Post # 1
Just went to a local shop on the high street, it’s dark out and I noticed on the way out that three children under the age of five had been left in a car with no guardian. I mean they were really little. I thought this was weird and not something I would do. The parent wouldn’t have been in the shop for long but I thought that was unsafe leaving them like that. But then I’m not a parent.
I did actually see their mum turn up in the end because I forgot something and had to go back to the shop so that was good!
Coming home, my relative didn’t see it as a big deal and understood that if a parent was in a rush they wouldn’t unbuckle all three kids to drag them in for a quick shop.
Most of my friends are parents and would have taken all three in though. What do you guys think?
Post # 2
I’m not a parent but I’ve heard far too many horror stories to ever leave 3 young children alone in a vehicle. Whether it’s some psycho kidnapping/killing them, one of them somehow gets to the gas pedal and runs the car into something, one of them chokes on something or gets hurt and no one is there to help, kid decides to unbuckle and wander off, over heating, etc.
It may be “inconvenient” to unbuckle and drag 3 kids into the store to quickly grab some milk and eggs but I’d much rather be annoyed for 5 minutes than devastated for the rest of my life if something were to happen while I was gone.
Post # 3
Im not a parent but it seems like such a pain in the ass to drag 3 young kids into a store if your parked right outside and are only going to be in there for a minute.
Post # 4
It’s never okay to leave kids alone in a car imo.
Post # 5
I’m a nanny and have full permission to leave any of the 3 kids in the car by themselves as long as I can see the car. I leave them for school pick ups for their siblings (have to get out of car), paying for gas inside, etc.
The keys are never still in the car, my phone is with me…and honestly, theres a higher chance of death by car accident than them being taken from a car in less than a minute. Guess it depends on the kid though too.
Post # 6
As a parent to three children–yes, it is a pain in the ass to drag three young children anywhere. But–that’s part of being a parent. It’s not okay to leave your children unattended in a parked car on a public street. You can lose custody of your children for doing such a thing in the US.
That said, I’ve known people, including family members, who have done it. I never did. Not worth the risk to me–however unlikely I could never live with myself if something happened to any of my children as a result of my laziness or negligence.
Post # 7
Funny I had a nightmare that I did this the other day, the whole time I was in the store I was panicked and couldn’t understand why I didn’t just run out to the car. It’s illegal where I’m at so that makes it pretty clear to me. But I’m in Arizona where kids die every year from the heat after being left in the car, so we think of it a little differently here. I’ve called the police to report dogs being left in the car, I’d certainly do the same for a child.
Post # 8
Heck no. Not a parent, but I actively babysit my niece and nephew since their birth. I’d much rather take the time to get them both out of the car and inside the store, even for a jug of milk then leave them alone. I’ve heard far too many horror stories, one in my own hometown. It’s not worth the extra minute or two.
Post # 9
I think it depends on what type of store, and what she’s doing there. No, you should not go full-on grocery shopping while the kids wait in the car. But to go into a convenience store to pay for gas and grab a Coke is fine, especially since at most convenient stores you can see the car from inside the store the entire time. (And I do in fact leave my two grandkids in the car to pay for gas or get a drink on a regular basis). If it’s a truly in and out type of place, there is really no threat of any harm. Seriously, there is no way I am going to take a 3 year old and a 1 year old out of their car seats, and into a stoller, or carry the 1 year old in my arms and hold the 3 year old’s hand, just to walk 50 yards into a store to hand the clerk some money, and then have to go back out and re-buckle up. That’s crazy.
Anyone who says “it’s never okay” is either over reacting or not thinking through all the scenarios. I agree that there is no reason to ever leave them for extended periods of time, or maybe in a bad neighborhood where there is a legitimate fear for their safety. But to pay for gas and grab a Coke? Totally okay. When my daughter was young there was no such thing as ‘pay at the punp.’ Do you think that parents took their kids inside everytime they got gas? Nope. No different now.
I get really annoyed with hyperprotective parents who don’t allow their kids out of their sight, ever (and these parents seem to be the norm these days). Past generations did so and were fine – I rode my bike 2 miles to and from school every day by myself, or with neighborhood kids, from 1st to 5th grade in the 1970s – and other cultures continue to do so (google stories about 1st graders in Japan taking the train by themselves). The crime rate today is no worse than it used to be – in fact, it’s better. The world is not a terribly dangerous place, no matter how popular crime shows are on TV. All that’s needed is a little common sense. And fewer knee-jerk overreactions.
Post # 10
Isn’t that illegal in most places?!
Post # 11
When I was kid my mom would sometimes leave me in the car if she was running in somewhere. I don’t remember the exact age when that started. Five seems a little yong, but maybe.
Post # 12
It’s illegal if they are in danger (especially from heat). It’s not illegal if there is no danger. The problem arises in how to interpret danger, and reasonable people can disagree. There have been some arrests that I believe were completely unreasonable, and they’ve gained quite a bit of publicity. I’m pretty sure the charges in most of the cases end up getting dismissed.
Post # 13
I’m not a parent and these days it’s hard to imagine doing this.
But my mom used to do this. I’m not sure how young I was, but I’d always much prefer it if I could wait in the car while she went into stores. Maybe I was more like 7? I think a few decades ago it wasn’t considered such a big deal.
Post # 14
Not true. If I drive to Target or 7-11 right now and leave a young child in the car while I run in for five minutes to buy dishwasher detergent I can be arrested and (at least temporarily) lose custody of that child in the state in which I live. I wouldn’t want to be that parent on the evening news, even if the charges may later be dismissed.
The OP posted re: children in a car on the street. That’s a never for me. Did I leave them buckled in the car for a minute in a friend’s driveway (on private property) while I picked something up from a friend? Sure. But not on the street, and not in a parking lot. Ever. And I’m no helicopter parent.
Post # 15
Target maybe, but that’s a large store that takes time to walk in and out of and you can’t see your car from inside. But 7-11? No way in hell. I’m not buying that for a second. I do i t ALL the time, and cops have seen me do it. Let’s cut the drama and just be real here.