beep beep beep. Dh and I kind of chuckled you know and thought poor person struggling with their car until we realized it was the truck parked in front of our car and saw a little boy in there with his little hands up over his ears and <span style="font-size:medium;"><b>NO ONE ELSE WITH HIM IN THE CAR!!!</b></span> I swear this child was only 4 yrs. old and obviously upset and scared. I looked and looked and there was no one in there with him I just couldn't beleive it and felt sooooo sad for him.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><br><br>
People were just walking by like nothing was up, clearly they did not realize that there was an abandoned child in there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><br><br>
I went up to him and tried to motion that it was ok and I would go get some help, I stepped back to take down the licence plate number so I could have the IDIOT parent paged and just as I did that the mother came out looking all sheepish and apologetic and I gave her a glare and gestured to her crying son. I wanted so badly to say something but I felt so raged I couldn't put my words together. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Cuss.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="cuss"><br><br>
I watched her open the door, the child crawled into the back and I could see her lecturing him on how he shouldn't have been touching anything. MAN what is with people!<br><br>
Isn't there a law against leaving your dc unattended, locked in an unsupervised car! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"><br><br>
Dang, I wish I had let her have it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/soapbox.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="soapbox">
 

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It's against the law in Texas. If you still have her plate number, I would be inclined to call the police...Were there any other witnesses that you could get a hold of, like workers at the store, that could back you up when she lies about it ?
 

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Kristen,<br>
I would definitely look into this, and do you still have the plate number? I would have freaked too!!!! Where did this happen???<br>
I think it is against the law in Ontario, but I have to find out for sure.<br><br>
Peace,<br><br>
Mamasoleil/samson<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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Depends on where you live. It is illegal here in KY but you actually have to have a cop come out, you can't just report someone. I asked a trooper about it and he said I could go down to the courthouse and have a warrant sworn out. But I would spend all day in the smoky courthouse, yes they allow smoking. Same goes for kids riding in restraints. But all a parent has to do is show a restraint and it is "dismissed on proof." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unfortunately no, I dont have the licence plate number.<br>
I hadn't written it down, was just going to go in and recite it when the lousy mother came out. I remember the first 3 digits but that is it...I will recognize the mother if I ever see her again though.<br><br>
Mamasoleil, you are in the same town as me right? It was at the Independent Grocer, by Northgate.<br><br>
I am still in shock that anyone would do something like that with everything we know, all the horrid stories we hear of people leaving their kids in the car. UGH. Makes me ill.
 

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My dh and the girls and I were at a popular outdoor shopping mall last weekend and we saw two kids locked inside a pickup truck. One was about eight or nine, and one was about three or four. It was at least ninety degrees outside. My dh whipped out the cell phone and dialed 911. He had a hard time getting the dispatcher to take him seriously, but there was a cop there in a matter of minutes. We went back about ten minutes later, and the cop was still there with the kids, and a mall security guard was getting a description of the mom so that he could try and go find her. By this time, she had been gone at least fifteen minutes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"><br><br>
Why don't you take your kids in the store with you?!? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">: I have a infant and a very spirited toddler, and we go out all the time. Yes, it's hard to take both of them places and schlepp them in and out of carseats, but I would never leave them locked in apickup truck, no matter how many times I've backled and unbuckled the carseat straps. Why this woman didn't take her two kids in with her, when she was going to be gone that long, is beyond me. And she probably won't get anything but a talking to by the officer. I just don't get it.
 

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If the child is old enough to operate the windows to get fresh air and can be trusted not to mess with the parking brake, etc., I don't see the problem. (Now, if you have power windows that can't be operated without the key, then that IS a problem, but power windows are a safety hazard in other situations as well.) Leaving a BABY unattended in a closed car is of course a terrible idea. But what's the problem if an older child would rather sit in the car and read than go into the store?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:
 

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While I don't think I would leave my son at 4yo in the car alone (he's only 2 so I can't say for sure), I remember my mom used to leave my sister and I alone in the car while she went inside to the store. Now granted, I remember this being when I was a little older, like 8 or so, and she always left our German Shepard i the car with us (which she felt deterred anyone from bothering us). But 4 does seem a little young. I don't know - can they open doors? Start ignitions? I would be more scared of him getting out of the car and being in the parking lot than anything else.<br><br>
I do feel a little weird about calling police though. If I could, I would rather stand by the car and wait for the person to come out and make sure the kid was okay. I would probably tell them that I had written down their license and would have had to call the police had they not gotten their soon enough, and hopefully that would have shaken some sense into them. If there was a little baby locked in a car on a hot day then yes, I would call the police.
 

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I watched a story on Dateline or 20/20 a few years ago where a woman left her young toddler (I think he was about 20 months old) in a car while she worked because she couldn't find a babysitter. Every hour, she checked on him. He was in the carseat and he was just fine for most of her shift. The windows were all rolled down. The last time she checked on him, he was listless and his eyes were half open. Her baby died because it got too hot in the car. The highest temperature during her shift had been 68 degrees; it was a night shift and she thought that because it was cool and there was no sun beating down on the car that it would stay cool inside.<br><br>
I realize that most people are "just going to be a minute" or whatever, but I would have absolutely no hesitations about calling the police if I saw small, unattended children in a car in a parking lot, even if it was a cool day. The temperature inside a car can be much, much higher than the air outside. Sit in your car with the windows rolled up and the AC on one of these days, and you'll see what I mean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by EnviroBecca</i><br><b>If the child is old enough to operate the windows to get fresh air and can be trusted not to mess with the parking brake, etc., I don't see the problem. (Now, if you have power windows that can't be operated without the key, then that IS a problem, but power windows are a safety hazard in other situations as well.) Leaving a BABY unattended in a closed car is of course a terrible idea. But what's the problem if an older child would rather sit in the car and read than go into the store?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:</b></td>
</tr></table></div>
A four year old child should not be left alone...ANYWHERE. Would you leave a 4 yr. old at home alone? Would you leave a 4 yr. old to wander Walmart while you did your shopping? Would you drop off your 4 yr. old at the library by himself? NO NO NO. He is still a child and should not be put in the position of having to care for himself in a possible dangerous situation. He was alone. He was not with an older sibling and he was obviously distraught. I dont care what kind of saftey features the automobile had...he should not have been left alone in it.
 

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I have to agree with Kristen. My 4 yr old dd is quite able to get out of vehicles. What if she got out, and started looking for me? WHat if some sicko took her? What if someone went to the veh, asked her to open the window and took her?<br>
Ugh, makes me shudder to think of the possibilities!!!!<br>
Talk to the mom, and make her aware you've taken her licence plate number and intend to give the police a heads up.<br>
I would not turn my back on child abuse, that is a form IMHO!<br><br>
Mamasoleil/samson<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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If I saw a child of ANY age left alone in a car this time of year, I'd immediately call the cops. No sane person sits in a car or leaves their child or pet in a car for any length of time!!! (of course, it was 106 today, which means the car interior can easily get hot enough to cook in, literally...<br><br>
And most four year olds CAN unlock and open car doors, not to mention if they get mischevious accidentally put the car into neutral...<br><br>
I would have immediately called the cops, then if the mother came out had my DH block their car in with mine until they (the cops) showed up so that the woman couldn't just drive off, and if when I got there the kid was in the car and wouldn't open the door when I told him to, I'd stay right there and watch him VERY closely for any signs of distress because of the heat, and if necessary bust out a window of the vehicle to get the child out.<br><br>
In your situation, given the more temperate climate, I'd say you probably acted correctly, except I still would have called the cops.<br><br>
As for a four year old being left alone...I think it's okay to leave a 4yo alone, as long as they have the freedom and ability to find a parent/adult if they need to (e.g., playing alone in their bedroom while you're downstairs doing laundry, etc.), so I'd say that a kid would be old enough to be left alone in the car (provided they can roll down the windows/have them rolled down and it's not too hot) if they're old enough to be able to get out of the car, lock it behind them, and go into the store to locate Mom should it be necessary.
 
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