Advanced search

Is it an offence to leave a baby in the car whislt paying for petrol?

(61 Posts)
TheSleepFairy Thu 13-Jan-11 22:34:42

I have always deemed it much safer if my children stay in the car whilst I go & pay for petrol.

Today I have read on another forum that it is an offence & apparently a mother was approached by a social worker who took her details & arranged a home visit & advised her she would be "in serious trouble" if it happened again.

Would leaving my child in the car be viewed as abandonment &/or neglect on my behalf?

ItsMeMo Thu 13-Jan-11 22:39:46

I wouldn't think so. I can't see why it would be as long as they are safe eg no keys in car, doors locked, within your view.

cece Thu 13-Jan-11 22:42:44

Never heard of that. In that case the sw are going to be kept very busy... Doesn't everyone leave their baby in the car when they pay for petrol?

Are they serioously suggesting you unstrap your baby, carry them to the kiosk, pay, carry them back to the car, strap them back in every time?!

Spero Thu 13-Jan-11 22:44:26

There is no fixed age/circumstances which automatically means leaving a child is a criminal or social services matter. It all depends on circumstances.

So - leaving child securely fastened in car seat while you take five minutes to cross forecourt and pay for petrol = highly unlikely to attract any penalty.

TheSleepFairy Thu 13-Jan-11 22:48:19


Are they serioously suggesting you unstrap your baby, carry them to the kiosk, pay, carry them back to the car, strap them back in every time?!

That was my point exactly. I have never seen anyone do this & would find it very strange if I was waiting for a pump & the person infront started herding children in & out of the car hmm

seimum Thu 13-Jan-11 22:51:54

I have always left kids in car under these circumstances, and have never seen anyone take their kids out while paying for petrol.

Sounds like an urban myth in the making.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Thu 13-Jan-11 22:54:22

yy to urban myth in the making.

Can you imagine getting, say, a family of three under five out of the car, across the forecourt, with cars driving off. hmm

cat64 Thu 13-Jan-11 22:55:12

Message withdrawn

MadamDeathstare Thu 13-Jan-11 22:55:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SharonGless Thu 13-Jan-11 22:57:48

The only offence I can think of would be child neglect and believe me this would not constitute neglect. Not feeding your child. Not bathing your child. Living in squalor.

Leaving child in full view whilst you pay for petrol is not an offence.

However if you leave a small child in a vehicle whilst you got into a bank/shop out of sight for a long time it may be classed as neglect especially if it was hot weather or the child is distressed.

OmniumAndGatherum Thu 13-Jan-11 22:58:23

I always, always, always did the unstrapping-and-carrying thing with mine when they were small. It was pretty horrendous, but no way would I have left them in the car, even for five minutes. I don't think it's an offence, though.

LoopyLoopsIsNoLongerFestive Thu 13-Jan-11 22:58:53

Wow MmeDS, that's a lot of driving through! I'm jealous!

TheSleepFairy Thu 13-Jan-11 23:02:11

Where do you live madam <<off to pack bags & move>>

This is the new post after someone said the poster was lying telling urban myths:

My friend's husband is actually a policeman and they did check it out and it is not illegal to leave a child in the car whilst paying for petrol. However as a complaint was made by a social worker there was no challenging the fact that the child was being put on the at risk register.

LoopyLoopsIsNoLongerFestive Thu 13-Jan-11 23:05:32

I think she's in southern US. That right?

SharonGless Thu 13-Jan-11 23:05:58

Sorry don't understand the last bit of your post SleepFairy.

Is the last bit from the other forum?

A child does not just get put on the "at risk" register by a social worker like that.

More urban myths abounding.

QueeferSutherland Thu 13-Jan-11 23:08:00

I thought it was illegal, although I do leave them if they are asleep.

I use pay-at-pump whenever possible, but I live in a wee village and feel safe leaving them strewn about the place tbh.

TheSleepFairy Thu 13-Jan-11 23:11:02

Sorry sharon. Yes the last part is from another forum.

Maybee Thu 13-Jan-11 23:16:13

I leave mine in the car for practical reasons but do get an irrational fear of the petrol pumps exploding as I pay at the till!

elphabadefiesgravity Thu 13-Jan-11 23:18:56

Having had a van reverse into me(me personally, not the car) oas I was filling up with petrol on a garage forecourt I think that they are far safer in the car.

If it was illegal then social services would be visiting half the families in the country at least!

MollieO Thu 13-Jan-11 23:20:57

I have never left Ds in the car whilst paying for petrol. Not once. Yes it is a pain when they are young but I would never leave him in a car anywhere. These threads always surprise me at how many people seem oblivious to the risks.

WimpleOfTheBallet Thu 13-Jan-11 23:22:29

Why is it safer to leave them in the car?

SharonGless Thu 13-Jan-11 23:24:49

MollieO - everything you do with your child requires a risk assessment. Your choice is that you don't feel comfortable leaving your child in a car whilst you pay for petrol.That's fine, that's your choice. However lots of other people do their own risk assessment and decide it is fine to leave DC in car whilst they pay for petrol.

OP was asking is it illegal and the answer is no, not per se.

HeadsUp Thu 13-Jan-11 23:25:28


mamatomany Thu 13-Jan-11 23:26:14

I think it's safer if we just don't take the DC's out at all tbh, If somebody stopped me claiming to be a SW i wouldn't be giving out my details I'd tell them to go and get a warrant for whatever crime they think i've committed.
Do people really hand out that sort of information willy nilly ?

MollieO Thu 13-Jan-11 23:29:07

I was commenting on the who on earth would go to the hassle of unstrapping a child a d taking them out of the car pov on this thread. Just saying that I am of those parents who doesn't think it is a bother to take good care of that which is most precious to me. Of course it is an assessment but I'm not always sure that people do actually contemplate the risk rather than just the inconvenience.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »