Post # 76
I think a lot of people are overreacting, an 11 year old is more than capable of watching over a baby for a few minutes. As for people saying they could have been abducted, so you’re telling me you don’t think an 11 year old should be allowed anywhere unsupervised? They’re not allowed to play outside with their friends in case they’re abducted?
Kids are probably in more danger going on the internet unsupervised than sat in a car outside a store for a few minutes, let’s be realistic. At 11 years old most kids are walking to school alone and playing with friends in the street etc., spending a few minutes in a car with their baby brother/sister while Mum pops in the shop is not neglect.
Post # 77
- Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre
I agree with you an 11 year old us capable of watching a baby for a few minutes or even up to an hour, that’s not the point the point here is she left two children in a car that is illegal
Post # 78
No way. I think you’re crazy to leave your kids in the car.
Post # 79
If this woman does not call the police to report you, consider yourself extremely lucky because I surely would have.
Post # 80
I don’t think you did anything terrible bee. I can see how in the moment, with your 11 yr old saying they didn’t want to go into the store and the cranky baby, you just decided to leave them for a couple min in clear view of where you were. Clearly you feel bad about it and learned your lesson so I don’t see the point in making you feel any worse!
That said I agree with pp’s that the woman who checked up on your kids was 100% right to do so. I would have done the same. There are just too many tragic stories about kids being forgotten in cars. Thank god your story had no chance of ending that way, but there’s no way the woman would have known that if she hadn’t checked.
Post # 81
From a legal perspective, I suspect that would be very much dependent on where you live. For example, where I am, there is no official age at which it magically becomes legal to leave a child alone. The law has specifically left that point vague, since it can vary wildly from one child to another.
From a personal point of view, I would say it depends on the maturity level of your 11 year old. Some kids at that age would be completely capable of watching a younger sibling and in that case I would be comfortable doing what you did, others might not be and I wouldn’t risk it. You know your kids, you know what your particular 11 year old is and is not capable of.
Post # 82
I’ll say this. For me personally it’s not so much about them being abducted. My concern would be that adults aren’t always able to recognize the signs of a baby overheating, so I’m not sure I’d trust an 11yo to do so. If it took longer than anticipated, or the baby was say already warm, I’d be worried that their sibling might not know enough to know what to do, etc. For me that would be why I wouldn’t be comfortable doing it.
Post # 83
Heat danger aside, there are cars stolen from filling stations every year here, and the thief often doesn’t look to see if there are children in the car. While PPs are correct that the world is generally not as dangerous as we make it out to be, keep in mind that SOMEONE is always that “one in a million.” In my mind, anything I can do to reduce the odds that my child will be the statistic is worth it. Leaving a child in a car is simply not an option for me.
Post # 84
Some are citing it is illegal but this is not necessarily true for all U.S. states. For instance, where I live there are no laws on unattended minors in a motor vehicle. Some states also only specify if the vehicle is left running.
So, as to if it’s illegal and you could face legal issues, you have to look up the laws for your area.
I would not personally do what you did. Unfortunately, in high temperatures, even with windows down, the heat in a parked car only varies slightly and can still present risks. Likewise, the point people made about someone being able to have access to the children since the windows were down. I know all too well how easily abductions are as I was a child almost abducted on more than one occasion.
In the end, it sounds like you’re remorseful and hopefully have learned for the better. Unfortunately if you did violate a current law and she did report, you’ll have to accept whatever outcome arises as she was doing what she ought to do by reporting.
Post # 85
I’m not in the US but I leave my kids in the car (5 and 3) on a reasonably regular basis but only if they’re in sight at all times and I feel like they’re not at any great risk. Would I leave them in the car while I went into the grocery store? Absolutely not but if I’m just paying for gas or parked outside our preschool (down a long drive) or even parked right outside a local store then I’m capable of assessing the risk and making a decision.
And if the lady really wanted to be a good citizen perhaps she could’ve given you the benefit of the doubt or asked you if she could help you (she had no idea what your situation was) rather than reporting you straight away!
Post # 86
Illegal? It’s not illegal in my state to leave an 11 year old in a car.
Post # 87
I haven’t researched this, but I’m guessing that when people are saying there is no specific law saying a parent or guardian cant leave a child of x age or under in a car alone they are probably correct….technically.
However, I’d bet there’s a general parental neglect/parental supervision statue in any given state that this very situation would fall under. Just bc there isn’t a specific law saying not to do this doesn’t mean case law hasn’t interpreted parental laws as such to cover such situations.
Post # 88
Mom of three. This would be illegal where I live. Count yourself lucky that you haven’t faced consequences for this choice and move on. The necklace could have been picked up another time–not worth it. You already know not to do it again.
Post # 89
It depends on local or state laws, so in some places this would be illegal, in others not.
Post # 90
yes, I know how the law works. I am an attorney. My point still stands. Local and state laws can be interpreted to cover more than what they say on their face per case law that can then be applied to this situation.