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4 Bumps

Leaving a child unattended for very short periods in cars...

why is this such an outrageous concept? I am not talking about leaving a kid in a car for 20 minutes while you go shopping, which is of course a danger when it comes to overheating, but leaving a child for 30 seconds while paying for gas or dropping off a letter at a mailbox. Abductions of children by strangers are rare compared to abductions by acquaintances and relatives, and we leave our children in statistically far dangerous situations all the time without batting an eyelash, because we feel these situations "should be" safe. What is it about a child alone for a short period in a car that makes people think that the child is now at serious major danger risk of nefarious activity by predators?

Answer Question

Asked by bishopblack at 11:18 PM on May. 13, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 16 (2,657 Credits)
Answers (50)
  • Well because most states it is a law. You can't leave children in a car unintended.


    Answer by louise2 at 11:22 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • Well in some states it is illegal if they are not of a certain age one. Two, if it is horrilby cold or hot outside even those few minutes could be a problem. That being said my 6 and 4 year old do get left in my car occasionally, but I would not leave the 4 year old without the 6 year old.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:22 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • It's possible that anything CAN happen, though it's very unlikely. I left my son in my truck yesterday so I could run into my doctor's office really quick to pick up some medicine samples. He has a waiting room with a window that faces the parking lot. I parked (illegaly) right in front of the window so I could see my truck at all times. If I know I'm going to be less than a minute, I'll do it--but ONLY if I can see him at all times.

    Answer by popzaroo at 11:24 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • Honestly, when you look at 30 seconds of convenience versus the possible abduction of your child can you feel good about leaving them? Sure, it doesn't happen every day, but it wouldn't happen as often if people didn't leave their little ones unattended.


    Answer by scout_mom at 11:26 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • Check the laws of your state. In our state, a child can be left for 10 minutes. Use good judgement, too. If you are in a high crime neighborhood or unfamiliar neighborhood, it would not be a good time to run into a convenient store with the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition. Also be mindful that regardless of the law in your state, particular stores may have policies that do not allow it.

    Answer by RobotLady at 11:27 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • I just started leaving my 11 y/o in the car unattended this year. absolutely never more than a minute or 2.....

    Answer by Mel_in_PHX at 11:29 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • I don't even like leaving her so I can grab a cart from the cart return two spaces away.

    Answer by Kitkat61277 at 11:31 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • Where I lived in Louisiana, A woman was getting gas and someone came up to her car and took it (with her baby inside). She screamed and screamed for him to just give her her baby but he took off. He got a ways down the road, took the car seat out and threw it (baby still strapped in) face down into a ditch. An older couple passing thought it was a little strange (they didn't notice he threw a carseat in a ditch) had a bad feeling about it and turned around to find the baby strapped into the carseat face down in a ditch with a few inches of water. Luckily they turned back just in time and saved the baby. I NEVER leave my child in a car, even for a second. You just can't trust anyone. Yeah, I have to leave him in the car while I pump gas but I lock the doors and hold onto my keys.

    Answer by LeslieNBreaux at 11:35 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • Ha! I was thinking about this last night. It's illegal in my state but unfortunately I have had to do it. I used to live in an upstairs apartment and I had two kids at the time. Well, if they fell asleep in the car and I had to use the bathroom I really had no choice. I'd leave a small crack at the top of all four windows, run up one flight of stairs to unlock my door, and then run up a second flight of stairs to hopefully make it to the bathroom in time. Then, I would have to run down to carry one up and then run down again to carry the second up. It obviously took a few minutes but I tried to go as quickly as possible and really what else could I do?

    Answer by BUTTERCUP777 at 11:42 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • sometimes when I am been lazy and I have to pay cash to put gas in my car I think about leaving my boys in the car and coming back really quick then MOTHER INSTINCS KICK IN and I snapped out of it DONT LET UR KIDZ IN CAR DONT BE LAZY

    Answer by amparoortega at 11:43 PM on May. 13, 2011

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