To worry about this child asleep in car

(414 Posts)
StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 13:54:21

There's a child about 2years old asleep in a car (in car seat) on road near my work (quietish residential street). I've been here about 10 minutes and no one has come back for him. Might be overreacting but would never leave my son asleep in car for more than a minute or two. Don't know what to do, should I report it?? Just concerned maybe he's been forgotten about, after reading some stories where this happened, and worried for the little thing

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 13:55:42

Phone 999.

If I came across this, I give it no more than 5 minutes before phoning them.

Clearlymisunderstood Fri 08-Nov-13 13:57:28

Agree with pp, 999

TartyMcTart Fri 08-Nov-13 13:58:19

Are there any houses nearby? Could he have been left while his mum is in the house? I used to do this and would leave them until they woke up, be it 1 minute or 1 hour.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 08-Nov-13 13:58:46

Is the car parked in front of a house? Perhaps you knock and ask them if the child is theirs. The've probably just left him outside having a sleep but I can understand your discomfort.

To be fair assuming you're in the UK the car is not likely to overheat today and if the boy has a blanket or a coat he probably won't be too cold either. I wouldn't call anyone yet but do knock on a few doors and find out whose child he is.

CaptainSweatPants Fri 08-Nov-13 13:59:00

Er if it's a residential street the parent will be checking the child from the house
We often left ours asleep in the drive & kept an eye out

TinyTear Fri 08-Nov-13 13:59:08

Phone 999 definitely...

Too many stories of children dying being forgotten...

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 13:59:29

Is it on a drive? In view of a house? In a dangerous place?

Hold back on the 999 yet!

Mum possibly watches from a window, I've done that.

Lexiesinclair Fri 08-Nov-13 13:59:38

Are you sure there's nobody watching him from a nearby window?

Brittabot Fri 08-Nov-13 13:59:58

I know some people who leave a sleeping child in a car and then watch from the house (not me I hasten to add!). I would call 999 to be on the safe side.

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 14:00:00

Is the child in distress? In danger? Then 999 is ridiculous. Call the police if you absolutely must, but use the local number not the emergency one.

I think you're over-reacting myself.

Leopoldina Fri 08-Nov-13 14:00:15

have you been standing there all the time for 10 minutes or could someone have come along and checked during that time? I used to leave mine sleeping (but off road outside house) but wouldn't leave that long without checking, esp on a road.
Would probably veer towards 101 (or whatever non emergency is) rather than 999 - a peacefully sleeping child with someone (you) watching over them isn't a sirens and lights event.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:00:16

Yes, I used to do this when I had twins. I used to watch them from my living room window. If I brought them in, they'd wake up and it would ruin their whole nap schedule. 999 is a bit OTT. If the child is screaming their head off, perhaps.

Brittabot Fri 08-Nov-13 14:00:34

Ha ha cross posted lots!

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:00:36

Tiny unless she is in Oz, why would the child die? confused

I always leave my son asleep in the car, in full view of me. What would kill him in November?

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 14:00:39

Have you stood by the car to see if you can see someone watching him? I have left my son asleep in the car with a direct line of sight from my house, front door open and car window open. However, if there is none of this in place, then I would call the police - it's better to be safe than sorry and even in the cold a car can warm up quite significantly if it's in the sun.

Can you nip out and look to see if chest is rising and falling? Then phone 999... May have been innocently left for a few minutes and mother/father got involved in something else and not popped back as soon as they thought.

Better to be safe than sorry...

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 14:01:46

A billion cross posts later...

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:01:57

Why is everyone being so hysterical about leaving a child asleep in a car.

What is going to happen?

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:02:35

Lordy, it's not going to warm up significantly in this weather unless it was in direct sun for several hours, by which time I assume the child would wake up before they completely dehydrate.

World gone mad.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:03:16

can you nip out and see if his chest is rising and falling

Seriously, this hysteria is hilarious.

MrsBungleScare Fri 08-Nov-13 14:04:31

Surely if there's no immediate danger op shouldn't be phoning 999?!

Phone 101 but I think I'd knock on the door of near-by houses. Mum or dad are prob watching from the house.

and I always thought I was a bit overprotective.

If he wakes and nobody comes I would go and ring doorbells, but call the police? Why? Is it a crime?

Rockinhippy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:04:52

If you can clearly see it, then surely it's possible others can too & that his/ her careers are watching til they wake up - not ideal but if its a toddler that doesn't like to be woken then maybe the careers think they are doing the best thing & are actually nearby watching over just as you are ??

999 is way OTT if you must, 101 for a community support officer to check perhaps - or can you not pop down to the car & look suspect - that should soon bring out its family - if not then ring 101

Rockinhippy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:05:41

Carers not careers obviously ( sod you autocorrect),

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:05:51

DUCKS, we are obviously on the lax side of parenting grin

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:05:56

What would kill him in November

That's not really the point. What if the child had been forgotten about? The parent/carer may remember in half an hour and no harm done. What if the next time it happens is in the middle of June?

I struggle to see how some people see calling the authorities is an overreaction.

What if this is a childminder's charge for instance? If someone passed my sleeping child on a road apparently unsupervised I would hope that someone would report it whatever time of year.

WhereIsMyHat Fri 08-Nov-13 14:06:02

I'd just keep an eye and f the child wakes up and becomes upset and no one comes then take further action. At the moment it doesn't sound like an issue.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:07:09

Because the child might DIE cinnamon.

Although no one has said how yet.

kidinasweetshop Fri 08-Nov-13 14:07:27

Call the police. Am in Oz though and it is a very serious thing here. However children have overheated and died at temps of just 15 degrees. There are other dangers too of course.

KingRollo Fri 08-Nov-13 14:07:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:08:23

DUCKS, he might DIE if this happens in JUNE!

Sirzy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:08:30

I can't believe people are saying call 999? I wouldn't leave a baby sleeping in a car but can understand why some do - as long as they can see the car then really its not going to be a massive issue!

Actually Duck that is what I would do first to make sure there was no emergency....basic first aid training. Then I'd decide what to do next. A quick cast around would be in order to see if it was obvious the child was being watched.

I used to keep books in my car for just this purpose, child slept, I read. Never left unattended, I think it could be a risk.

GinGinGin Fri 08-Nov-13 14:09:22

Um it is pretty chilly out there - what about hypothermia?

icingmyback Fri 08-Nov-13 14:09:52

wow. just yesterday my dd fell asleep in the car. i parked outside my house and went inside to use the loo, make myself a cup of tea and find my book, then went back to sit in the car for a bit. all the time i was in my house i couldn't see my dd! shock horror! maybe i'll do it in june! imagine that. someone should have called the police. i'm clearly neglectful and can't be trusted to look after my own child.

GinGinGin Fri 08-Nov-13 14:10:08

Ok sorry misread the age of the child, probably unlikely to be an issue blush

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:10:08

OhhhHhhhHh my goodness, I actually really chuckled then keeping. grin

More than one person has suggested the child might die, so that really is my point. My actual, very point. How might the child die?

As for being forgotten about - doubtful. The kid would be awake and screaming if they'd been forgotten about.

As it is, he/she is sound asleep apparently, which is why, no doubt, the child is still in the car.

I think we all need a little wine and calm down.

keeping you take two wine wine.

Overheating in 15 degrees? What?

I had loads of lucky escapes with 3 children then.

Calm down, please. What can happen in November in the UK if a parent watches from a window?

Oriunda Fri 08-Nov-13 14:10:49

If you are literally standing right by the car peering in, if the parents were watching their child presumably they'd be out in a flash. If no one comes out to speak to you, then you could assume they are not keeping a watch in that case call the non emergency number or knock on a few doors.

KingRollo Fri 08-Nov-13 14:10:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littlemrssleepy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:10:57

I leave mine asleep in our car (on the driveway). Car locked and the baby monitor in it.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:11:03


StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 14:11:11

Hang on will update in a sec

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:12:00

Oh, you were joking, PHEW! I actually thought Id lost you to the hysteria too for a minute there!


Karoleann Fri 08-Nov-13 14:12:15

Just go up to the car - if a parent is watching then they'll be out to see who you are quickly.

I leave DD in the car if she's asleep, but never on the road, only on the drive. Chances are though someone is watching.

IMO risk would come from child having breathing difficulties which you couldn't hear....if you were some distance away or, even though no risk to the child, it may startle awake and be worried when alone. Not the same as waking up in house, buggy, or next to trusted adult.

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 14:12:56

bloody nora, dehydration, hypothermia, spontaneous death.... I never realised stationary cars were so dangerous!

I don't think anybody's mentioned dying of oxygen starvation yet. WHAT ABOUT THAT JESUS CHRIST WHAT ABOUT THAT???

KingRollo Fri 08-Nov-13 14:14:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhereIsMyHat Fri 08-Nov-13 14:14:25

Add message | Report | Message poster Perspective21 Fri 08-Nov-13 14:12:21
IMO risk would come from child having breathing difficulties which you couldn't hear....if you were some distance away or, even though no risk to the child, it may startle awake and be worried when alone. Not the same as waking up in house, buggy, or next to trusted adult.

You couldn't hear breathing difficulties if the child was asleep in its cot upstairs either. hmm

DowntonTrout Fri 08-Nov-13 14:14:28

What if a piece of ice falls from a plane and lands on the car? Has anyone thought of that?

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:14:47

wink should've been added. Soz.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:15:04

Oh perspective perspective, please!

Its a sleeping child.

Leopoldina Fri 08-Nov-13 14:15:45

can't we at least envisage a runaway milk float crashing into the parked car? the more I think about it, the more I veer towards 999 instead of 1010

(I don't)

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 14:15:59

This article talks about Hyenas taking babies. Is the car near a wildlife park? WHAT ABOUT THE FUCKING HYENAS OP?????!!!!?!?!!?!?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 14:16:54


Breathing difficulties?!? Why would it develop that?

Choking with laughter at insane people wanting to call the police out for a baby asleep in a car?

stickysausages Fri 08-Nov-13 14:17:05

I can just imagine the reaction you'd get phoning 999...

fairylightsintheautumn Fri 08-Nov-13 14:17:16

have we had handbrake failing, car bursting flames, mother on an errand being run over yet? These threads are bingo worthy I think. I have most ticked off already. Really, 999?? OP, knock on a few doors, leave it another 15 mins and then maybe consider the non emergency number.

Sparklymommy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:17:16

Mass hysteria over a child asleep in a car!

If you are worried op then knock on. A few doors but 999? Seriously? I think the parent may be a bit mad at you if you ring 999 without ascertaining that the child wasnt in fact being watched!

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:17:24

OMG the hyenas! And all the while I was worrying about a sudden zombie apocalypse.

Rufus44 Fri 08-Nov-13 14:18:14

I used to leave mine in the care being watched obvs, the car was in my drive though

I was talking to a friend of a friend who was training as a social worker, I could not get it through her head that it was not all night!!!! She kept saying 'but when do you sleep'. It's just a nap in the day FFS!

I assume you have gone out to hover round the car, I'm sure a parent is watching...well I hope so!

Sleepgrumpydopey Fri 08-Nov-13 14:18:15

What if the child is locked in the car with the shopping? And there is a tarantula hiding in the bananas!

icingmyback Fri 08-Nov-13 14:18:27

hyenas. genius. just lmfao. thank you flatpack

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:18:28

Kingrollo, breathing difficulties are quite commonly experienced in cars. Something to do with those hideous little pine tree air fresheners. wink

OP, suggest you check if there is an air freshener in car, and if so, CALL 999 IMMEDIATELY.

Sirzy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:18:38

Fromm perspectives link "Whether it's from gear-shifted crashes, sweltering temperatures, locking parents out of a car, trunk entrapments, or playing with windows and getting limbs (or necks even) caught, horrific accidents can and do happen in a blink of an eye. And, in some states, it can be considered a misdemeanor offense of leaving a child in the car alone; the offense can become a felony if there are resulting injuries. "

Which would be a massive risk for a child presumably still strapped into a 5 point car seat in November?

complexnumber Fri 08-Nov-13 14:18:51

What about Brazillian Wandering Spiders!

They might be sneaking in through gaps in the car's chassis.

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 14:18:54

Well I did call police as looked around the car and no one came out, there was also a ticket on the car saying it had been there since 1pm. Said I didn't mind waiting 20mins and updating but they wanted to send someone out straight away. Colleague thought I should knock on some doors but I was a bit worried someone could get a bit angry and defensive.

Anyway five mins later a woman comes out of house nearby and takes him in, so I've let the police know.

Probably was overreacting but needed to get back to work and didnt want to have to keep popping down the road to check on the car, would have been too worried to get anything done

Okay, I'm bowing out. I admit I'm over cautious as a result of sitting with a poorly baby on NICU....each parent must do a they think best. My way obviously isn't the same as many of yours.
I accept we all parent differently. I accept I have a heightened sense of caution.

Spirulina Fri 08-Nov-13 14:19:37

oh I hope op updates this on!

some people are just so funny on MN

ChippingInBatshitArse Fri 08-Nov-13 14:20:01

For the love of god the child is sleeping - if it was screaming you might have a point... but bloody hell, it's a residential street, someone will be watching out for him. Find something productive to do with your time and keep your nose out.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:20:20

OK, so...this situation. You go over, look a bit shifty around the car. No one comes.

What would you do then Ducks?

Thanks for the wine btw but you can keep your pathetic attempt at being patronising to yourself. Have a normal sensible conversation or fuck off. Dear. wine

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:20:28

"Anyway 5 mins later a woman comes out and takes him in"

OH THANK FUCK! Crisis averted!


Spirulina Fri 08-Nov-13 14:20:29

oh she has....problem solved!

kidinasweetshop Fri 08-Nov-13 14:20:50

You did the right thing OP.

jacks365 Fri 08-Nov-13 14:20:56

15 degrees! I wish, its only 5 here. Old neighbours used to do this but the car right outside the house and windows open. The op can read the area better than us so can judge better but if in doubt ring the police non emergency

Sparklymommy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:21:25

She was probably reading this thread op!


complexnumber Fri 08-Nov-13 14:21:28

Give yourself a pat on the back for being a caring neighbour.

Then have a cup of tea and a biscuit.

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 14:22:13

do think these responses are a bit unkind. I didn't have to stand in the pouring rain worrying about a child that isn't my own. Was just trying to do the right thing.

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 14:22:16


"Anyway 5 mins later a woman comes out and takes him in"

OH THANK FUCK! Crisis averted!


It was a close-run thing. Like the battle of Waterloo, only closer. That baby was literally nearly killed by a hyena-riding tarantula.

JinglingRexManningDay Fri 08-Nov-13 14:22:34

Urban foxes instead of Hyenas. They are crafty bastards just looking to turf sleeping babes from their car seats.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:22:42

Well Keeping she went over and somebody came. grin

Hysteria over.

Thanks for the wine grin.

Sirzy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:23:42

I don't see what having a baby in NICU has to do with anything, DS was on HDU and not expected to survive the night at one point but I can still see that sometimes some things are rather hysterical reactions to problems! Like I said its not something I would do myself but some of the reactions on this thread have been extremely over the top.

BerstieSpotts Fri 08-Nov-13 14:23:56

confused Poor mother, just wanted to let her child sleep undisturbed, sees random stranger snooping around the car, feels she has to take child inside and disturb their nap.

Why on earth did you even think it was a problem? I don't see why you called the police at all.

Just because the ticket said 1pm BTW doesn't mean the child had been alone since then, and even if he had, if he was asleep and the parent was keeping an eye, no big deal at all IMO.

It's not a tiny baby, it's not the height of summer. confused

WhereIsMyHat Fri 08-Nov-13 14:24:11

So the mum had been out, got a parking payment ticket and done her stuff, driven home during which time her little dear had fallen asleep so she popped into the house and left him to it?

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:24:19

You lot should be fucking ashamed of yourself. Yes OP, you did do the right thing.

Let's hope that no one who's a bit uncertain of themselves reads this and doesn't bother in the same situation when a child may genuinely have been forgotten.

Fucking awful attitude from a load of so called mothers.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:25:59

OP, tbh I dont think any of the responses were aimed at you. Mine definitely werent.

Mine were at the general hysteria and very, very OTT responses.

GinGinGin Fri 08-Nov-13 14:26:18

Inclined to agree with you Keeping.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:26:43

Really Ducks? You see a random stranger snooping around the car your child is sleeping in, yet wait 5 minutes before coming out?

Obviously a fantastic level of supervision going on there.

If it was in the news that a child had been abducted from a car on a residential street because the mum 'just popped inside for 5 minutes', the mum in question would be slaughtered as an unfit parent by the mumsnet massive.

Oriunda Fri 08-Nov-13 14:26:48

Fwiw I think you did the right thing. You looked round the car and no one came out to challenge you, so the parent clearly wasn't keeping an eye out from the house. Your intentions were good, but someone else's may not have been.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 08-Nov-13 14:26:55

Well done OP! I think it's difficult to know what to do in a situation that is probably nothing untoward but which you don't want to ignore either. I don't think the piss taking on this thread is helpful, epecially as the poster was asking for real time advice rather than reporting something that had already happened. There was no adult in sight and you didn't want to leave a toddler ostensibly alone; that fair enough.

OP I think you did the right thing.

Some answers were a little harsh. You certainly didn't sound hysterical to me. Just asked a simple question, as you were a little worried.

Glad its sorted now.

Sirzy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:27:21

This idea about children being forgotten about when in the car is amusing me, has anyone got any genuine links to cases of children being forgotten about in the car parked outside their home while they sleep?

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:27:28

Keeping smile, it won't hurt.

icingmyback Fri 08-Nov-13 14:28:06

so called mothers? what do you mean keeping?

jacks365 Fri 08-Nov-13 14:28:10

The mother was so aware that someone was looking round her car that it took another 5 mins before she came out. She must have been watching really closely.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:28:14

Keeping keeping the hysteria going, I see. hmm

Sirzy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:28:24

The piss taking is to other posters who started shouting about calling 999 and all the million and one things which would happen to the child if left rather than to the OP asking the question.

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 14:28:38


You lot should be fucking ashamed of yourself. Yes OP, you did do the right thing.

By assuming that any child asleep in a car is likely to be eaten alive/kidnapped/dead by teatime?

Let's hope that no one who's a bit uncertain of themselves reads this and doesn't bother in the same situation when a child may genuinely have been forgotten.

If the child was in any kind of distress I would have agreed with you. The child was asleep. Not dead. Not 'resting its eyes'. Asleep. No distress.

Fucking awful attitude from a load of so called mothers.

Maybe you do need that wine after all.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Fri 08-Nov-13 14:28:49

I think you're all being really rotten with your mocking of the OP - and all the ridiculous scenarios you're dreaming up. As if the child was going to be eaten by hyenas or bitten by spiders. Obviously the real danger would be an alien invasion; I've seen Independence Day, I know what those buggers can do to a car.

NonnoMum Fri 08-Nov-13 14:29:51

The police came to visit me after my DH had left the DCs alone in the car for 5 minutes, so, yes, the police WOULD be interested.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:29:56

I think what keeping means is that I am not a good mother because I have on occasion left my children in the car whilst I went inside and kept an eye on them. I'll survive her opinion of me (just about).

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:29:57

Is that a serious question Sirzy?

Have you been living under a rock for the past few years and missed all the awful stories about children literally cooking or freezing to death?

Yes, there are plenty of examples of children being genuinely forgotten about if you care to google.

Sirzy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:31:03

It is a serious question. I have never heard of a child being forgotton about sleeping in a car outside their house. I am sure you can provide links if it happens as often as you are trying to suggest

Notmadeofrib Fri 08-Nov-13 14:31:13

err but she did come keeping.

TigerFeet Fri 08-Nov-13 14:32:00


I've left my children asleep in the car, all hell would break loose if they were woken before they were ready and I wouldn't have had a snowball in hell's chance of getting them back to sleep.

If someone had come snooping round the car I would have waited until they'd gone before going out, for fear of getting a gobful of unwarranted abuse (I hate confrontation).

If the child was distressed I would have suggested ringing the police but a sleeping child, in a car, not overheating or freezing = no problem imvho.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:33:06

Er...after 5 minutes of seeing a stranger snooping around her car. Mmm. Wonderful parenting. She should write a book.

So you have been living under a rock Sirzy. Pity for you.

CuriosityCola Fri 08-Nov-13 14:33:09

This is the most bizarre thread I have read on here. Good to question it and keep an eye on the situation. A lot of responses have been absurd. 999?!

Btw, a lot of people use baby monitor apps in their cars as well as watching from a window.

PuppyMonkey Fri 08-Nov-13 14:33:28

So the police told OP they'd come out straight away. Not as bonkers as some people said she was to ring them perhaps?

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:34:27

Tiger, you are far too rational for this thread wink.

Sirzy Fri 08-Nov-13 14:34:47

not been living under a rock, just not living in some sad little world where everything is a massive risk about to happen and life has to be seriously sheltered!

Like I said its not something I would do but some people really do need to get some perspective on the whole thing!

CuriosityCola Fri 08-Nov-13 14:35:06

sirzy I remember a couple of these stories in the summer. I think the worst was in America where someone went to work and 'forgot' baby was in the car.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:36:30

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Unless I missed a part of the OP, I didn't read anything that implied the car was parked on the drive/ just outside the house. Not sure how the automatic conclusion is that the OP is overreacting 'because the Mum must be able to see DC'

Thought the whole point of the thread was because of precisely the opposite? confused

Sirzy, there are, very sadly, cases where children have been left in a car all day by mistake and died (heat or cold usually the cause). I can think of a few cases in the years since I've been on MN. It was certainly in the news over the summer and I saw a few threads about it on MN even. Usually in these cases it's been a case of the parent going to work, something in the routine changing and they forget to leave the child in day care but assume they've done it.

givemeaclue Fri 08-Nov-13 14:39:06

Op you did right thing.

My rule of thumb is that if I wouldn't leave my handbag unattended somewhere, then I wouldnt leave my child unattended there either.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:39:17

What's a sole of maturity? Is it a new type of shoe? I think I need some.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:39:38

Sirzy, where do you get these maturity soles from then?

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 14:39:49


Er yes Sirzy.

You are the sole of maturity and sensible discussion.

Shall I start posting the links of children cooking to death that you are so vehemently asking for now?

Doubtless you can post half a dozen links to children cooking to death in cars in November in the UK.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:39:50

Yes they cook to death in june and freeze to death in freezing temperatures. Unless she is in the Arctic or oz, Im reckoning you havent had your wine yet keeping.

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 14:41:12


Yes they cook to death in june and freeze to death in freezing temperatures.

Presumably when it's 15C in November, and raining, they drown?

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:42:14

Mmm...well done, witty.

The point is though Ducks you don't actually know where the op is do you? Or what the climate and weather is like there.

Yet the advice has been uniformly the same.

Responsible or...

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:42:45

IfIdon'tknow. Car was parked on residential street. Seems like Mum was watching as she came out soon after OP was hanging around car.

PatoBanton Fri 08-Nov-13 14:42:54

I know it's hilarious and all that but it may be worth noting, that children die a lot in cars in the summer, in places like the USA where it gets a lot warmer than here.

I would hate someone to read the caustic responses here and figure that leaving a child in a car at any time of year was absolutely fine. It's not.

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 14:43:14

Look, it was clearly fine, but as I said, I needed to get back to work and a) didn't really have time to hang around for ages or keep popping back to check and b) wasn't keen to go door knocking and potentially get abuse - most of the houses are converted flats anyway so where would I start??

I didn't think the kid was going to get eaten alive by scorpions or taken by a paedophile lurking in the bushes, but thought it was possible he could wake up and get distressed or had been forgotten about.

It was a naice car and a naice road, but that isn't really the point

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 14:43:34

Im guessing she would have said "AND its boiling temperature here in OZ too!"

Just guessing.

PatoBanton Fri 08-Nov-13 14:44:35

though frankly I wouldn't leave a child asleep in a car out of earshot for the sole reason that they would wake at some point and it might be when I wasn't looking, and then they would get upset.

Is that not serious enough then to think it's unwise to do this?

Obviously 999 is a bit strong unless it is hot, or the child is crying, or the car's on fire etc.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:44:35

I think on a UK-based website, the OP may have been sensible to let us know if she was in Death Valley or Antartica.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:44:48

I would hate someone to read the caustic responses here and figure that leaving a child in a car at any time of year was absolutely fine. It's not.

This Hence my 'you should be fucking ashamed of yourselves' comment.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:46:03

Pato, we were not commenting on the wisdom or not (some may say it is cruel to wake a sleeping child who will then not go back to sleep and be miserable for the rest of the day). But anyway, we were commenting on those who said OP should call 999 - as that being a little extreme in these circumstances.

PatoBanton Fri 08-Nov-13 14:47:21

Not going to link to the mock up vid of a child dying in a car...that was awful.

anyone want to see that? It's available on google somewhere

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 14:48:28

Also just to add, most residents have parking permits but this car had a pay and display ticket, which made me think it was possibly not someone actually living in one of the houses

PatoBanton Fri 08-Nov-13 14:48:34

yy merry, of course

I was just concerned that the general impression to someone reading the thread was one of total cynicism

and that could be dangerous, in a way, well I for one take a lot of my social/parenting cues from the MN consensus.

Google suggests that it happens to 37 children a year. As of a year ago, 450 children have died in the US since 1998 from being accidentally left in the car.

I'm merely providing statistics. Not sure what I would have done in the op's situation. Probably hung around for a few minutes just to reassure myself that somebody was there and keeping an eye. While there is little danger of adverse weather causing problems atm, the tiny tiny risk of a 2yo child being accidentally left and suffering the distress of this means I would just make sure somebody was around. Plus, I live in a residential street. People park in it and go to work all the time so I wouldn't necessarily assume it was somebody who lived there.

DH is a copper and he's been called out twice to children left in cars afaik.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:49:47

I agree Pato.

I've reported the thread for that reason.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 14:50:12

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:42:14

The point is though Ducks you don't actually know where the op is do you? Or what the climate and weather is like there.

The point is, we do.

She said in the OP she was at/near work.
She's nipped out in her lunch hour, because the post was sent between 1 and 2 pm UK Time.
It's raining.

All three of these indicate she is extremely likely to be in the UK.

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 14:50:21

Not Death Valley, not Antarctica


There, you can all have a good laugh

PatoBanton Fri 08-Nov-13 14:51:24


OP you are marvellous and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:51:38

Pato. Hello. That is the point. It is ok to leave a child in the car in November when you are watching out of the window. Just because it is not ok in August, all day, doesn't mean it is never ok.

It is ok to drive on the motorway, just not ok to do it when your kids are not strapped into a carseat. Why does it have to be all or nothing? I could bore you with many examples where the extreme is not ok, but doing it in a controlled way is fine.

PatoBanton Fri 08-Nov-13 14:51:49

and so are you showy <kiss>

PatoBanton Fri 08-Nov-13 14:52:21

I know Merry just what I said before - the thread needs balancing.

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 14:52:25


I would hate someone to read the caustic responses here and figure that leaving a child in a car at any time of year was absolutely fine. It's not.

What has been noticeably absent from a chunk of the posters in this thread is the application of simple common sense.

It is obvious to anyone with an ounce of common that there's a world of difference between a 2-year old asleep in a car in the UK in November and a newborn baby screaming its lungs out in a convertible in the Serengeti in July.

But the over-reactors treated the two situations identically.

Common sense. Shame that it isn't.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:53:08

Er...the message time is not relevant. My post will say XX time as I am posting on a UK based forum.

It is actually nearly 4pm where I am...didn't realise you could tell that from my post! hmm

Twoandtwomakeschaos Fri 08-Nov-13 14:53:57

Strange I think you did the right thing, after taking sensible precautions, as did the Police, by how they reacted. I would have done similar myself.

MrsBodger Fri 08-Nov-13 14:54:46

StrangeMusic, you are a kind person.

Pay no attention to the mean girls.

You were the one who had to make a decision, not them.

BUT if you insist on going south of the river, you really only have yourself to blame . . .

Ilovexmastime Fri 08-Nov-13 14:55:08

I just googled "child dies in hot car" and can't find any in the UK. I don't live under a rock, but I do live in the middle of nowhere, is that the same thing?

Honestly, calling 999 for a peacefully sleeping child in a car on a residential street in the UK in November does seem rather OTT to me.

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 14:55:53

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:55:59

Keeping, the post was sent at 1:54pm and OP mentioned she had come back from lunch, so pretty obvious it's roughly the same time zone.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:57:17

Er...same time zone (ish) does not mean the same weather.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 14:57:53

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

porcupinespine Fri 08-Nov-13 14:58:07

Seeings nobody has posted any links to actual cases then I thought I'd post this very scary article

A realistic portrayal of real life cases. Scariest article I've ever read.

But, agree calling 999 a bit mental in Nov in UK!

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 14:58:22

MrsBodger grin

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 14:58:31

That, plus all the other clues, rain etc. rather than hot sun or snow, but anyway...brick wall and all that.

Ilovexmastime Fri 08-Nov-13 14:58:49

But I should add that I don't blame the OP for asking the question, and am in no way laughing at her for doing so. It's the responses that were OTT imo.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 15:00:12

Agree, xmas. OP, you asked. We were not laughing at you. We were laughing at the 999 people. That is all.

kidinasweetshop Fri 08-Nov-13 15:00:28

porcupine I read that article 2 years ago and it remains one of the most harrowing things I have ever read.

IamInvisible Fri 08-Nov-13 15:01:34

Good grief what an over reaction.

I didn't leave my kids sleeping in the car, on a drive because I couldn't see them from the window. My sister did on a residential street because she could see them from her window. They were fine, absolutely fine.

The child was not in the arse end of nowhere, it was in a street of houses!

The vast majority of parents in this world are good parents. They weigh up the risks and make the decision based on that risk. Just because a child has died in a car in sweltering heat in parts of America, doesn't mean a sleeping one will die on a rainy day in November in Clapham.

As for calling 999, some of you need to learn what 999 actually is for!

I'd be knocking on the door of the house even if he the car is on their driveway telling them ntheyve forgotten their child and you were concerned. I don't give a stuff about caution in these cases.

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 15:07:23

There was a truly heartbreaking article linked to on this site about the people who are compiling statistics about children who have been forgotten in cars when their parents have been on autopilot. Most of those children were sleeping, which is how they were forgotten. Just because it's November and the child may not have overheated doesn't mean that the child wasn't forgotten.
The responses on this thread have been disappointingly spiteful considering that the worst any of the subjects of this mockery did was advise the OP to err on the side of caution.

CuriosityCola Fri 08-Nov-13 15:08:15

Strange, not laughing at you. It's always good to trust your instincts on these things. Just think 999 was ott.

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 15:08:58

Personally wouldn't leave my son sleeping in car, even on my driveway, just as I'd never leave my handbag. I'm aware that's incredibly cautious, maybe overly cautious, but I just wouldn't feel ok with it. If he's pissed off by being woken up and cranky, well so be it. Or if there's only half an hour left of his nap time, I'll often keep driving or sit on driveway getting emails done and online shopping

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 15:10:04

Sit in driveway in car, I mean, not hang around outside!

porcupinespine Fri 08-Nov-13 15:10:30

kidinasweetshop Harrowing, yes that's the word.

Shared the shit out of me when I read it.

Sirzy Fri 08-Nov-13 15:11:03

erring on the side of caution would have been knocking on some local doors to see if anyone knew whos the car was, or phoning the non emergency number. Phoning 999 is an over reaction.

IamInvisible Fri 08-Nov-13 15:13:26

So, the woman had been out and the child had fallen asleep in the car. How was she going to forget her 2yo was missing from the house, after say 30 minutes-1hour? I've had 2 yo's, I've worked with them, they aren't quiet little things you keep on a shelf. They are noisy, demanding, playful and need a lot of attention. I am pretty sure she would have soon realised it wasn't there!

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 15:13:40

I don't think that the two are mutually exclusive - the OP said that they weren't sure where to start with knocking on doors, and if they had to get back to work and were concerned about leaving the car, then taking any decisive action would have been better than doing nothing. I just think that the outpouring of rudeness was unnecessary considering the fairly innocuous nature of the advice given.

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 15:15:43

You might think so IamInvisible, but the article linked to above lists many scenarios in which the parents had forgotten about their children in the car because they had deviated from their daily routine and weren't normally in that situation. It can and does happen.

jammiedonut Fri 08-Nov-13 15:18:25

Wouldn't it have been quicker to knock on doors than wait for ten minutes, then ring police and stay to notice the mum come out 5 minutes later? I can see why you didnt, some people can get very aggressive at the suggestion theyve forgotten about their children! Tbh, I would've called 101 for advice on what to do, so yanbu at all to have asked the question. You exercised common sense, child is safe and sound. At least you did something, which is a lot more than anyone else who walked down the street.

iloveweetos Fri 08-Nov-13 15:19:37

*Op you did right thing.

My rule of thumb is that if I wouldn't leave my handbag unattended somewhere, then I wouldnt leave my child unattended there either.*

This. Overdramatic or not.

IamInvisible Fri 08-Nov-13 15:25:07

If you Google DoJo, what frequently crops up is the parents have forgotten to take the baby/toddler to daycare and gone on to work, thus not realising they are in the car when they leave it. sad Very sad, but different.

kidinasweetshop Fri 08-Nov-13 15:28:57

Porcupine I agree - the worst bit was thinking 'I think this could never happen to me...but actually it really could'. All the 'reptilian brain/ticked off in head so no need to think on it' further stuff. Am in Oz so could be v serious. They were all attentive, loving parents. Chilling.

Anyway, I digress.

PerpendicularVince Fri 08-Nov-13 15:38:50

StrangeMusic, I would have called 101 so I think you did the right thing. I'm unsure why there have been so many sarcastic responses.

I know the trend on MN is not to make a judgement or decision that could imply criticism of someone's parenting, and I generally agree with this. However, the child's safety overrides such concerns. You couldn't possibly know how far away the parent was or if they were watching.

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 15:40:17

IamInvisible - I know, I read the whole tragic article when it was posted on here in the summer. How is this different exactly? How was anyone to know that this isn't what happened in the case outlined in the OP?

ChippingInBatshitArse Fri 08-Nov-13 15:57:12

Gosh, what a vast amount of over-reaction to a child sleeping in a car, on a residential street, in the UK, in a mild November.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 16:06:04

They dont want to hear the facts Chipping.

Mild weather.
Residential street.

None of it goes in.

Rather, she might have been in Australia, or Ice Land, its chest might not have been going up and down, it might have been totally forgotten about, the mother might be up to 5 minutes away from collecting it. <shock>

PerpendicularVince Fri 08-Nov-13 16:06:32

I'm happy that i'm not overreacting.

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 16:07:57

Ducks - how could you be so sure that the child hadn't been forgotten? I have yet to hear any facts that support the idea that to suggest the OP do something, even if it was just to put her mind at rest, was an overreaction.

pigletmania Fri 08-Nov-13 16:09:51

Ignore, op you I'd the right thing, whether in August or November. Yu don't taka risk with a chids life

ChippingInBatshitArse Fri 08-Nov-13 16:10:11

Ducks - seemingly not. Common sense isn't that common after all.

Dojo - please link to anyone, ever, forgetting a two year old.

ChippingInBatshitArse Fri 08-Nov-13 16:12:31

I hardly think allowing a 2 year old to nap in the car, on a residential street, in a mild Nov, in the UK is a risk. People really don't understand the concept of 'risk'. The child was far more 'at risk' when the car was moving - but no-one panics about that on a daily basis.

pigletmania Fri 08-Nov-13 16:13:57

Some one could have jumped into the car, he could have been forgotten (yes terearesome that woud do this, jst because you are a good parent, does not make other people.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 16:14:15

DoJo common sense tells me the child wasnt forgotten.

If the child had been howling alone, common sense would have told me he had been forgotten.

Since the child was happy and as sleep, common sense tells me the child has been left to sleep.

What with it sleeping. And not howling.

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 16:14:29

Chipping - The article linked to above mentions a 'toddler', and although they don't specify the child's age, he was adopted when he was 18 months old so could have easily been two when he was forgotten in the back of his car by his father.

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 16:14:57
iloveweetos Fri 08-Nov-13 16:17:46

I wonder if all these saying OP overreacted would leave their phone/purse etc in the car for that long.
If someone wanted these items, they would be gone before you even got to your front door. so why is it that suddenly a child isn't at risk from this?
IMO it is a risk that i wouldn't be willing to take, naps or not. The mother who said she reads in the car whilst the child carries on napping is exactly why routine isn't an excuse.

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 16:19:14

Ducks - the fact that he had not yet woken up didn't mean he wasn't forgotten. As the article linked to twice on this thread shows, it is when children are asleep that they are most likely to be forgotten by a parent who is distracted or deviating from their routine.

PerpendicularVince Fri 08-Nov-13 16:19:59

Although incidents are rare, they do happen.

Far better to err on the side of caution and report than something happen and your reason for not helping be that you thought someone must be looking after them and it'd be ok because the weather is mild hmm.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sam100 Fri 08-Nov-13 16:20:39

Just to put a bit of perspective on for OP random accidents do happen. A few years ago I pulled up at retail park with 6 week old DS in car with me and fortunately also my mother. I got out of the car, closed the door and went to get a trolley to put DS car seat on as we had a few bits to get. Had to walk a way down to get a car seat trolley - then tripped over my own feet and fell over knocking myself out. I was sent to hospital in an ambulance. Had mum not been with me then no one would have known I had DS in the car until I was coherent enough to talk. I was so woozy I don't know if I would have been able to tell them about DS. It was a hot summer day. Still gives me the shivers now.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 16:20:43

Ok lets quash the bag/phone hysteria also.

How many phones and bags do you think are stolen every day in the UK?

Thousands, I bet.

Now, I wonder how many cars per day are boken into, to steal the child in the UK?

I very, very much doubt they correlate.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 16:22:17

sam how unfortunate. But also very very unlikely. Proved, by the mother of sleeping child coming out to get him.

iloveweetos Fri 08-Nov-13 16:23:03

well duck that's your risk to take.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 16:23:07

I read the whole tragic article when it was posted on here in the summer. How is this different exactly? How was anyone to know that this isn't what happened in the case outlined in the OP?

a) It is November not summer, not hot, not freezing
b) The child was not awake or in distress of any kind

People have different styles of parenting. I think it is OTT to call the police emergency line because someone does something you may consider 'risky' (which a lot of other parents do not consider risky).

Some people may think it's risky or bad parenting to give their kids Coca Cola, but you wouldn't call the police about it.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 16:26:04

iloveweeds what risk would I take?

If I saw a child asleep in a car alone, Id keep an eye on it.

What am I risking?

PerpendicularVince Fri 08-Nov-13 16:27:16

Is there a style of parenting called 'crap'?

harticus Fri 08-Nov-13 16:27:45

Not sure why people are being accused of hysteria - if the Police saw an unattended child in a car on a public street the parents would be in deep shit.

There was a story not so long ago of a man who left a much older child in the car whilst he popped in to a shop and was prosecuted.
If a police officer felt so inclined then charges of neglect would be brought.

I think it is insane to leave a very young child in a car on a public street.
When my son was asleep I'd stay in the car with him and get some kip myself.
Christ I don't even leave the dog in the car.

ChippingInBatshitArse Fri 08-Nov-13 16:28:07

Yes - because every thief who wants a phone or a purse wants to steal a child hmm

It was a time of day when most toddlers nap. Logical conclusion is the child is having his regular nap - not that the child has been forgotten and will die of hypothermia before the parent remembers - in the UK, in Nov.

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 16:28:24

Merry - but the children who were forgotten had been asleep when the parent got out of the car, hence being forgotten. And whilst I don't think that UK November weather is as dangerous as the height of summer in the US, a child left alone in a car is still not a good thing to ignore if you think that there may not be anyone keeping an eye on them.

The point isn't whether anyone should leave their sleeping child in a car under any circumstances, (I have already said that I have done it myself) but that if a passer by is concerned about an apparently unattended child in a car, should they alert someone who is better placed to take action. I personally think that they should, but happy to be disagreed with, but I think the mean spirited mocking of those who thought the OP should call the police was unnecessary.

NoComet Fri 08-Nov-13 16:29:32

After an hour I'd worry not otherwise, both my DDs often napped in the car, until they could undo their seat belts.

One of the many advantages of living in the sticks with off road parking.

As for calling the police our here, it would probably be tomorrow before they arrived.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 16:30:26

Yes, the children in the tragic cases, were asleep when the parents got out of the car, but I am sure they did not remain asleep indefinitely.

That is why it's important that the child was not in distress.

KerwhizzedMyself Fri 08-Nov-13 16:33:42

It's just lazy parenting.

PerpendicularVince Fri 08-Nov-13 16:35:38

I agree, Kerwhizz

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 16:36:00

Merry - but the OP wasn't in a position to hang around indefinitely to see whether the child woke up, became distressed and then wasn't attended to by a parent, she had to make a decision based on the facts she had. I don't think I'd necessarily want to hang around for the length of a toddler's nap just to see if they were going to be collected once they awoke.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 08-Nov-13 16:36:12

Perpendicular if I choose to leave my child outside my house to nap in the car, you say Im a crap parent. hmm

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 16:36:41

if a passer by is concerned about an apparently unattended child in a car, should they alert someone who is better placed to take action.

I think they should be concerned if the child is in distress, or they should come back later. At least an hour later. If the child was still there in an hour, you could be worried.

I think posters who advocate calling the police in the situation the OP was in, are setting the police up for a lot of time wasting, as it is clear from even this thread, that quite a lot of people do this. I don't think I am wrong to disagree with them.

MrsWilliamBodie Fri 08-Nov-13 16:36:46

My previous car - a very nice, new and well maintained car - caught fire outside my house. I'd been home for about 10-15 minutes when an electrical fault started a fire. There was very little smoke, I was only alerted to it by a passer-by who noticed molten whatever falling from underneath the engine (it was not noticeable from my home). It then went whoosh. I had no chance to get any of my belongings out of the car.

It was very scary.

A fire may be a very small risk but too high for me.

OP you did the right thing.

Mmelindor Fri 08-Nov-13 16:37:47

Is there a reason why posters can't just answer the OP without mocking or ridiculing her?

My response would have been 'I wouldn't call 999 but do keep an eye on the car, have a wee walk around it. If someone is watching from a nearby house, they will come out and say something. If you can't stay longer, call non-emergency police number and ask for advice'.

But it is so much more fun to take the piss, and post about hyaenas.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 16:37:53

DoJo, she worked very close by. She could have popped by later. She did pop by, but imo didn't leave a long enough time.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 16:39:13

Mmelindor, no-one was taking the mick out of the poster. They were taking the mick out of the 999-the-child-is-at-risk-of-dying-any-minute posters. [last time I will say this]

PerpendicularVince Fri 08-Nov-13 16:39:30

I thought someone might twist it, Duck hmm. I have no idea of your circumstances so couldn't possibly say.

In this instance, based on the facts as presented by the OP I believe the parent acted poorly, yes.

I make no judgement on anyone else because that's not what we're discussing.

Noideaatall Fri 08-Nov-13 16:40:49

I cannot believe ANYONE thinks it's ok to leave a child in the car alone. They're people not handbags.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 16:41:11

Why was it crap parenting [iyo], Vince? Many of us have said we've done the same.

DoJo Fri 08-Nov-13 16:41:33

Merry - as it turned out, she could, but this was not a given and wasn't an excuse for some of the comments from those who thought that a call to the police was OTT.

Mmelindor Fri 08-Nov-13 16:42:29

that is true, but the OP has said that she found the responses unkind, and is presumably a bit upset by this.

She was trying to do the right thing.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mmelindor Fri 08-Nov-13 16:44:11

I've left sleeping child in a car, when I could clearly see the car and the child, and checking often.

If I had seen someone wandering around, looking in the window, I would have been right out there. Since the mother of the child in question didn't do this when the OP had a wander around the car, I would say that she wasn't watching very closely.

DoctorRobert Fri 08-Nov-13 16:44:32

OP, you did the right thing. Glad the child was okay and his poor excuse for a parent came to get him eventually

I'm really surprised at all the sarcasm on this thread - either people just want to have a pop for the sake of it, or there really are a lot of very crap parents around.

difficultpickle Fri 08-Nov-13 16:45:15

I've been on MN for many years and I hate how it has become recently. Some of the comments on this thread epitomise the worst of MN imvho.

OP you did absolutely the right thing. I, like you, would have been very concerned to see a young child alone in a car on a street where no one was clearly keeping an eye on them.

PerpendicularVince Fri 08-Nov-13 16:47:29

Merry, because the child was left in a busy area of London, on a street in a car on their own.

The 5 minutes it took the parent to come out was too long in my opinion.

I'll say this once more; no implied criticism of anyone else. I'm judging on the facts of the OP. I don't need to be told that other people do it and are great parents, I accept this.

Thymeout Fri 08-Nov-13 16:47:36

In last week's Homeland, there was a toddler parked in a play pen on the front lawn of a house, residential street, USA. My first thought was, 'What would Mumsnet say?'

When my dcs were little it was routine to leave prams outside shops. Not crap or lazy parenting. Normal. I saw a story on the BBC website with a photo of Scandi mums inside a coffee shop, enjoying a chat, with their babies sleeping in their buggies outside.

Seriously, something has gone wrong with maternal risk assessment in
this country.

ChippingInBatshitArse Fri 08-Nov-13 16:47:37

Vince - why exactly do you think the parent did something wrong in this case?

Mmelindor - if someone just had a nosey around then walked off, I wouldn't necessarily go out - as long as they had walked off.

Robert - why is the the parent a 'poor excuse'? They left a child sleeping in a car, not playing on the M25.

ChippingInBatshitArse Fri 08-Nov-13 16:48:51

Thymeout - yes, it has. Very very wrong.

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 16:49:24

MerryMarigold I could have popped back to check later but, call me selfish, why should I have to? It's not my child and I have a job to do (although I'm admittedly dossing a bit on MN today) and didnt want to have to go out in the pissing rain twice. I just wanted to sort it out fast and get on with my day.

DoctorRobert Fri 08-Nov-13 16:51:36

chipping - because, imo, good parents do not leave children locked inside cars outside their houses. But in this case it seems even worse, because the mother obviously wasn't even keeping an eye out of the window, or she would have come down when she saw the OP, surely?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

harticus Fri 08-Nov-13 16:52:37

*something has gone wrong with maternal risk assessment in
this country*

Missing the point.
The law takes a very dim view and you could be prosecuted.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 16:54:00

Yes, but you did go out twice, I think.

I think if you were that concerned then yes, you need to go out twice rather than calling the police on that mother straightaway.

Mmelindor Fri 08-Nov-13 16:54:23

If someone was wandering around the car, I would have popped head out of window to say that I hadn't forgotten him, just didn't want to wake him.

I don't think that I am overly protective. I let my kids walk to school alone, over two busy roads, only one with a lollipop man. They are 9 and 11yrs and have quite a bit of freedom.

In this case though, the OP was just making sure the child was ok. We should all be grateful that people are willing to put themselves out, and risk being shouted at by parents, for the sake of protecting a child.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 16:56:51

That's great Mmelindor, and as you said, you wouldn't have advised the OP to call the police.

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 16:57:05

No didnt go out twice, was there the whole time (if you're confused as I spoke to a colleague, that was because I spoke to her on the phone, partly to explain why I was running late back)

I'm sorry but I really didnt feel it was my job to keep checking on a stranger's child, it's probably a 5 min round trip walk from where I was, in the rain, and why should I have to do that twice??

PerpendicularVince Fri 08-Nov-13 16:57:09


Leaving a small child alone on a street in London just isn't safe in my opinion. I'd be worried about them becoming distressed, feeling ill, if it was a busy road someone hitting the car etc.

Not about hyenas, spiders or any other random stuff mentioned upthread!

People mentioned that they do this and are great parents - fine. I don't and am also a great parent.

Mmelindor Fri 08-Nov-13 16:58:32

How long was the child alone in the car? From the moment you noticed? Maybe if you clarify this point, it will be clearer. Were you standing next to the car the whole time?

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 16:58:44

I'm a shit parent grin but I wouldn't do this!

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 17:00:10

10 minutes mmelindor and I was pacing between the car and the tree about 10 metres from it, where I was trying to keep dry (no umbrella!)

SeaSickSal Fri 08-Nov-13 17:05:44

I have very little respect for people who treat their children with less care than their laptop or credit cards. It may only be a small risk but it's a completely unnecessary one. Only a couple of weeks ago my neighbours hand brake failed and his car rolled through a brick wall.

It's the kind of mentality which leads to kids in flats with mastiffs or in unlocked holiday apartments. I just cannot understand why anyone would take a risk when they don't need to.

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 17:06:37

I'm off to be great parent IRL!

MerryMarigold Fri 08-Nov-13 17:07:45

Blimey. How long before MM came up? I think I'm glad I am not in 'that' camp of judgmental opinion anyway.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 17:11:45


I have very little respect for people who treat their children with less care than their laptop or credit cards. It may only be a small risk but it's a completely unnecessary one. Only a couple of weeks ago my neighbours hand brake failed and his car rolled through a brick wall.

Let's imagine that happened. The child is in a safety seat when the hand brake fails and the car rolls through the brick wall. What's the likely outcome to the child? Seriously, what do you think will happen with a low-speed collision? The child is shocked, grizzly, perhaps a touch bruised.
It's not like you've put him in a bathtub on wheels with three old men from Yorkshire and sent him down a hill, is it?

It's the kind of mentality which leads to kids in flats with mastiffs or in unlocked holiday apartments. I just cannot understand why anyone would take a risk when they don't need to.

It's this kind of over-reaction which leads me to think that the ability to accurately assess or gauge risk has long since left most of the population. And I wonder whether it left the building at the same time as common sense did.

harticus Fri 08-Nov-13 17:15:23

Iam wondering why so many people choose to ignore the fact that leaving kids in cars leaves them open to prosecution?

No copper is going to give a tinker's fart that "MN said it was ok so ....."

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 08-Nov-13 17:15:29

I hope some of the 999 wailers don't work in a profession that utilises risk assessments as a key part of their job! Oi vey!

DoctorRobert Fri 08-Nov-13 17:15:46

Seriously, what do you think will happen with a low-speed collision? The child is shocked, grizzly, perhaps a touch bruised.

And on what planet would that scenario be okay? Child upset and bruised whilst parent is indoors, unharmed and possibly oblivious? WTF?

jacks365 Fri 08-Nov-13 17:16:37

Flatpack a serious question how would you react if someone was obviously paying close attention to your car when you child was in it asleep?

PerpendicularVince Fri 08-Nov-13 17:19:02

flatpack, it's absolutely your right to disagree and believe that anyone worried about potential risks is wrong. I'm sure we all respect that. I enjoy debate and listening to other's points of view.

However, accusing people who disagree with you of having no common sense is wrong. We are all a sum of our experiences. Just because something isn't a concern to you, it doesn't mean that it isn't a legitimate worry for someone else.

Although I disagree with you, i'm sure you're an intelligent person with plenty of common sense, and wouldn't belittle you by suggesting otherwise.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 08-Nov-13 17:19:06

This happens in Clapham? But it's such a naice area!

We leave DS in the car when he's asleep sometimes. But we sit in it with him, easier as we have a driveway. I've perfected the art of getting him out and into his cot now, mind.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 17:20:35

I agree Seasick.

Arrogance and a 'it would never happen to me' attitude have no place when you supposedly are caring for a young child.

I am not a hysterical parent. Not by a long shot. I risk assess sensibly, measured against the potential gain in the situation.

Leaving a child in the car with all the risks that entails (minimal I grant you but risks none the less) - not worth the ten extra minutes of peace IMO.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thepig Fri 08-Nov-13 17:27:25

Of course statistically we know children are more at risk unsupervised in their own cots/bedrooms than left strapped into a carseat in november.

So presumably everyone sits up all night at their DC's bedside? And if you don't, well haven't you considered the danger!?

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 17:33:19

Eh? It's a lot easier for someone to spot/take a child from a car than from a bedroom two floors up, probably listening on a good monitor, if it's a toddler we are talking about. Not that I think that was the main risk here, not at all, but I don't really get that logic

SeaSickSal Fri 08-Nov-13 17:33:25

The windows were broken and there was debris inside the car. It would have been serious cuts minimum.

There are productive risks that you have to take because they have to be taken in order for them to grow up. Things like playing out, walking to school on their own or catching a bus or train alone.

But being to lazy to deal with a grizzly toddler or too selfish to sacrifice the quiet while they're sleeping is just lazy and selfish. You can either carry them to their cot or wake them up. At the end of the day this is a risk people take because their own convenience is more important to them.

It's hardly wrapping them up in cotton wool or refusing to let them date until they're 25. It's a matter of thinking if the risk you're taking is worth the benefits it gives. I don't think it's a risk people would take unless they're more concerned with convenience than safety.

ColonTransit Fri 08-Nov-13 17:34:59

Keeping the only arrogance I can detect is in your answers.

Presumably people have monitors to alert them to noises in their young children's rooms and assess when they are sensible/safe enough to call their parents, or take a short walk, indoors to find them.

Rather different than being in a car alone, possibly not supervised that well if OP was able to watch the car for that time before the parent appeared.

I never left mine asleep in the car. Didn't seem right unless I was watching it all the time and I couldn't be arsed doing that, when I could be inside cuddling my sleepy baby on the sofa. I just wouldn't have liked my kids to have woken up in a car and find themselves alone and not know when their mum is coming to get them. It must be horrible. I don't want my child to get to the stage where they are so frightened that they start crying and shouting "mummy! Mummy! Where are you?" People on this thread can argue "but they're not in any danger and if you check on them every 10 mins then they can't be crying for long." Well, that could be 10 mins of frightened crying, then, if they wake up immediately after you last checked them. It just goes against every motherly instinct I have to risk that happening, actually.

My mum regularly left my sister's toddler on her steep path, not not even in full view of a window. You had to crane your neck to see the car. She thought it was fine to check every so often. Personally I used to cringe when I witnessed it and thought it was cruel, and yes, too much of a risk as it was a steep hill.

if you leave your car on the road and not on your path then it's even more of a risk - I know of about 3 people who have had their parked car damaged by another passing/reversing car.

I will never understand the blasé people who think it's fine as it's such a tiny risk of these things happening. and it's as if an upset and frightened baby is not an issue if they are physically ok.

MySiamese Fri 08-Nov-13 17:39:00

You did the right thing Op. Ignore the assholes.

flatpackhamster Fri 08-Nov-13 17:40:26


Iam wondering why so many people choose to ignore the fact that leaving kids in cars leaves them open to prosecution?

No copper is going to give a tinker's fart that "MN said it was ok so ....."

If that's the level the police have descended to it's best to ignore them.


And on what planet would that scenario be okay? Child upset and bruised whilst parent is indoors, unharmed and possibly oblivious? WTF?

There's a world of difference between it being 'OK' and it being THE END OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE and a reason never to leave a child in a car asleep. That's the point I'm making. There's no proportionality to reaction. Yes, the handbrake MIGHT fail. Or it might not. Or the house the baby's asleep in MIGHT burn down. Or it might not.

Gauging risk. That's the point here.


Flatpack a serious question how would you react if someone was obviously paying close attention to your car when you child was in it asleep?

I'd go outside and see what they were up to. In a friendly sort of way. And if they said they'd called the police on me for letting my little one sleep in the car I'd go spare.

Thurlow Fri 08-Nov-13 17:43:29

Christ almighty, what's happened to MN lately? confused

The OP very sensibly, helpfully and kind citizen-ly wondered what she should do when she saw a young child sleeping alone in a car. Yes, it was probably fine, but does everyone really want to live in a world where people will see a young child alone in any way and just shrug it off and say 'not my problem'?!

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 17:45:23

flatpackhamster what if the same parent saw me hanging round the car and called the police on me for acting suspiciously? I'm glad I had a phonecall logged already.

That was a great and sensible post, Seasick Sal. Yes, it IS done for the parent's convenience, in my opinion.

jacks365 Fri 08-Nov-13 17:46:18

Problem is that this mother didn't flatpack. It took 15 mins before the mother came out "from up the road" I do agree that there isn't an issue with leaving a child directly outside your house and keeping an eye on them carefully but that wasn't the case here so yes I think ringing the non emergency number was the correct course.

DowntonTrout Fri 08-Nov-13 17:47:38

At the point the OP made her initial post she had observed the child asleep in the car for 10 minutes.

The first responses were to phone 999.

That is the huge overreaction that people are talking about. Not go out and check if anyone is around, is the child distressed, has she/he been abandoned. Just call the police.

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 17:48:18

Oh Fgs op, I leave ds asleep in front of house in car asleep. What's the problem?

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 17:48:35

Sure the police lived you

The thing with MN is with these things you always get extremes of opinion. There are those over the top people crying "dial 999 immediately!" And there is the other extreme of "so what if the child pukes/cries because it is scared and alone/gets bumped into by a passing car - it's strapped in a car seat so there would be no serious damage to health." Etc etc.

I do think there is common sense lacking at both ends of the spectrum.

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 17:50:59


Is anyone around: no
Is child distressed: no
Has she been abandoned: how would I know?

Then what? Knock on doors? I've already explained my reluctance to do so. Hang around in the rain observing some more? No, why should I? I had to make a call, even if it was just so I could go back to work ASAP with a clear conscience, and unfortunately only way to do that was to call police

Pipparivers Fri 08-Nov-13 17:51:17

Sooo opinions on this.
I am a single mum to toddler. If we go shopping, she falls asleep on the way home, do I
a: take the shopping in 1st put freezer bits away then go get her and cuddle on the sofa while she comes round.
B:take her in 1st, leave her in the house alone whilst I get the shopping?

She will be alone. Is she safer sleeping in the locked car strapped in or free to get to whatever she wants alone in the house?

(Let's assume it is an overcast, rainy day approx 12c)

DowntonTrout Fri 08-Nov-13 17:52:05

My post reads wrong. What I mean is the OPs post was sensible. The immediate responses weren't.

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 17:52:31

I can't believe the over reaction on here! Yes seasicksal, it is for my convience, nothing to do with ds waking up when moved and not getting enough sleep.hmm

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 17:52:46

comemulledwine read the thread, police took seriously and told me they would send someone straight away

IamInvisible Fri 08-Nov-13 17:53:27

You sound bloody lovely, Seasicksal. A mother has watched her child be killed this week, and you are making snide, judgey comments over the Internet!

biscuit angry

KerwhizzedMyself Fri 08-Nov-13 17:54:09

There is just no reason to leave a child alone in the car. Child sleeps better in the car? Stay in the car with them. Don't want to wake them up? Stay in the car with them. Yes it's a pain that you can't get on with other things while they are napping but that's life.

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 17:54:41

Who cares if child doesn't get 'enough sleep' for one bloody nap!! Won't kill them!

DoctorRobert Fri 08-Nov-13 17:57:27

pippa I would choose option C - leave toddler in car seat for the few seconds it takes to dump shopping inside door, and then bring them in. whether they were asleep or awake is irrelevant.

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 17:59:26

Ha bloody ha, stay in the car<snigger>

BerstieSpotts Fri 08-Nov-13 18:00:18

I think the OP was fine and reasonable.

I think the replies were OTT and I find it bizarre that somebody would call the police over this.

No missing a nap won't kill a child but some toddlers are an utter nightmare if their nap is cut short, especially if they are transitioning to one nap, and anyway the child was perfectly safe and it's a perfectly appropriate place to leave them napping. Just because YOU (plural, not just you, OP, but anybody) wouldn't do it it doesn't mean it's reckless and stupid.

On a residential street, I would absolutely assume that someone was in a nearby house keeping an eye every few minutes. And in the unlikely case that they weren't, it's a residential street - if the child woke up and was upset then someone is likely to hear them and/or see them and go knocking on doors.

Comemulledwine: that shouldn't be an issue. There are ways round it. Make an effort to get the child back to sleep. Or put them to bed a bit earlier than usual. I say this as the parent of a child who got extremely grumpy and whiny if he didn't get enough sleep. So yes, leaving him to sleep in the car would have been for my convenience as I could easily have brought him in the house and either cuddled up with him so he went back to sleep or put up with his whingeing and give him an earlier bedtime. Both things require a bit of extra effort and thought.

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 18:00:59

Op, as I said, I'm sure they loved you.hmm

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 18:02:00

Oh, yes sorry not making enough effortlazy

BerstieSpotts Fri 08-Nov-13 18:02:21

On a busy street in the middle of town, or a supermarket car park, then yes it would be reasonable to call the police.

I have sat in the car with DS when the car was too far from the house to be heard e.g. at PIL's.

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 18:03:29

So what do people with more than one child do, while they stay in the car?..,ponders

For information on the legal/safety position being questioned by many.

Now things have calmed a little, I will say my comment to check that the child was breathing was not hysteria but common first aid practice, to ensure that the child was safe before I did anything else.

I would actually dial 999 and explain as the officer in the control unit could quickly advise whether a fast response was applicable or whether a slower patrol officer would suffice. Either way I'd leave the decision to the professionals.

Some of you just won't believe me but I am not over protective and have older, independent children who would prove that if you saw them.

I just have never taken safety risks with young children. I make sure I can either supervise them safely myself, or get someone else I trust to do it.
Why take any chance with your most treasured loved ones?

BerstieSpotts Fri 08-Nov-13 18:06:44

You don't have to do the most inconvenient thing all the time to be a good mother. Sometimes it's okay to choose an option which is convenient, even if that does increase some risk. It's your job as a parent to assess the risk against the benefit and decide if it's an acceptable risk.

Leaving them in a car on a quiet street checking them every 5-10 minutes when they are TWO years old is an acceptable risk. IMO.

WeAreEternal Fri 08-Nov-13 18:06:51

You absolutely did the right thing.

KerwhizzedMyself Fri 08-Nov-13 18:07:56

More than one child? Then you take them in your house with the other kids. You don't leave them in the car.

BerstieSpotts Fri 08-Nov-13 18:08:21

Leaving them in the car while you go to the shop isn't the same. That article is talking about a different situation entirely.

mulledwine I had this with 2.5 year old and new baby. I kept sticker books, snacks, small colouring pencils and notebooks and a stash of books in the car for such occasions. My toddler saw this as a mini adventure, playing in the car whilst her sister napped. Max we would do would be 35 mins but enough for baby (and us) to recharge a little.
When that particular car was sold, they both felt a little sad that their mobile book storage had gone.
It just needed a little prep and a bit of flexibility and even at her toddler stage, she realised her sister was more pleasant for having a nap.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

everlong Fri 08-Nov-13 18:12:45

Talk about dramatic?


Way overboard.

TossedSaladsAndScrambledEggs Fri 08-Nov-13 18:13:55

I'm guessing if it had a pay and display ticket it was probably a friend visiting someone. I have left dd in car parked I my mum's drive before, probably wouldn't on the street but that would be more because I was worried about what people would think rather than genuine concern that she would be in any danger.

I would be a bit annoyed if one of my mum's neighbours called the police on me! shock

Because we only have on street parking and would end up at least a street away from our door. This was pre snap on car seats to chassis. I used to try rolling her into pram but she always woke up. Bulky car seat, plus toddler, plus bags etc...easier to stay put for a short while...

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crunchybargalore Fri 08-Nov-13 18:25:08

I have lived in a hot climate and as such would never ever leave my kids is car.

MotheringShites Fri 08-Nov-13 18:29:43

I know it's been mentioned briefly but largely ignored, loads of people I know use iPhone apps which act as baby monitor for when the baby falls asleep in the car. The one I used transmitted an image from one i device to another. I could monitor DCs while they slept soundly in the car.

Guess I am still crap, lazy and a poor excuse for a parent.

Horses for courses indeed, and I have to say even as a little girl she was arty mad and we drew what was outside the window. She's now getting As for GCSE art course work ��
Now my son, who is my current toddler, wouldn't tolerate it! I wa lucky that she liked a quiet, concentrating, sitting down task ��

Nicknacky Fri 08-Nov-13 18:34:39

Perspective, if you called 101 the call would still be assessed to see if it warranted a urgent response. Not all 999 calls get an urgent response, it depends on the text of the call. Therefore 101 is more appropriate in this circumstance

I didn't have a car when ds was that little, but I think I probably would have left him snoozing for a bit whilst keeping an eye through a window. However, in the OP's shoes I think I would have called the non-emergency number. Not 999 (ffs!).

Sometimes it's better for a PCSO to knock on a few doors than either a randomer or a neighbour.

Had the child been wailing then yes, I would have knocked on a few doors before calling, as a favour to the parent - not as a busy body.

Thank you *Nickynacky, I will bear that in mind. Once I queried whether to dial 999 and it was a burglar type situation and was told they'd rather you did phone and they would assess. I wouldn't feel I'd wasted Police time to enquire about the safety of an unattended toddler.

imofftolisdoonvarna Fri 08-Nov-13 18:39:17

Could someone who advised the op to call the emergency services please explain what the 'emergency' was, because I am stumped.

Nicknacky Fri 08-Nov-13 18:42:50

Perspective a burglar type situation is of course a 999 call. It just comes down to common sense

saintmerryweather Fri 08-Nov-13 18:45:44

there are some proper twats on this thread there really are.

imagine the mother went inside the house and fell asleep. or she went in the house, slipped, cracked her head and needed help herself AS ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO A PP. the police obviously didnt think it was an overreaction

BerstieSpotts Fri 08-Nov-13 18:47:07

If there is a potential emergency ie you're not sure if there is a burgalar in the house, then yes 999 is appropriate.

However since they brought out 101 that is more appropriate for something like this when you have a concern but no crime/emergency is happening. 101 can get diverted to 999. 999 can't get diverted to 101.

I wouldn't have called 101 either though. But if somebody wanted to call then that would be the best number to do so.

CuriosityCola Fri 08-Nov-13 18:47:26

You and I both motheringshites

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nicknacky Fri 08-Nov-13 18:48:45

Saint, the police have been contacted about an unattended child, of course they will attend ASAP.....Although it doesn't mean the mother has committed any offences or will get into any bother. The police are hardly going to refuse to attend

CuriosityCola Fri 08-Nov-13 18:54:16


There has been a difference of opinion on calling 999 or local police. Not sure that warrants the use of twats.

BerstieSpotts Fri 08-Nov-13 19:02:25

Did you just imply I was a "proper twat"? confused

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BerstieSpotts Fri 08-Nov-13 19:06:49

Oh! I did wonder. I was quite excited. I've never been the victim of a personal attack before grin

imofftolisdoonvarna Fri 08-Nov-13 19:07:30

The op asked if she was being unreasonable to worry about the child asleep in the car. The piss taking started because people were advising her to call 99fucking9 when there was no emergency.

No one said she was wrong to worry, or advised her to just walk away without doing anything. But ringing the emergency services is just ridiculous, particularly when we now have a phone number which was specifically designed for exactly this situation. That was when the tarantula/hyena comments began.

imofftolisdoonvarna Fri 08-Nov-13 19:09:42

Sorry that should say 'exactly this sort of situation' - obvs there is no specific police number for reporting children left in cars (maybe there should be, then this thread would have been a lot shorter!)

Rufus44 Fri 08-Nov-13 19:14:46

saint I always sat in the porch and watched the baby so no danger there, on a drive so no danger there. I never sat indoors looking out of a window so I don't see the problem with doing it.

There can be a happy medium between sitting in the car afraid to move and leaving a child in a public highway while you watch tv with a coffee.

In the news a few years ago a mother had two children in the bath, according to her she slipped in the bathroom and knocked herself out, both children drowned. My children will be chuffed I'm not letting them in the bath any more grin

CuriosityCola Fri 08-Nov-13 19:24:37

rufus your bath story gave me that horrible feeling of someone walking over your grave. <adds to list of 'reasons not too feel bad' when I don't manage to get the kids in the bath>

Rufus44 Fri 08-Nov-13 19:30:50

I know its horrible, they were checking the woman for murder and a friend of mine said she hoped they were murdered....or that could happen to any mum.

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 19:34:54

Note to self

No leaving sleeping baby in car

No bathing children while home alone

Any more for anymore?

CuriosityCola Fri 08-Nov-13 19:35:48

It's like one of those irrational fears that runs through your head as a new mum with your pfb. (Well I had them anyway smile).

Sorry for derailing thread.

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 19:38:50

Perhaps a new law should be passed, so two adults must be present at all times to cover all eventualities?

KerwhizzedMyself Fri 08-Nov-13 19:42:44

I had that worry too cola after I read an article about a woman who had a fit while bathing her baby sad so sad.

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 19:43:54

Very sad, but VERY rare?

BikeRunSki Fri 08-Nov-13 19:49:16

I used to put the baby monitor in the car when my babies were asleep in it on driveway, in cul de sac. DD in particular has always been a terrible sleeper and there was no way I would jeopardise her having a nap.

Rufus44 Fri 08-Nov-13 20:01:18

Some woman died when she slipped in her kitchen and landed on a knife that was the wrong way round in the dishwasher

That's why I don't load and unload the dishwasher

Sorry I will stop derailing now

Mattissy Fri 08-Nov-13 20:02:43

I used to leave my dc's in the car to sleep, I'd watch from the lounge window.

Notmadeofrib Fri 08-Nov-13 20:07:45

The police said they would send someone because if they said "chill out love it's a sleeping baby" then it proved not to be, all hell would break out.
If I'd have seen the child I would wonder what was going on, I wouldn't walk away and not think another thing of it, but popping back in half an hour to make sure all was well I would either:

a) find a screaming child - act accordingly
b) find the child gone.

Simple. Some people burn a lot of nervous energy around here.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 20:18:23

I don't think it's acceptable to leave a child that you come across in that situation in the hope that in half an hour they'd be 'gone' or 'screaming'. I wouldn't feel comfortable finding either result - afterall, if they're 'gone' you don't actually know where do you?

I feel genuinely sad that some people would be so careless about seeing an unattended 2 year old.

Seriously, some of the suggestions...'checking them every 5-10 minutes' was one. So you check, 2 year old is still sleeping, you carry on about your business.

1 minute later the child wakes, completely alone. That is 9 MINUTES of potential screaming/terror from a baby. Whist you fuck about inside putting your shopping away/having a cuppa/whatever. With your child completely out of earshot.


Notmadeofrib Fri 08-Nov-13 20:39:11

No children getting beaten to death is disgusting.

KerwhizzedMyself Fri 08-Nov-13 20:42:53

Erm. Comma might be useful there grin

Notmadeofrib Fri 08-Nov-13 20:47:46

grin true!

But really, screaming in terror?

Mine take about 5 minutes to come round.

BuntCadger Fri 08-Nov-13 20:48:33

Lol at this insane thread.. 999? Really?? Lol

I have and do leave dd asleep in car, with music playing quietly in car. I leave my window open an inch or so and prop back gate open and back door so I can hear her. I also pop out reg to check. That or I pop in to get a book and drink and sit in car with her enjoying the peace (that's if elder 2 are at school or being looked after by dh). 999 really? Lol

BlingBang Fri 08-Nov-13 20:51:06

OP was quite sensible. I've left my baby/ toddler to sleep in my car on the drive. Sometimes I sat with them, sometimes I kept an eye on them. Depends on the situation.

Making digs at the mum whose child died this week is low.

If it is risk, surely it is more dangerous to drive your children about often than leave them for a short period now and then in a parked car. If there is more risk or a car accident - does that make any parent who drives a crappy parent?

BuntCadger Fri 08-Nov-13 20:51:40

Rufus. Wasn't that a film or something? Final destination?

Tbh I'd prefer dd was safely strapped in car seat rather than crawling over my dead body, potentially getting hurt in process and how traumatic lots of blood etc.

BuntCadger Fri 08-Nov-13 20:53:50

I'm lazy on bath front, they're lucky with 2 baths a week

Pipparivers Fri 08-Nov-13 20:54:05

Would a secure child really scream for 9 minutes on waking in a familiar place, in a car they use everyday on a street that they come home to a number of times a day? Thats really alarming if you know a child that would have that kind of reaction, have they always suffered with a lack of recognition? Or is it some kind of attachment issue?

Rufus44 Fri 08-Nov-13 20:55:41

No actual true story....fact!

In final destination the already injured teacher tries to reach up to the work top to get a towel to stem the blood. This dislodges the very large knife which falls on/in to her.

I like that film, although final destination 3 is not the film to watch before visiting Thorpe Park!

Twighlightsparkle Fri 08-Nov-13 20:57:49

Havnt read through, but I once came across a similar child, who as I waited woke up and started screaming for their parent, I phoned 999.

The police appeared , then the parent.

Who shouted abuse at me, and was arrested.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 21:04:37

Would a secure child really scream for 9 minutes on waking in a familiar place, in a car they use everyday on a street that they come home to a number of times a day? Thats really alarming if you know a child that would have that kind of reaction, have they always suffered with a lack of recognition? Or is it some kind of attachment issue?

How ridiculous. I take it you're not a parent yet, to be so clueless about normal child behaviour.

I don't know many 2 year olds that would stay quiet for 10 minutes of being ignored on waking if they were in their own bed or cot, never mind strapped down in a car with not a soul insight.

Lilacroses Fri 08-Nov-13 21:08:49

My friend used to do this,not outside her house but out and about. One day she left him asleep in the car in the carpark of a shop she was visiting. She forgot to lock the door he woke up and got out of the car and wandered out of the carpark and onto the street! He was 2. Luckily someone stopped him. On your driveway within full view is OK but otherwise...dangerous.

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 21:09:32

Must admit I do check every few minutes, not 5-10. Omg, maybe I am pfourthborn. Ahhhh

CuriosityCola Fri 08-Nov-13 21:11:41

My 2 year old would wake up and give approx 2 mins before having a screaming melt down. He doesn't like being contained never mind being left alone. He does this wherever he sleeps. That's why I use the baby monitor app. Dc2 (5 months) would happily wake up and chat away to himself for ages (though I just transfer him to the house as he is a miracle sleepergrin).

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 21:11:46

Oh I won't be using the dishwasher anymore or cooking that involves knives. Intact I think I will make a padded room to keep me and Dcs safe.hmm

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 21:13:06

<gulp> big bad world

PukingCat Fri 08-Nov-13 21:14:03

I think you did completely the right thing op.

CuriosityCola Fri 08-Nov-13 21:14:37

My 2 year old would wake up and give approx 2 mins before having a screaming melt down. He doesn't like being contained never mind being left alone. He does this wherever he sleeps. That's why I use the baby monitor app. Dc2 (5 months) would happily wake up and chat away to himself for ages (though I just transfer him to the house as he is a miracle sleepergrin).

Rufus44 Fri 08-Nov-13 21:25:39

Sounds good * comemulledwinewithme* just be careful with your DIY tools

Just saying

Keepingup I'm a parent, and yes I know plenty of 2 year olds, including my own, who would not start screaming with terror within 10 mins when they wake up. Mine are very secure and although they don't stay quiet (singing Wheels on the Bus on repeat is the current favourite) they will happily wait for me as they know full well where they are and that I'll come back.

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Fri 08-Nov-13 21:27:56

Mine are very secure


Good for you. Have a gold star.

BonaDrag Fri 08-Nov-13 21:30:38

WillSing hmm

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 21:34:53

WillSing hahahaha
Wonder what I did to make DS so insecure? Maybe it's because I don't own a sling and didn't do BLW

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 21:36:59

rufus stop it <shudder>

KerwhizzedMyself Fri 08-Nov-13 21:37:21

Oh dear <face palm> my dd wouldn't start screaming as soon as she woke up (in her cot not a car just to add). Nothing to do with how secure she is, probably more to do with being grateful for five minutes peace from me grin

I didn't either. I don't know why they feel secure. Not saying it's anything I've done. Just stating the fact that they're not upset when they wake.

KerwhizzedMyself Fri 08-Nov-13 21:37:52

And oh god the nail gun in final destination 3 <cries>

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 21:38:53

Of course not op, a sling, you could fall!!! And squish the babashock blw, <faints> choking hazard

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 21:40:56

Shut it!!

Batmam Fri 08-Nov-13 21:41:43

I was following this thread what happened to the kid in the car?

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 21:44:18

Actually mulled I think we've reached overkill point about three pages ago

Jollyb Fri 08-Nov-13 21:45:58

I think you did the right thing too OP. I'm a pretty relaxed parent but I don't feel comfortable leaving my children asleep in the car -even on our driveway. If they do fall asleep I either sit in the car with them or bring them in and risk a shorter nap.

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 21:50:48

Was that to me Strange? shock

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 21:51:47

Must watch final destination <wobble>

I think you did the right thing OP... If mine fell asleep in the car I'd go to McDs drive thru for a coffee then enjoy five mins peace to m'net in the car.

I also worry about other people's kids, I can't help it I'm a softie.

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 22:02:05

Yes mulled smile

comemulledwinewithmoi Fri 08-Nov-13 22:04:39

Oh you silly sausage strange, first you go and call the police when there's no emergency the you tell me to shut up. <strokes head> there, there. Tomorrows a new

StrangeMusic Fri 08-Nov-13 22:10:14

Shut it was a joke, Mulled
But honestly, your sarcastic quips are really fucking irritating me now. I did what I thought was right and decent, you disagree, but you're so bored on a Friday night, you keep having digs
I prescribe gin, there's no enough alcohol in mulled wine, clearly

LighteningMaQueen Fri 08-Nov-13 22:36:26

You did the right thing OP, even though it's cold now, so less risk of overheating, after reading this article about kids accidentally left in cars, I would always go and check, as the child COULD have genuinely been forgotten.

Rufus44 Fri 08-Nov-13 22:42:34

kerwizzed the nail gun is bad (and what I was thinking about with comeand padded room). The wire fence is pretty bad in film four

When I had ds1 the midwife told my husband to keep me hydrated hmm he would get me the baby and then get me a glass of water. I was so frightened that I would drop the glass on the baby's head I refused to drink!

Everything is scary when you have children!!!

SayMyNameSayIt Fri 08-Nov-13 23:03:03

The story of the woman who fell on a knife in the dishwasher and died is true. She was a nun. I remember reading it in the paper and since then, I have always put knives in with the blade facing down.

OP, you did the right thing. If mine were ever still asleep when we got home and I didn't want to wake them, then I stayed in the car with them. and shut my own eyes

differentnameforthis Sat 09-Nov-13 07:34:34

please link to anyone, ever, forgetting a two year old

22mnths old close enough

lljkk Sat 09-Nov-13 10:10:52

That would have been my child in the car.
I would have been running around frantically indoors getting stuff done in peace for a change, and knowing that waking my child early would be a nightmare to him more than me, really.
I wish people could have more balanced perspective.

comemulledwinewithmoi Sat 09-Nov-13 10:16:58

Oh dear, op, so sorry. < holds self back about making joke about the dangers of alcohol and children> lighten up op. ps, yes my life is quite boring right now.

StrangeMusic Sat 09-Nov-13 10:34:31

Really, I would never have guessed

crunchybargalore Sat 09-Nov-13 11:17:42

Actually it is really sad when you read those stories of tired tired parents who forget their child in a car.

I would never leave my child In a car but I have lived in a hot climate. For that reason I would find it uncomfortable and strange to see a child asleep I a car alone for a long period of time.

There was also an article about children being left more frequently now that there are back seat safety seats.

crunchybargalore Sat 09-Nov-13 11:23:17
Writerwannabe83 Sat 09-Nov-13 11:27:41

Hi strangemusic

I absolutely think you did the right thing and I would have done it too. If the child was in a car on a driveway I probably wouldn't have been too concerned, but a car that was just parked on the road would definitely make me worry. I'm actually quite surprised at some of the sarcastic and unnecessary comments you've received on here - nobody should EVER have to apologise or be made to feel 'ridiculous' for acting in the best interests of a child. My concern would have been that what if something had happened to the parent once they'd got inside the house? They may have fallen asleep themselves or worst case scenario collapsed leaving nobody aware of the child in the car. And as awful as it is, there are people out there who kidnap children and if nobody is keeping an eye on the child then it can happen. Just because the worst case scenarios are very, very rare and unlikely, it doesn't mean they can't happen.

Keeping children safe is everyone's job and I'd rather there be 100 not-needed calls to the police about children left in cars as opposed to people just ignoring it and something bad happening as a result.

PukingCat Sat 09-Nov-13 11:27:52

I think the posts saying how unlikely it is that the child would come to harm are completely pointless.

The fact is that a clearly unattended child should be reported and that it would be irresponsible not to.

crunchybargalore Sat 09-Nov-13 11:35:44

I agree puking cat.
What if the child had been forgotten as a passerby you do not know for how long the child had been in the car?

Incidentally the Washington post journalist won a Pulitzer Prize into his investigation into the tragic cases of children left in cars In the us.

Oblomov Sat 09-Nov-13 11:45:32

Blimey. This thread has moved on.
I was reading it from the beginning.
I didn't think Op should do anything. I didn't think she should phone 999. I thought this suggestion was completely OTT. But then I am one of those that is very blasé. I used to regularly let ds's sleep outside in garden= MN CRIME.
So I am one of those that think that we seem to have lost all perspective and common sense.

BUT, this thread has now, as per usual on MN, gone into stratosphere !!!

jellyandcake Sat 09-Nov-13 12:22:07

The last time I read about this here the OP was a mother who had left her sleeping child in the car and patrolling police officers knocked on her door and had a very stern word. She was very upset and shaken by it, IIRC. I think if the police frown in this practice, maybe it's for a good reason?

It's definitely not something I would do or would want anyone to do with DS. Of course we can't avoid every risk and rare tragic accidents can happen to anyone. We all choose which risks are worth taking and I don't think this one is. I would have felt and acted just as the OP did.

(Don't drive so I have always enjoyed DS falling asleep in buggy, wheeling him indoors with me and then virtuously getting on with the housework --sitting down with a book and biscuit I don't have to share--)

jellyandcake Sat 09-Nov-13 12:23:34

Hmmm, first attempt at strikeout did not work.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 09-Nov-13 12:44:05

I remember when I used to live with my dad and he had offered to babysit my sister's little boy for the night - my nephew was about 20 months at the time. My dad came home from collecting my nephew but was empty handed, when I asked where he was my dad told me that he'd fell asleep in the car so he'd left him there. We used to live in terraced housing, so no driveway, the car was just parked on the street. I was shocked, told my dad off and then went to get my nephew smile

My sister wasn't very happy about it when I told her.

There is a big difference (in my eyes) between leaving your DC to either sleep in the garden or be in a car on the driveway, to leaving a child in a car that is just parked on the side of a street. And I mean this in that if I saw a child in a car on a driveway then I'd be happy that the child belonged somewhere and I'd know where to find the parents etc, but a child that is left in a car on the street could belong to anyone and it would make the situation a bit more worrying in my eyes.

Christ, that Washington Post article is absolutely the saddest thing I have ever ever read.

MerryMarigold Sat 09-Nov-13 15:45:05

Oblomov, is your parenting style 'crap'? wink

Chrunchy, this article is absolutely shamelessly exploiting those poor parent's endless grief to get a good story. Sickening.

PatoBanton Sat 09-Nov-13 16:17:45

It's just occurred to me one reason why it may be a bad idea leaving children to sleep in cars. That thing where cars catch fire - I'm not joking, they can and do from time to time.

I will see if I can find a link.

The thing is while you're driving, you'd be aware of anything like that but if you're not present then the child would be powerless and could even be overcome by smoke before they woke up.

BlingBang Sat 09-Nov-13 16:21:56

Surely it is much more a bigger risk to actually drive your kids though than leave them now and then in a parked car?

Writerwannabe83 Sat 09-Nov-13 16:24:04

Lets just leave children unattended anywhere in their cars then seeing as that's safer than being in a moving vehicle with an adult....

BlingBang Sat 09-Nov-13 16:30:09

Now stop being a drama llama and making things up.

PatoBanton Sat 09-Nov-13 16:31:10

Yes of course it is Bling. No one is saying it isn't - just that the risk is unnecessary in most cases, while driving is a massive part of everyday life for many people.

No one has to leave their sleeping child unattended in a car.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gimcrack Sat 09-Nov-13 17:00:13

Go and stand by the car. His/her mum will probably come out to find out what you're up to. If they don't, lurk for a bit and see what happens. If no one comes out after a while, then knock on some doors. If you can't find a parent, then call the non emergency number.

crunchybargalore Sat 09-Nov-13 18:31:21

I disagree that the article is shameless exploitation. It raises a valid issues.

How rear seatbelts and car seats can mean parents forget about their children?

In what way?

One thing I do not get though is the people who leave their kids in a car and then say they check on them say every 5 mins then how do they get anything done?? It was mentioned up thread. I don't get it?

crunchybargalore Sat 09-Nov-13 18:35:36

And I meant to say the reason I think the article does not exploit is that the article esurely expresses that this could happen to anyone rather than blaming the parents.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 09-Nov-13 19:02:00

I wouldn't feel comfortable knocking on doors and asking random strangers if the unattended child in a parked car belongs to them. For all I'd know, the person who told me it was theirs could be tellingly porkies. Plus, you are then highlighting the fact to all the neighbours that there is a parent in this area who is happy to leave their child unattended and I'm not sure what good could come of that.

Thymeout Sat 09-Nov-13 19:11:01

I think the biggest risk about leaving a toddler asleep in a car is some mumsnetter ringing up the police about it.

StrangeMusic Sat 09-Nov-13 19:16:39

Yes, that's definitely the biggest risk

SlicedLemon Sat 09-Nov-13 19:31:27

I must be a terrible mother. I frequently would leave DD2 asleeep in the car when returning from somewhere and it being close to her naptime and she had nodded off. That was on our driveway or sometimes on the road outside the house all depending what room in the house I was going to be in to keep an eye out. Sometimes not always I would put the baby monitor in the car with her (when it had batteries).

But worse than that I used to put her out for a nap in her pram in our front garden with no monitor. I would do this in the summer and in the winter. We lived in North Scotland and even in the snow she would be out here for her nap.

Not one of my neighbours ever called the police or reported me to SS to my knowledge.

DD did not spontaneously combust, run away, get kidnapped etc.

crunchybargalore Sat 09-Nov-13 19:36:36

I think the people being smug about this is really weird.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 09-Nov-13 19:47:22

I agree crunchy

crunchy, the article starts off by describing in detail the agony of the parents who have lost a child because they made a mistake

They wouldn't have left the children there on purpose, those cases were all in the summer and a failure to drop them off at day care because they fell asleep and were quiet.

It is worth mentioning as that is a real risk, but not in this way.

I hope I don't come across as smug but that's a completely different scenario than leaving a child asleep in a car on the drive.

The thought about the car catching fire somehow has never occured to me, that might be something which would keep me from leaving a sleeping child in a car alone.
Mine are all older and don't fall asleep in the car anymore.

crunchybargalore Sat 09-Nov-13 23:09:17

Yes I a sure they would not have left their kids there on purpose. but yu know what those pants would have loved a busy body to call the police or see their child in the car.

Honestly though leaving your child in hot or cold weather and knowing you are I doing this.

I guess people assume the kids won't get out, or touch controls, or use a cig lighter, or get too cold or too hot or emotionally get scared, or that someone else could tamper with the car or the kids. I guess they live in ally safe neighbourhoods. I gues they are not concerned with how hot a car can get as it has all worked out ok for them and that is why they may appear smug to me anyway, that is how it comes across to me, but others may think differently.

There was that footballer who got prosecuted for leaving his kid in the car while he shopped. I don't think the police would mind a call about a child asleep in a car.

crunchybargalore Sat 09-Nov-13 23:10:30

You know those parents not pants! .and lots of other typos!

cheeseandpineapple Sat 09-Nov-13 23:54:29

OP has already said

I didn't think the kid was going to get eaten alive by scorpions or taken by a paedophile lurking in the bushes, but thought it was possible he could wake up and get distressed or had been forgotten about.

OP doesn't live in the street so she's not a neighbour who recognises the kid and the car. The road was residents parking only, the car had a park and display ticket which suggested it had been there a while before OP saw the kid and that it might not belong to one of the residents. She waited around 10 minutes and no one came out to check the kid in that time and I'm guessing that if someone could see the car from a window in a nearby house, chances are OP would have noticed someone peering out regularly.

Totally sensible and practical to then call local police given she did not know 100% if the child's parent/carer was nearby and would be able to attend the child if it suddenly woke up and got distressed. And given that the car didn't have a residents permit on it, even if the kid recognised the inside of the car, it may not recognise the street, plus it's not a given that a 2 year old will sit tight for 10 mins or so strapped into a car seat alone when he/she's just woken from a nap.

You did the right thing OP. And the way I read it is that you calling the police was not a judgment on the parent in question but a reflection of the concern you had as you didn't know the circumstances.

steeking Sun 10-Nov-13 00:17:48

Can't believe this is still going!
At the end of the day it's all about perceived risk. The parent of the child would have weighed up in her mind how likely it would be for something bad to happen by leaving her child in the car, and then acted accordingly.
There are a lot of "what if" statements floating around but it would be interesting to know the ACTUAL odds of a something bad happening.

RCheshire Sun 10-Nov-13 01:14:19

Am surprised that with this many posts there haven't been many mentions of mobile phone baby monitoring apps. Everyone I know who leaves their child to finish a nap in the car uses one.

PukingCat Sun 10-Nov-13 11:35:16

Cheshire. How do they work?

BikeRunSki Sun 10-Nov-13 11:56:17

I just put the baby monitor in the car.

RCheshire Sun 10-Nov-13 12:11:48

Puking, you set a level of sensitivity to volume and when the phone mic picks up that level of noise it will phone a number. So we leave one phone in the car and it will phone the other's mobile or the land line. So Max sensitivity it will call with a sniff, Low sensitivity and would take the child to be crying. We have always parked on our drive (in a rural spot), left the monitor and checked visually periodically.

NoAddedSuga Sun 10-Nov-13 12:16:02

This is the first time i ve ever heard of anyone leaving a child in the car when they are asleep.

It wouldnt even occur to me that people did this on a regular basis.

I ve never seen a child left in a car asleep.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 10-Nov-13 13:13:08

Ironically my neighbour did this yesterday with her little boy who is about 18 months. I found myself obsessively looking out the window to make sure he was ok grin

NoComet Sun 10-Nov-13 18:42:57

You won't have seen my two sleeping in the car, unless you'd open my gate and walked up to my back door.

foreverondiet Sun 10-Nov-13 20:53:43

It's so hard. In warmer climates many babies and toddlers die due to being left in the car - ie being forgotten about, lots of harrowing you tube clips you can watch - even happens on residential roads. But it's November so less likely to die from overheating but apparently car is greenhouse so doesn't actually need to be that warm. It's never ever safe to leave a baby or toddler asleep in the car - sun could come out and car turns into a death trap. Don't do it.

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