(Closed) Unattended children in cars. Is it ever okay?

posted 8 years ago in Parenting
  • poll: Is it ever okay to leave a child unattended in a car?

    Nope, never.

    Yes, but only if it will be for a less than a minute and I can see my car/child at all times.

    Sure, lock the doors and crack the windows. The kid’ll be fine.

  • Post # 62
    Member
    187 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    It is illegal. I will be perpetually annoyed with having to wake my child before I head to jail and never see her again. Pumping gas, car is off , keys in hand and within arms reach she stays in. Safer than out around fumes and other cars. But if I have to go in she goes in. My young teenagers can stay in the car if they are ok with it for a minute or 2 but not my little ones. Never left them to go shopping. If you have kids I think you should be prepared to be inconvenienced often so that kind of stuff blows my mind. When my oldest was about 18 mos I got out of my car to get the mail literally inches from the car, bumped the lock in my new car that locked all 4 doors and locked my baby in the car. The most horrible experience of my life! I can’t imagine doing it on purpose.

    Post # 63
    Member
    676 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Never okay, I have a 4 year old and even when we go to the store I wont leave him in the car to go put the cart in the corral. If he is in the car then either me or Fiance is physically touching the car in some way. Even if I have to run into the gas station as much of a pain as it is I get him out of his seat and bring him in with me…always. I would never be able to live with myself if I walked away from the car for a second and some kind of freak accident happened and someone ran into it or tried to steal my car or something, maybe I am paranoid but it’s thinking about things like that that makes me never second guess my decision to never leave him in the car.

    Post # 64
    Member
    676 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    View original reply
    @MM423:  I do have to agree with this though, while I would never leave my son in the car when I was growing up it was a normal thing to do but I suppose 20 years ago there weren’t very many people going around and stealing babies like they do now.

    Post # 65
    Member
    2825 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    No never for a child under the age of 12 in my opinion.

    By 12 (depending on the child obviously) you could leave the car on and they know better than to try and drive or mess with the gears or anything.  But before then?  No.

    Post # 66
    Member
    466 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    My mom would leave us in the car while pumping gas and then to run inside to pay (this was back in the day before credit cards/debit cards were really popular).

    Post # 67
    Member
    7605 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    I’d be more afraid of my car getting stolen with my kid in it than them dying of the heat during those 2 minutes (15 minutes is way too long).

    Post # 68
    Member
    1643 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2015

    I don’t have babies…

    but let me play devils advocate….

    your 2 year old fell asleep 10 minutes ago after screaming for the past hour around the supermarket because they were overtired.  You pull up to your house, and you could really do with putting the frozen food into the freezer.

    Is it REALLY not ok to leave the kid in the car while you unpack the shopping, go for a pee, get your book and a drink before going back to the car to read until said 2 year old wakes??

     

    Post # 69
    Member
    1085 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    My daughter is 4 and I never leave her alone anywhere. For starters every day of the summer here is 100 degrees, in the car is about 110-115. That’s terrible, even with the windows down. Then you leave the windows down and someone can come snatch up the baby, roll them up/crack them with the ac on and the car becomes a target for theft and your child is in that car.

    Not to mention the child could have something that you don’t know about, even strapped in the car seat, they could have something small they decide to put in their mouths and choke, with no one there to help them.

    The dangers to children are endless. I was only 3 years old and mom left us in the car while she ran into the gas station, yeah she didn’t pull the e-brake up far enough and the car with a 3, 5 and 6 year old started rolling into a main road. Luckily everyone was fine and we just went into a ditch that stopped us. Anything can happen and as parents it’s our jobs to prevent as much danger as we can for children

    Post # 70
    Member
    1433 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: February 2010

    Since you said under 5: I voted only for a minute.

    I think i’d leave my door LOCKED if I was justing running in the video store to return a movie or running in to pay at a gas station…but that’s if I were desperate and needed gas and had no one to watch him in the car with me.

     

    However…if they were like 12 then heck yeah i’d leave them for 20m as I grabbed some dinner groceries.

     

    The lady in the story is INSANE. I wouldn’t leave a 2 year old unattended without checking in on him IN MY OWN HOUSE let alone in a car. 

    Post # 71
    Member
    1623 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    Honestly I would be way too worried to leave a child under 5 alone in a car for more than a few seconds. Too many horror stories about temperature-related deaths (an adult really can’t ‘feel’ the effect of heat on a baby’s body and we forget how quickly cars heat up without the AC and how easily we can get distracted during a task that normally lasts 1 minute).

    There have been several times when I’ve seen infants left in cars in parking lots while walking past and literally sat there with my cell phone out watching how much time has elapsed and waiting for the parent to come back. On a warm day I tell myself that if the kid shows any distress or it takes the parent more than a few minutes to come back I’ll call the cops (not so much on the parent, but really just to make sure the kid is ok–you know, better safe than sorry).  I’ve never had to do it thank goodness, although I came really close once on a particularly hot day.

    Post # 72
    Member
    7769 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    Someone was just arrested for running into a local target and leaving his kids in the car.  In Wisconsin, this is NEVER okay.  It is WAY to hot here especially right now! 

    Post # 73
    Member
    11324 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2011

    For under 5? Never in public. Like a poster above said… if I was at a friend’s house and just walking up to the door to drop something off. Or even running in for maybe 2 minutes (use the bathroom or something). But never ever in public. I’d be less concerned about the heat (because we’re talking about 5 min or less here at a gas station), than car malfunction. You figure you would want to lock the car down (so the kid wouldn’t get kidnapped if someone hopped in your unlocked car), but what if the lock then didn’t work for some reason? I would just never lock my kid in the car with me outside the car in case the locks broke (my car has the electronic not physical locks so– it could happen!)

    Post # 74
    Member
    7899 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

    With young kids, I’d say no, but if you must, I think the car should be left on with the A/C on and even then, that’s risky. My aunt, as a child, maybe 4 or 5, drove into a 7-11 because her mother left her and her sister in the car with the car on while she went in to buy lotto tickets.

    Post # 75
    Member
    7899 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

    View original reply
    @prettypincushion:  People don’t reall go around stealing babies anymore today than in the past, by the way. This is a media myth. In fact, rates of “stereotypical” child abduction/kidnapping are and have bene on a steady decline. Most kidnapping is done by a family member or close friend, not a stranger who sees you kid in an unlocked car in the Target parking lot.

    Post # 76
    Member
    11267 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2012

    a child under 5 yrs old, never. 

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