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Leaving baby in car to get car park ticket

(303 Posts)
IstheCartooFar Wed 25-May-16 09:10:43

Name changed as chatted to husband and friend about this already...

I've tried to include all relevant details to avoid drip feeding etc...

Woman in car park annoyed me yesterday. I'd left baby in car to walk to ticket machine (at the end of the aisle next to mine, no closer spaces available). When I came back woman had parked next to me and getting her own children out.

She said 'excuse me, have you just left your baby in the car all on its own?' in an accusing way.

I replied I was just at the ticket machine, which she humphed at and turned away.

I felt pretty cross at her implication I'd done some awful dangerous parenting so I said I found her tone very judgemental.

She just said well you hear horror stories (and then said some confusing story about how some people have brain injuries and do weird things so you have to check). I just said you have to make lots of risk assessments as a parent of leaving baby in car vs lugging them through busy car park, she turned away and didn't answer.

Anyway, do people leave baby in car to get a ticket or is that just me being lazy??

And was she unreasonable to check or would you do the same? (to me it was pretty obvious I'd just gone to get a ticket rather than done a full shop, considering I'd walked past her car with ticket, put it on windscreen then was getting baby out).

NapQueen Wed 25-May-16 09:12:21

I'd do the same. The baby is far safer in the car than being carried across a carpark. I usually try and park next to the pay machines but if I can't meh, I still lock them in the car.

Same with trolleys. I put baby and shopping in the car, lock it, then return my trolley. Again though I always look for a space near a trolley return.

curren Wed 25-May-16 09:12:59

I never did. I wouldn't leave my baby in a car while I paid for petrol etc.

But I wouldn't comment on someone else doing it.

If I were her, I would have waited to see if someone returned to the car. I would have been concerned, to see a baby on its own. But as soon as I saw you return I would have gone about my business.

Ragwort Wed 25-May-16 09:13:14

How ridiculous, of course I would leave my baby in the car when I was getting a parking ticket, far less dangerous than putting him in the pushchair, wheeling it to the machine (where there isn't always sufficient space to safely have a pushchair) etc etc.

Do people really have the time and energy to get worked up about these sorts of things hmm?

curren Wed 25-May-16 09:14:27

Sorry forgot to say the reason I don't. My cousin was injured in a supermarket car park when I car hit their parked car. Unlikely to happen again, but it's one of those things that stick with you.

AliceInHinterland Wed 25-May-16 09:14:41

I would do it for a minute or two with the car in sight.

LottieDoubtie Wed 25-May-16 09:16:50

I do it regularly and always have, never occurred to me not too. I'm pretty sure that's the majority view.

Enkopkaffetak Wed 25-May-16 09:17:50

Curren that could have happened with the parents in the car too though say 10 seconds before they were sticking in the key currently putting on their seatbelt.

Yes I would and did leave my children in the car before I got the ticket. I was of the opinion it was the safest option. I am also of the opinion it is the safest option to leave them in the petrol station when I pop in to pay.

I know others view that differently and I accept that. I do wish they would accept other parenting choices and not pass judgement like the woman you met op. (thankfully many do just that)

chameleon43 Wed 25-May-16 09:17:55

YANBU - none of her business.

And as for the risk of a car reversing into yours while you step away - surely there is an equal risk of a car reversing into you as you walk to the ticket machine holding the baby? V slim in both cases.

Once had an older bloke try to grab ds as we crossed the road as he didn't feel we were crossing safely and was "concerned" about him - some people just need to get unnecessarily involved.

Andbabymakesthree Wed 25-May-16 09:21:48

I like to get everything out and baby in sling/buggy then go and get tickets. Means I get the full duration if ticket.

Andbabymakesthree Wed 25-May-16 09:22:04


AliceInHinterland Wed 25-May-16 09:23:31

I wouldn't even do it because it's safer. Just because it's easier. I don't think either option is much of a risk at all.

IstheCartooFar Wed 25-May-16 09:25:41

I do think that there is a duty of us all that if we do see a baby alone in a car, you don't just accept that it is fine. And obviously if I had been shopping etc she would have been right for asking.
BUT as she had already decided she was going to butt in, she should have sensibly reviewed the situation (I had car park ticket and no shopping). But from her tone it was clear she did not think that leaving him in car was acceptable just for a ticket.

CutYourHairAndGetAJob Wed 25-May-16 09:26:13

I leave the kids in the car. It would be far more dangerous to take the baby (and in my case, toddler too) through a busy car park.

If I saw a baby alone in a car I might wait to make sure that someone came back but as soon as they returned I would leave and not mention anything.

MyBreadIsEggy Wed 25-May-16 09:26:53

I don't leave my dd in the car. I usually park the car, get the pram out/sort the sling out, then get DD all loaded up into the pram/sling, take her with me to get a ticket, walk back to put ticket in the car. (Or if I'm in my favourite lazy car park, I do all of the above but don't get a ticket...I use my phone to pay for an electronic ticket blush) But I would never say anything to anyone who chooses to leave their kid in the car for 2 minutes tops to get a ticket hmm The woman who confronted you was clearly saddled on the highest of horses!

FellOutOfBedTwice Wed 25-May-16 09:27:24

I wouldn't if it was miles away on the other side of the car park out of sight, but if it's literally within view and a few yards away, yes of course!

80Kgirl Wed 25-May-16 09:28:31


Of course I left my children/babies in the car, while I got parking tickets or paid for petrol. I think this woman was being ridiculous and rude. Some people are always on the lookout for an opportunity to criticise others because it makes them feel better about themselves.

DuckAndPancakes Wed 25-May-16 09:28:54

Curren, I would say that the child was probably much safer in their car seat inside of a stationary car than if that wayward car had hit the pushchair or the mother holding the child....

But then, who knows when the brain injured people riding their rabid foxes are going to come along to break into your car and steal your child. All in the 4 seconds you're probably not watching the car whilst you put coins in the machine hmm

You get out the car, you lock the car, you watch the car, you get a ticket and then you walk back all the while watching the car. Then you proceed to do all the other fiddly bollocks to get DC out of the car.

Honest to god, I'd love for someone to explain to me the concept of the fox, chicken and corn riddle but with a baby, a toddler and a car full of shopping that is parked in a parking space away from the house.

Ldnmum2015 Wed 25-May-16 09:32:09

I can't believe you are really asking this, of course you DON'T leave a baby in a car on its own, not even for the minutes it takes to get your ticket, she may of sounded judgemental and you prob felt a bit hurt, but really it is a fair point. Tough very rare, safety risks are pretty high, another car could hit yours reversing, you could get locked out, you could return to find another car parked too close, so you cant open the door, even been cases of theft and car jacking. I really can't believe your even asking

Elle80 Wed 25-May-16 09:32:19

Yes, I have, would and do. She was being a busy body.

DuckAndPancakes Wed 25-May-16 09:32:57

I do agree that with certain situations there is a duty to watch out for kids. But surely a quick scan of the car park on seeing the child would have seen you making a b line towards the car with ticket in hand.

I've had to get an announcement made in Tesco before because on one of the hottest days of the year, a toddler had been locked in a car in her car seat with all the windows done up and was visibly sweating and looking unwell. I searched around the car park to see if someone was returning a trolley, waited for a few minutes to see if someone returned and then went in and asked customer services to do an announcement with the number plate I had taken a picture of.

This was NOT that situation, though. Plus I still wouldn't have then turned around and berated the parents, even if I had been massively judging them on doing something stupid and inconsiderate.

PurpleCrazyHorse Wed 25-May-16 09:34:16

For me, it depends on the outside air temp and the risk of overheating if left in the car. It doesn't have to be sunny or hugely hot to have an overheating risk and it can happen quickly.

As with everything I make a judgement on the risks at that time, in those circumstances. As I'm sure you did.

80Kgirl Wed 25-May-16 09:34:48

These are all very remote risks Ldnmum2015. There would also be risks attached to taking the baby with you to get the ticket. You are being ridiculous.

DustOffYourHighestHopes Wed 25-May-16 09:34:49

I do this. As long as car is locked and within sight all the time.

LottieDoubtie Wed 25-May-16 09:35:22

grin very good ldnmum you nearly had me til you over egged it with car jacking! Who are these people who car jack cars with babies in in a carpark in the UK grin you'd think that would make the news....

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