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Have you ever left your young child home alone?

Posted by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 2:37 PM
  • 38 Replies

I saw this in The Stir - Have you ever left a child alone?

Toddler Left Home Alone Found Dead

Posted by Julie Ryan Evans
on November 1, 2011 

Eric Hicks

Time and again the headlines are filled with stories of young children left home alone. Typically they're found fine, and we all fret about what could have happened. In Joplin, Missouri, however, it's what did happen that's heartbreaking.

According to The Joplin Globe, Eric Hicks, 28, was watching his girlfriend's 18-month-old son, Emjay Corn, Saturday morning. He had an appointment at a methadone clinic, but instead of taking the boy with him or finding alternative care for him, he just left him there, alone in his crib. Sometime later the boy was found dead.

The boy's cause of death is still under investigation, and Hicks has been charged with felony child endangerment. Other details are murky as to why police arrived at the house when there was no record of a call being made to them that day and where the mother was. But regardless of the specifics, on the surface, it's such a blatant and sad example of why young children should never be left home alone -- not for an hour, not even for a couple of minutes.

It's hard to find child care, I know. And for some who have to work to pay the rent or keep medical appointments, leaving the children alone may feel like the only option, perhaps especially so for someone coping with drug addiction. But it never can be. Even children who are sleeping or otherwise engaged can get into a dangerous situation in no time at all. People who don't understand that shouldn't be left in charge of them.

I feel for this entire family. I can only imagine their pain and suffering right now as they piece together what happened, contemplate what they could have done to prevent it, and beat themselves up for the rest of their lives over what they didn't do. But that's the thing when it comes to our children's safety -- we don't get do-overs, and that's why we have to put it first, above anything else.

Do you know people who leave young children home alone? Have you ever?

by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 2:37 PM
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Replies (1-10):
NissaLuvsYu
by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 2:45 PM

 I do know ppl that leave there kids (under age 6) at home alone for short periods of time... i, myself would NEVER leave my 3 yr old alone.He loves to explore & he's very curious, so being alone automatically screams TROUBLE in his case.

Jessica_Esqueda
by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Absolutely not! Because things like this can happen!

JayBearsmomma
by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 3:33 PM
Absolutly not!
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JayBearsmomma
by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 3:34 PM
Exactly

Quoting Jessica_Esqueda:

Absolutely not! Because things like this can happen!

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JayBearsmomma
by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 3:35 PM
Under 6! That's kindergarden and under! That's crazy

Quoting NissaLuvsYu:

 I do know ppl that leave there kids (under age 6) at home alone for short periods of time... i, myself would NEVER leave my 3 yr old alone.He loves to explore & he's very curious, so being alone automatically screams TROUBLE in his case.

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andreamarie
by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 3:42 PM

 No NEVER.....

Our girls are 7 & 9. Either DH, Me or a Trusted adult is always in the house or yard. The dumpster is across the street from our mobile Home and I only even go to that in the daylight. Keys in hand and my cell. Usually the girls have to be in the yard or on the porch for me to do this. The mail box is directly across the road too and I don't even check the mail and leave them in the house alone.

Better to be safe than sorry. Anything can happen without warning.

Most kids under 11-12 are not equiped mentally to be home alone. They may know what to do but if anything happens most panic and then fail to function properly.

It burns me up even more when I hear of younger kids being left in the care of siblings younger than 12-14 for any length of time just for this reason.

Christiansmom44
by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 3:50 PM
No way! Even if I didn't live in a house with 4 flights of stairs, there are so many things that could happen! A friend told me once that it's totally ok for my 6yo to look after my 3yo for an hour or two. Absolutely appalling.
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Alizae13
by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 4:16 PM

 Wow how ignorant i would never leave my daughter unattended for even a few minutes because it only takes one second for something to happen

i.m.r.
by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 4:22 PM
Would never do this. I have a 6 month old and I would never even leave her in the crib to just take the garbage out!!! If laundry has to be done, she comes with me or dh is watching her. If garbage needs to go out one of us watches her. If I need a shower she's in her bouncy chair in the bathroom with me. There is no way in hell I would leave an 18 month old alone in a house ever!!!
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lizmartinez
by on Nov. 2, 2011 at 4:48 PM
NEVER! Children under 12 shouldn't be left alone under any circumstances. Too many things can happen, like this story. Poor little boy. I hope he didn't die in vain and at least others learn from this.
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