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To think it is not ok to leave your kids in the car outside a large supermarket?

(67 Posts)
Aberchips Tue 25-Mar-14 10:06:59

Yesterday afternoon I parked in the mother & child spaces at my local (large) supermarket with my two children (4 &2). As I was getting out of the car, I noticed that in the car next to us were 2 kids who looked about 6/7 & 3ish - the younger one was waving to me. They were strapped into seats or anything but just roaming about the car- playing with the steering wheel etc.

I admit that I do occasionally leave my kids in their car seats in the car when I pop into the Sainsburys local or corner shop, but I can always see them out of the window & I lock them in with strict instructions not to touch the doors. I am never doing anything more than picking up a pint of milk & only gone about 2 mins.

I don't know how long these kids had been there, but it took me a good few minutes to park, get my trolley, unload my kids etc & nobody came back to the car. I thought about telling the security people/ staff but then wasn't sure they would do anything?

I don't think IBU to think you shouldn't leave kids like this, but WWYD?

N1ckerz Tue 25-Mar-14 10:09:47

I wouldn't leave my children of that age alone in the car, but that's just my opinion.

Bramshott Tue 25-Mar-14 10:11:52

I wouldn't have at that age - but are you sure on the ages. I do leave my 11 and 7 yr old DDs in the car outside the supermarket if they don't want to come in, and both are very small for their ages - someone could easily assume they were 4 and 8.

BornFreeButinChains Tue 25-Mar-14 10:12:14

As you leave your own kids, which you deem acceptable but others deem totally un acceptable even though YOU think its OK, I would butt out and leave well alone.

judypoops Tue 25-Mar-14 10:23:30

I wouldn't leave mine either op

MamaPain Tue 25-Mar-14 10:33:52

I think YABU. Firstly you aren't in a position to judge if you leave your children in the car. This you can always see them business is ridiculous anyway, we all know that you only have to look away for a second with kids so unless you never look away and pick everything up from the shop without looking you aren't constantly watching them.

I have always left mine in the car for short periods (say up to half an hour, depending on weather) and I used to be left in the car. Never had an issue with it. It does depend on the age but I think at around 7 it shouldn't be an problem. At 2 mine could unstrap themselves so there was no point doing that ever.

MiaowTheCat Tue 25-Mar-14 10:35:34

The people on these threads are responsible for my stress levels going through the roof if I go to Tesco on my own btw.

The way our Tesco carpark is organised - the double child trollies (with two toddler-type seats in side by side) are in one group near the store door.... and the P+C spaces (if there's space I use 'em - refuse to get pissed off if there isn't) are all along the front of the store and then some more around the side and in one aisle of the carpark. If I'm on my own I HAVE to leave the kids in the car while I run to get a double-trolley for the kids and I'm always bloody terrified one of the "ooooh baby out without a hat on - ring SS" brigade from on here is going to either be out giving me a gobful or ringing SS on me for me having to run across the carpark for a minute.

trashcanjunkie Tue 25-Mar-14 10:38:49

I have left my twins alone in the car at a big supermarket from about age seven - they are nine now. I would leave them for about ten mins a time, if they wanted to be left. I finish work to pick them up from school, so if we've run out of things it's easy to grab them on the way home, and often the kids can't be bothered to come in to the supermarket. I feel very confident that they are sensible whilst left, and they stay in their seats, with belts on and the doors locked from the inside. It's never been an issue. I have also left them home alone since that age for ten to fifteen mins a time, slowly building up to about an hour and a half right now. It works for us, and in a couple of years time they will have to navigate their way across a major city using two types of public transport to get to high school. Solo travel is encouraged by the high school, so I see it as part of their development. I have an older child who is 17 and did exactly the same with him.

RufusTheReindeer Tue 25-Mar-14 10:39:42

Wouldn't leave a three year in the car but would leave older children if they were together and although you didn't see anyone they may only have popped to the cash machine or cigarette counter for 10 mins

If I was worried I like to think I would have waited near the car, I think it would need to be quite a wait before I told security

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 25-Mar-14 10:41:42

I wouldn't as I would have no car, ds can't be trusted at all.

softlysoftly Tue 25-Mar-14 10:43:43

YANBU and Miaow there is a big difference between leaving kids to go get a trolley and to actually go shopping without them.

I leave the girls to pay for fuel as I can see the car from the windows but nothing else really, I will once they are old enough to unstrap and get out of the car safely though.

My reasoning is when we were little mums car went up in flames with us all in it (3 kids, 7 seater tank thing) luckily she was in the car so managed to get out. We had just pulled out of a space when it happened so not like it was running long.

Second time we all went into my aunties house, came back out and no car! She lived on a big hill and the handbrake had failed, the car was in someones garden at the bottom.

So no unless I could see them at all times and was close enough to get them out in case of fire (never on a big hill) I wouldn't leave them.

RedandChecker Tue 25-Mar-14 10:44:56

I leave DS if i am popping into tesco express and there is a parking space right infront of the door. My alarm goes off on the car if he shouts or moves around.

I would not leave him for more than two minutes.

It is dangerous to leave children to roam around in a car or where I couldn't see the car. What if they let the hand brake off?

YANBU.

Latara Tue 25-Mar-14 10:45:09

I once saw a toddler (aged under 2) asleep in a child seat in a parked car.
I went and did my shopping then finished - half an hour later the child was still in the car.
Luckily asleep - I dread to think what would've happened if it had woken up on it's own in the car.
I went and told Security who hopefully tried to find the mother.

Aberchips Tue 25-Mar-14 11:06:55

Just to clarify I am not trying to be judgmental about it - just wondered what others would do in the same situation or if anyone had mentioned it to staff before. I'm not suggesting that I'm going to be onto SS, rather asking security to keep an eye out etc. I always worry in these situations that they would laugh in my face if I had a word with security about something like this. I would have hung around a bit longer (to make sure someone came back & they were safe - not to verbally abuse them I would add) but was on a tight timescale as needed to pick up my husband.

Mamapain I can always see them if I leave them - like RedandChecker the parking space is right outside the door, how do you pay for fuel etc if you don't ever leave them in the car? This situation appeared as if they had been there for some significant time, not just someone nipping in

I suppose there will come a time when they are old enough to be left, but not sure what that would be for my kids.

RedandChecker Tue 25-Mar-14 11:23:56

Aberchips - I get fuel when DS is at school or when DP is around. When he was little, i would take him in with me.

archshoes Tue 25-Mar-14 11:36:41

No it is not ok.

And if the parent is already known to ss, they take a dim view of it.

purplebaubles Tue 25-Mar-14 11:42:18

I also get terrified by reading threads like this.

It's also the reason I ended up taking my 15month old, out of her car seat, and carrying her into the postoffice to post a letter. All would have been fine, if there hadn't been a small queue (still, no more than 5 mins in total inside the post office) and she hadn't started planking in my arms and twisting her bum around and screaming.

A nightmare at the best of times. But I'm nearly 9 months pregnant, she weighs at least 25 pounds and I was getting kicked in the stomach.

All to post a letter.

All because I didn't want someone to see my 15month in the car alone and call bloody social services.

It's ridiculous really.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Tue 25-Mar-14 11:47:41

Well, I must be one if the mums who should be reported to SS, then.

I have often left my dc alone in the car for more than 'a few minutes'.

If they're asleep, why wake them? Especially as mine were clockwork sleepers - they always slept in multiples of 20 or 45 minutes, so I knew whether they were likely to wake. I never left them to wake alone in the car, not until they were old enough to understand and not be afraid.

If they roamed around in the car, by the time they were strong enough to release the handbrake, they were old enough to know not to do it.

The car would be double-locked, so that they could not unlock the doors from inside, windows open a crack, alarm set externally and deactivated internally, engine immobilised and steering locked.

Unexciting MPV, so highly unlikely to be stolen.

Children much happier playing, reading, listening to a CD etc, than being dragged around wherever.

Though I would never leave them in the car if it was snowy cold, very hot, or very sunny. Nor if any of them was upset it bad-temperish.

FederationPresidentBarryFife Tue 25-Mar-14 11:47:53

I leave my 4 and 2 year old sitting in their car seats while I run into the supermarket or pay for petrol. I do it all the time and I can't see a problem. They don't want to come in, they are quite happy. I will leave them for a maximum of 15 minutes I suppose while I dash min to grab milk or bread or nappies or whatever I have forgotten that day!
I refuse to even worry about this as the thought of dragging them both in outweighs any negative comments!!!
When one of them wants to come they both do. I wouldn't leave just one. But they chat and are totally content listening to stories on CD.

softlysoftly Tue 25-Mar-14 11:48:13

Its ridiculous you felt the need to do that based on mumsnet threads where no one has actually said call social services and even if they did it is massively unlikely they would care yes purple.

If you let the opinions of random internetters affect you to that extent you probably best step away from the keyboard.

SarahAndFuck Tue 25-Mar-14 11:50:37

Could the parents have been queuing at the cash point or something, and able to see the car OP?

It's not something I would want to do, although DS (just about to turn five) seems desperate to be left in the car if I have to go shopping with him, but I wouldn't want to leave him if I couldn't see him and he couldn't see me.

But wasn't some actor just told off by the police for doing something similar? Going to the chemist and leaving a child alone in the car outside?

Ladysnackbeth Tue 25-Mar-14 11:51:43

I'm a kiddie leaver too. They know not to roam or touch and are sane and trustworthy. I don't care what other people do but I do wish nosey parkers would extend that courtesy to others themselves wink.

Standinginline Tue 25-Mar-14 11:58:01

I would never leave young kids in a car whilst I was doing a shop in a supermarket. Seven ,might depend on the child BUT definitely any younger. I'm a very chilled parent and there's loads of things I do that cause people to be a bit shocked by but not that. However ,I do whip into the corner shop whilst kids are in the car (3 years ,and a 8 month old) but I'm literally parked about a metre away from the door ,and the till is another metre away so I still have my eyes on them when I'm shopping and paying (it's usually a redbull I'm popping in for and they're right by the door )

MrsMcColl Tue 25-Mar-14 12:00:03

I leave mine for short periods (long enough to get and pay for maybe half a dozen things at a big supermarket, not as long as a big weekly shop). Can't see the car. Kids locked in. All fine. Doesn't worry me in the slightest. (Other than the thought of nose-pokey people alerting security/social services/the police/the Queen.)

MummytoMog Tue 25-Mar-14 12:05:27

I leave mine while I dash into Wickes - mostly because the bastards don't have trolleys with seats and won't allow you to let your kids ride on the flat trolleys, and both of mine are monstrously bad walkers (3 and 4). Even before I was pregnant I wouldn't carry them around, and now it's basically physically impossible. I strap them in and leave their cd playing for them, for five minutes or so.

We are known to social services as it happens. But they think we're SUPER.

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