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What age is ok for this

(33 Posts)
questioninghhmm Wed 11-Jul-18 04:48:20

What age would you say is ok to leave your kids in the car while you pop in somewhere like a chemist or post office? 12?
My car has a button rather than a handbrake. Not that we live somewhere hilly for what it's worth.

I can't recall when my mum was ok with me being in the car for 5 minutes, though back then we didn't worry about stuff as much.

Idontmeanto Wed 11-Jul-18 06:37:35

Depending on the kid 7, as long as they were happy and you trusted them not to meddle.

retainertrainer Wed 11-Jul-18 06:42:47

DS is 9 and happy to be left in that situation.

MrBig1 Wed 11-Jul-18 06:44:17


huha Wed 11-Jul-18 07:05:19

3? 4? I always leave my kids in the car when I need to run into a gas station but much less likely if it's a grocery store.

questioninghhmm Wed 11-Jul-18 07:09:01

See I read that thread the other day about someone leaving her 7 year old in the car at daycare drop off and she had her ass handed to her. Nobody actually said what an appropriate age was though from what I could see.
I presumed most people thought a lot older. My ds is ten. I assume he would be ok for 5 minutes but worried maybe I was missing something.

CloudCaptain Wed 11-Jul-18 07:12:37

Couldn't leave my 4yo. He fiddles with all the buttons. Probably about 8yo?

Battleax Wed 11-Jul-18 07:14:14


lemonnmeringuepie Wed 11-Jul-18 07:16:02

Definitely depends on the child! Personally i would say 9/10

DinosApple Wed 11-Jul-18 07:17:24

Mine always get out for the shops, but stay in for fuel. They are 7&8. Certainly the eldest would be fine now. But not together!

mydogishot Wed 11-Jul-18 07:18:29

I always left mine from around 7.
It's not as if I was working an 8 hr shift, its five minutes in a shop etc.
They've always been sensible though.
They have the keys and they kick themselves in (inner London).

Sirzy Wed 11-Jul-18 07:20:20

In the current weather not at all!

Generally 7-10 depending on the child.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Wed 11-Jul-18 07:23:55

That was because the OP left the car running with her child inside! Don’t cherry pick the information!

Tonicwaterandgin Wed 11-Jul-18 07:24:02

I've been doing it since around last summer so just 7. But not very often, mostly wants to come with me. Also we have a rule that he stays in the back.

UndergroundSun Wed 11-Jul-18 07:24:58

That person left her keys inside! I leave my 6 year old when I'm going to be less than 3 mins. Any longer and she'd have to come in with me.

WessexGoblin Wed 11-Jul-18 07:36:34

IMO it depends on the maturity of the child being left, as well as how long you are likely to be. My sons are 5 and two 13 yo. The little one comes with me whilst the two older ones can wait in the car if their mood and attitude are conducive too being left. In general I don’t mind them staying in the car (provided they don’t drain the battery!) but only you know, on the day, what their attitude is like.

questioninghhmm Wed 11-Jul-18 08:18:33

Yes I realise she left the keys in. However other people were coming on and recalling accidents I'm fairly certain that just involved the hand brake.
I'm asking for advice on an appropriate age, not attacking anyone's choice.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 11-Jul-18 08:21:25

My friend was reprimanded by a policeman when she left her under 10s in a car outside a shop.

Minanka Wed 11-Jul-18 08:23:10

Around 8.

BobbinsBoo1 Wed 11-Jul-18 08:25:56

Depends on the child. I would have left my dd in the car when she was 8 but wouldn't leave my ds who is 9. She was a lot more mature at 8 than he is at 9. Wouldn't trust him not to do something daft

RockingDuck Wed 11-Jul-18 12:34:36

depends how long you'll be and how hot it is and if you'll be out of sight. Our local shops you can see the cars at all times, but bear in mind if you get caught in a queue kids can get worried.

upsideup Wed 11-Jul-18 12:40:41

Probably about 7 but surely by that point its easier for them to come in with you as they can get in and out the car themselves in a matter of seconds?

DieAntword Wed 11-Jul-18 12:49:05

When you know they'll stay calmly in their seat and not do something silly like take the handbrake off (as I once did aged 8, on a hill, and began to roll down!)

Whatiwishfor Wed 11-Jul-18 13:11:46

There is no legal age its down to the circumstance that you leave the children and the potential risk. So some circumstances are obvious and some are more ambiguous. You carnt make an assumption on someone leaving a child out side school in the car, as it depends on so much more than that.
I have left my children 4 and 5 in the car while i ran into the shop to pick up a few items.

Rhiannon13 Wed 11-Jul-18 13:56:43

When they're old enough to deal with an emergency on their own? My car caught on fire recently just after I turned the engine off. Rare I know but it did happen!

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