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leaving kids in the car -- evil or sensible?

(84 Posts)
oregonianabroad Sat 28-Jul-07 16:28:07

Is it totally wrong to be tempted to leave kids in the car just for a few minutes to avoid waking them and strapping them into pushchairs? I sometimes think it would be so much easier to leave them in and pop inside for a minute, but always worry that something terrible could happen while I was in the shop or whatever (but of course, we could all be flattened by a bus on the way in, or even more likely, my 2 year old could pull over a shelffull of crap in his quest for getting whatever he wants). Just curious what other people think?

TranquilaManana Sat 28-Jul-07 16:31:33

one of those issues people are split done the middle about, this.

personally i think if you can see them, if the cars locked, if youll only be a minute and if they are sleeping, tis far far easier and prob safer and kinder to just leave them. esp when theres more than one fgs, what a pita to wake several and have em griping and

darkened windows helps. keeps out judgemental eyes so you get fewer judgy people sticking their tuppence in when youre quite clearly in a hurry to get back to the babies in the car alone donchaknow?!

themoon66 Sat 28-Jul-07 16:37:09

Depends on the length of time and line of visibility IMO. I wouldn't go into a supermarket and do my 'big' shop, but I would go pay for petrol or buy a paper from a shop I could park directly outside.

DD and DS have made it to grand ages of 20 and 15 without a single adverse incident.

expatinscotland Sat 28-Jul-07 16:37:29


PrettyCandles Sat 28-Jul-07 16:40:04

Also need to consider whether they'll flip if they wake and find themsleves in the car without Mummy.

The more children I have, the more I tend to leave them in the car - under carefully considered circumstances.

TenaLady Sat 28-Jul-07 16:40:53

Not good! Car could be hit, car could catch alight. Take child out in car seat if baby, wake child if not.

themoon66 Sat 28-Jul-07 16:42:42

Hit by what?

lady007pink Sat 28-Jul-07 16:44:33

Some of the stories on this [url='']discussion forum[/url] really made my blood boil!

lady007pink Sat 28-Jul-07 16:45:08

Sorry, this is the link:

wheresthehamster Sat 28-Jul-07 16:46:48

I think you have to do what you will feel is ok with you. A few minutes always within sight and I felt ok.
I never gave a second thought to leaving children in the car while I went in and paid for petrol. Getting three young children out and shepherding/carrying them across a forecourt is more hazardous imo.

sazzybee Sat 28-Jul-07 16:50:40

Car could be hit or catch alight when you're in it though. How do you imagine you being there will make any difference?

I regularly leave my baby in the car while I bring bags into the house. Also in petrol stations. Wouldn't do a big shop though or leave him for more than a few minutes. He's pretty difficult to see as there's a blind on the window and I lock and alarm the car.

TenaLady Sat 28-Jul-07 16:51:02

hit by another car. I always drive my car from the forecourt and onto the parking area before I pay other than than ds gets out with me.

TenaLady Sat 28-Jul-07 16:52:22

Sazzy a small child may not be able to get out on their own. Child locks prohibit exit and so do their car seats.

pirategirl Sat 28-Jul-07 16:52:57

My dd 5, insisted on staying in the car, last week, whilst I went in to the supermarket to buy some lettuce and a paper.

The car was about 15 yrds from the checkout, and i could see it from the window, BUT I will never do that again.

I felt so guilty, and wondered, what she was feeling, thinking, god what if she got out of the seat, lifted the handbrake. What if she burst into tears the moment I wasn't within hearing distance.

I am never doing it again, I felt a complete bad mother, and envisioned someone breaking into the car and drving it off or snatching her.

I am glad I prob over reacted in this way, because I wont be doing it again, and today said, 'you are coming in with me wether u like it or not'

if it was a petrol stn, at this age I would still be wary. As for younger ones, babies or asleep toddlers, I can understand how it would be less hassle to leave them.

sazzybee Sat 28-Jul-07 16:54:53

My baby can't get out of his car seat - he's 4 months old. But if the car is hit, how will my sitting beside him make any difference? I'm only ever about 20 paces away. My being in the car isn't going to stop it getting hit. And I think I'd notice if it was on fire

TenaLady Sat 28-Jul-07 16:58:41

Good Sassy, then leave your kids in the car, you are clearly ok with that.

themoon66 Sat 28-Jul-07 17:00:55

I would think a person/child is more likely to survive being INSIDE a car that is hit, rather than being hit whilst climbing out of car, crossing road etc.

Phraedd Sat 28-Jul-07 17:02:44

it depends on the age and maturity of your children

i have left my 8, 6 and 3 year old children in the car whilst paying for petrol. I also left them all in the car once while i ran into a bank to use their paying in machine...i was gone for a whole 3 minutes!

Sometimes it is easier to leave the 3 children in the car than it is to undo all of the carseats and then just a couple of minutes later, get them all strapped back in again.

Would never leave them for more than 5 minutes though whether i could see them or not. My 8 year old is a very sensible girl for her age though otherwise i wouldn't do it.

TenaLady Sat 28-Jul-07 17:03:26

This was taken from a Police Web site

Kids and Cars:

Would you leave a million dollars in the your car? The Pickerington Police Department is encouraging everyone NOT to leave any child in car or near a car unattended. nearly 75 children are seriously injured or killed by this form of neglect annually.

When picking up or dropping off children at day care centers, do not leave any child in the car. Do not leave the car running. Car jacking does occur and within seconds you could lose your child.

LOVABUMP Sat 28-Jul-07 17:04:58

I had this heated debate with some friends recently, when telling my best friend (who happens to be married to a policeman) she was aghast that some people think it's ok to leave them and go off for their shopping or whatever. It turns out that it is illeagal to leave a child in a car for any length of time, you can be done for neglect. Makes sense when you think about it. Guess that answers the question.

themoon66 Sat 28-Jul-07 17:08:11

Tena... Where is Pickerington? 75 dead and injured children is a lot for one place

TranquilaManana Sat 28-Jul-07 17:08:17

good lord some people are really ott about the 'dangers' if you ask me.
life is pretty dangerous, maybe we should all stay in bed?

hang on, what am i doing? i so dont want an unwinnable 'discussion' where people ahve made up mind salready.

ill agree to differ. wildly.

TenaLady Sat 28-Jul-07 17:11:31

I think the number is referring to UK not just Pickerington.

TranquilaManana Sat 28-Jul-07 17:12:48

that quote is clerly american. so prob a US figure.

themoon66 Sat 28-Jul-07 17:15:44

So 75 for that town, that state, or the whole US?

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