Do you leave your kids in the car?

Serene - posted on 02/08/2012 ( 241 moms have responded )

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Have you ever left youre child/children in the car for any reason?

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Johnny - posted on 02/09/2012

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Kaitlin, I don't think you are understanding what we are saying. Not all insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, governments and cultures see things in the same light. America tends to be a very fear based culture, which is understandable given the levels of cultural violence, but this is not the same worldwide.



Where I live, it would be highly questionable to pull my child out of the car while I stood on the other side pumping gas. It would be considered a risk to her safety and someone might even take issue with it. The biggest risk is considered to be traffic, not violent crime. Again, if I saw a mother dragging three toddlers across a parking lot to get a shopping cart instead of picking it up first and then loading in the kids, I would consider that also a bigger safety risk.



I do not advocate leaving children alone unattended for more than a minute or two in a car. I definitely think that parents must be cautious to take the weather into consideration when making their decisions. Sort of like how irresponsible it would be for me to leave my daughter out standing in -20 degree snowstorm while I salted the drive to get my car out instead of leaving her inside the car safe and warm.



Your assumptions are that parents who leave their children in the car are not making a safe choice. Perhaps where you live the risks are different. But most parents are trying to make the best safety choices for their children. If they aren't, and they are leaving their kids in hot cars for long periods or unattended for more than a couple of minutes, then obviously calls should be made. If I saw a small child locked in a hot car on a sweltering day, I would call 9-11 immediately. But this is really about context and I find your advice exceedingly over the top.

Amber - posted on 02/09/2012

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Look up the laws for your state and then make your decisions. It sounds to me like everyone responding is being very responsible! My state has ZERO laws against this. In all honesty I'd prefer their be very few laws telling me how to raise my kids. It gets too sticky and their are too many unknown factors to let raising children be a "cut and dry" issue. Kaitlinn please don't go around breaking peoples' windows. I don't personally leave my kids in the car very often. Pumping gas doesn't even count b/c who is dumb enough to hold a kid while pumping gas. That's obviously way more dangerous.

Sherri - posted on 02/11/2012

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People worry and judge way to much. Guess I shouldn't have had kids then because I refuse to take them out of the car to get gas, go to the convenient store, send them outside to get in the car ahead of me. on and on and on.



If you choose to live in fear and do it every single time more power to you. However, don't you dare have the gall to judge someone else for doing it differently then you. You have no idea the circumstances, where they live when they know it is 100% safe or any other 101 reasons that by the way have nothing to do with you so mind your on P's and Q's.

Jodi - posted on 02/11/2012

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So you do realise, Melanie, that she is probably at more risk being carried while you pump gas, right? Or dragged across the car park with you to return the trolley (shopping cart)? Or even just being in the car in the first place? Every time you go out on the roads with her in the car you are taking her safety for granted.



I mean, seriously, the risk of someone picking your car locks and kidnapping your child is ZERO. That's more than a LITTLE paranoid, that's a LOT paranoid.

Johnny - posted on 02/09/2012

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It is not against the law where I live either. If the parent is absent for a lengthy observed period of time, then social services will be notified by the police. It is considered a child welfare issue, not a legal issue (I used to work for child welfare here). If you broke a car window and showered some kids in the car with glass, the police would very definitely arrest you for it. Our insurance company would also go after you for the damages. Please do not assume that everyone on here has the same laws and lifestyles as you. This is an international site with mothers from all over the world.

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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/08/2012

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Meme, I don't leave the keys with the car, the car is locked if I do leave my 7 year old in there for 3 minutes. I understand what you're saying because my mom knew a couple whose daughter (5 or 6 at the time) totaled their car by playing in it (DAMN CANADIAN KEYBOARD!) I wouldn't leave my cats in the car for more than 3 minutes let alone my kids. When my 7 year old is with the baby I can leave them both. I have only left my baby in the car when the cart corral is either next to or right across from my car. She gets separation anxiety real easy anyway (I can't even leave her in the kitchen by herself- she panics)

Trust me I couldn't imagine leaving my kids for too long.

I only refound the post because someone was rating a bunch of posts- then I saw Meme posted and boom.

MeMe---Past And Present (-.-) - posted on 07/08/2012

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Yeah, I found it odd that the post was on the top of the list (after I posted and seen how long it had been since the last post), so without looking to see when the "actual" last post was, I posted. Oops... ;)

Dove - posted on 07/08/2012

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Where I live it is only illegal to leave the child (under 9) unattended in the vehicle for longer than 5 minutes. It states nothing about the car being on or off. Police, etc... can intervene in any way necessary if they determine that the child is in danger. Otherwise... not illegal and not a problem. :)

Of course, this post IS 5 months old. ;)

MeMe---Past And Present (-.-) - posted on 07/08/2012

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Actually, it is for any case. CPS, will investigate regardless. I know you have nothing to hide BUT would you truly want a record with CPS? They don't just close the case immediately. It does stay open for a bit AND they don't only talk to you and your family. You also have to give them an outside reference, such as a doctor that you frequent with your kids.



All I am saying is, is it worth the hassle? Is it worth the unexpected? Is it worth something going terribly wrong, when you don't think it will? I mean, it all depends on what you are doing, too. If you are just grabbing a cart, well, that is understandable. You're right there. But, if you are running inside, that no longer leaves you able to help your kids.



You know there is a reason, here in Canada, of why they do not lay straight out laws. They expect the citizens to make good choices. I can understand leaving an older child. One that could get out, if required. I do not and never will, understand leaving a young, helpless child. The laws are meant to allow the parent to assess their children and decide on each of their maturity levels, to be left alone, whether it be in car or home. A young child cannot help themselves in the state of panic or fear and a lot of things can do this to a young child.



It only takes one slip of the gears and the car could be in motion, yes in a turned off car. This can happen in the matter of seconds. What would you do then? The doors are locked and the car is rolling, just doesn't sound like a good scenario to me.



It, of course, is up to the individual parent. Just remember, that there is one law in regards to leaving a child in the car, that IS illegal. The car cannot be turned on and the keys cannot be in the ignition. That IS illegal, in Canada (oh, I said it again, Isobel).

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/08/2012

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It's in the 30;s here and I don't even want to leave myself in the car! I leave my nearly 8 year old in there by herself when it's cooler along with the baby.



BTW that lady from Kelowna now has to go to court for leaving her 5 month old in the car last year.



Meme, that's for extreme cases like the one that happened where I live last year. The woman had her baby in the car while she shopped at Walmart. The baby was in there for over 20 minutes when it was in the upper 20's.



Someone can go ahead and call the CPS on me if they want to for leaving my kids in the car while I drop off a cart. I have nothing to hide.

MeMe---Past And Present (-.-) - posted on 07/08/2012

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No, I do not do it. I pay for my gas at the pump (debit). I make sure I have all of my stuff before leaving the house. I put everything in the truck before, my boy in. I am, however, a very organized person. When we are going somewhere, his bag is already packed from the last time we went out, I just need to add his milk and water cup and a few snacks.



I just do not feel comfortable doing it. Even if it is rare, dangers can occur. I don't need nor do I desire to be a part of those statistics.



I have another on the way. My boy will be 2.5 years old, then. I still will NOT leave them in the vehicle. My kids don't nap in the vehicle, either. They nap at home. We don't go out when it is their nap time. I am also very routine orientated.



I also have an almost 14 year old. She is not always with me but if she is, I would leave her with them, so I could run into the corner store but that wouldn't be very often. She tends to prefer to stay home, then go running around with Mom. However, I also have a wonderful husband and I tend to do all of my running around, while leaving the kids at home, with him. Though, the odd times, I have to take them with, they will be coming in with me. I have done it this way since my daughter was small, not going to change or chance it now. ;)



ETA:

Whether it is illegal or not, I guarantee if the police get wind of it, they will fine you and they will pull you in for questioning, they will call CPS and you will be visited. You more than likely will be told to take parenting classes, as well. Spanking is legal in Canada, from age 2-12 but you know what? If anyone calls CPS and says you are spanking, you WILL be investigated and told to take parenting classes. So, it goes to show, law or not, it doesn't matter. What matters is whether THEY think you are endangering your child.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/12/2012

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Tanya, I live in BC and there is no such law in the ENTIRE PROVINCE nor in THE ENTIRE COUNTRY about leaving your child in a car for a few seconds or even a handful of minutes. I just checked online. Here's the quote and the link to the site: http://www.bccpa.org/bccpa/askanexpert/a...



Unlike many US States where there are specific laws dealing with child endangerment arising out of cases where parents leave children unattended in parked cars, there is no equivalent under Canadian criminal law. Under extreme cases where a child suffers serious injury or death as a direct result of being left unattended, a charge of criminal negligence might apply according to the circumstances

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Except in extreme cases such as a child being left in a hot car for hours such as the case of this woman visiting her mom who left her infant in her car when the outside temp was in the mid 20's (celsius so, low 80's for us Americans) when she was shopping at Walmart this past summer in Central BC you can't face child endangerment laws in any part of Canada. Heck, even that woman got her daughter back and just had to pay fines.



Johnny, I have no idea. But hey I leave my children in the trunk not the car. So none of this applies to me.

Johnny - posted on 02/12/2012

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Even if this event did actually happen. It should be a cautionary tale in dealing with stupid police not a cautionary tale about the actual event. Our ability to assess the real risks to our children's safety is clearly limited, judging from this thread. What possible risk could there be to a baby secured in a car seat in a properly parked car from a mother walking 10 meters away? Seriously!

Johnny - posted on 02/12/2012

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"Not only is it incredibly dangerous no matter how safe you think you are, but it is also illegal. A woman was arrested a couple of winters ago because she left her baby in the car while she walked 10 meters with her older child to help the child donate money to a charity. "



Really? Really? I'd LOVE a link to this news story. Puh-lease.



This is driving me batty and I don't even leave my kid in my car! Why are people being so ridiculous about this?

Tanya - posted on 02/12/2012

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I'm reading these stories of people leaving their kids in the car with horror. Good luck to you all. Not only is it incredibly dangerous no matter how safe you think you are, but it is also illegal. A woman was arrested a couple of winters ago because she left her baby in the car while she walked 10 meters with her older child to help the child donate money to a charity. I am NOT a helicopter parent, but when it comes to this, I would far rather make the extra effort of buckling and unbuckling, than take any risk with my kids.

Rachel - posted on 02/12/2012

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Thank you Johnny! I keep getting updates on this thread to my phone, and read it once and a while. As I stated in my response, once I left my daughter in the car while paying for gas (before my tiny town got pay at the pumps installed), the front door was 10 feet away from my car and I could see her the whole time. Personally, I never did it again, it just felt weird. But I would never knock some one for doing that. Turst your personal instincts, be aware of your surroundings and use common sense. Every situation has some risk, even leaving your 3 year old alone in the livingroom while you go to the bathroom, runs a risk of some sort...that's life.

Kerry - posted on 02/12/2012

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I would never leave my children sitting in the car, kids can get into trouble in less than a second!



There is a childminder who lives near me and on more than one occasion I have walked past and there have been 3 children under the age of 2 sitting in the car on there own, I could not see the childminder anywhere. She has been known to leave those kids for 20 mins at a time!



It would take minutes to snatch a child, I would much rather be safe than sorry.

Johnny - posted on 02/12/2012

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Katrina, if the car is locked and the child is secured in their car seat, it takes far more than a moment to get in and remove them. Probably at least 10-15 seconds to break into the car, at which point my alarm would go off. And then at least a minute or two to get my kid out of her car seat while she screamed her head off.



You are taking an enormously greater statistical risk just putting your kid in the car and driving down the street. The chance of a child being kidnapped from your car is astronomically high, you will win the lottery first. The chances of getting in a car crash while driving in which your child could be seriously injured or killed is quite high.



No one. Not one person in this entire thread. No one has suggested leaving kids in the car for more than a couple minutes, and almost everyone has stated that the car remains in sight. No one is talking about going to do your grocery shopping or picking up stuff in Walmart while the kids wait alone in the car.



This is all utterly ridiculous.

Johnny - posted on 02/12/2012

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Forgetting your child is in the car and leaving them there is an entirely different thing than knowing your child is in the car safely secured and running into the house for a few seconds or paying for gas while you can still see them. Horrible stories to be sure, but really not actually related to the discussion at hand. Designed to instill fear, but not actually doing anything to help mothers or prevent deaths.



Perhaps a reminder to busy, tired parents to make it a habit to check your car seats each and every time you get out of the car, regardless of whether you think your kids are in there with you might work better to prevent children being forgotten in the car.



The logic fail in this thread is truly epic!

Katrina - posted on 02/12/2012

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No, it only takes a moment for someone to take your child. And what if the car is faulty!! My child is not worth that sort of risk.

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NO! It only takes a second for something to happen. It is a pain to take the out of their car seat & buckles and back in again, but it isn't worth the risk and I have four kids! Two are still in car seats, one in a booster only one old enough & big enough for a seatbelt only! Sure it is not easy and takes more time, I just have to plan ahead and make do! Sometimes I bring my mom along to run errands with me that way I can run in and out and have someone watching them in the car. I am sure we all do our best as mom's to keep are kids safe and use our own common sense as to what is the right decision for you and your family.

Tracy - posted on 02/12/2012

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I only leave my kids in the car at a petrol station to pay if i cant get to a pay at the pump. I used to leave them asleep in the car when they were tiny but I would never be more than a few feet away

Jamie - posted on 02/12/2012

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Yes, but only if I'm just running in and out and I can see the car. Like most who have left their children, I live in a small community. When we visit family in larger cities, NEVER. I also only started leaving my son after he was a certain age, ~5.

Kerstin - posted on 02/12/2012

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I leave my 8-year-old in the car if I can see the car from inside the store, bank, etc. but I always take my 3-year-old in with me. I'll leave my 6-month-old in the driveway to finish off a nap, but I can easily see the car from the window. I never leave the kids in the car while it's running, ie, to run in the house if I've forgotten something. I always take the keys with me.

Deb - posted on 02/12/2012

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@ Kaitlin-- AMEN to that!!!!



Its not just about the dangers of someone taking the children... a vehicle is a dangerous place for a child. It is a 2 ton death trap if not operated by a licensed driver.



I don't know about anyone else... by my children always were able to climb out of their car seats. After my mother told me the story of a woman's 4 children being killed after setting the car on fire when playing with the cigaret lighter in the car. Never Never Never. I had a friend who was playing in his mothers car when we were younger... he was 10 or 11 and he ended up getting RUN OVER by the car he was playing it. Its not a toy and its not a safe place for children unattended. I feel it is the same as leaving your children unattended by the pool.

Lawry - posted on 02/12/2012

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I have done it for milk paying for gas and walkup outdoor atms but only when it is extremely nasty out (rainy cold etc) car left locked but on to keep warm . The risk of carjacking is a lot less than the risk of illness in those cases

Shirlee - posted on 02/12/2012

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no cause i don't trust my child when they were young to get into trouble or someone steal them i was paranoid..

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/12/2012

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Mary, I'm sorry that happened to you. But most of us aren't talking about that type of situation where you lock your child in a car under the assumption that someone else is getting him or her. Most of us are talking about short term where we know that WE are retrieving our children.



Karen, I don't know where you live, but where I'm from people race through the lanes at the gas pump. I'd rather pre pay or leave my child in the car.

Karen - posted on 02/12/2012

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Nope. I can't do it. Even with locking the doors, I think it is irresponsible to leave them in the car, even if just running in to pay for gas. Maybe when my son is older...like 7 or 8. But he's 3. I am always fearing the worse could happen.

Mary - posted on 02/12/2012

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I accidentally locked my son in the car thinking the dad was going to pick him off the car seat. Wrong. He didn't. He just locked his side of the car and I locked my side. Thank God we were staying on campus and the campus police came and had to open the car door. In less than 15 minutes of my son being in that heat filled car was enough trauma I never ever left my kids in the car again.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/12/2012

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I knew I had a chemical imbalance, but insane? I had no bloody idea I was channeling my ex MIL in my posts.



Nicole my older daughter is SEVEN friggin' years old. DH and I let her go to the dumpster to toss out the trash. Why wouldn't I consider leaving her in the car with her baby sister while I return a cart or run into the bank ATM for 3 minutes? She's old enough to watch a baby for 2/3 minutes in a car where there are security cameras and other people.



Like Laura, I'm also a SAHM and have my girls with me a lot. Have you ever shopped at a Walmart? The ones here in BC have about 4 cart corrals total and it's a Super Centre. When I go to a few other grocery stores I have to put either a quarter or a loonie in a slot to use the cart and I have to return the cart to get my quarter or loonie back. When I just have my baby I get someone to go out with me so I can just get my quarter (unless I shop at Coopers or Super Store) so I don't leave the baby. But a 7 year old is perfectly ok in a car by themself for a few minutes.



Laura, it's 'neva' wen r u guna lern to spel? Gawd!

[deleted account]

Cool. I always knew I was insane. Glad we have a certified psychologist online to confirm it for me....

Merry - posted on 02/12/2012

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Ok everyone, find the nearest insane asylum and check yourself in!

I must be a certified nutter.

Good lord Nicole.

Have you never got home and both twins are asleep? Do you wake them? How about to return a library book?

Or do your kids simply never fall asleep in the car?

How about when they were small and couldn't walk? You really carried both in at the same time?

Do you live in an upstairs? In winter with two infant car seats? Seriously.

And are they really safer with you while you go into the gas station? Or would they be safer to be buckled into the car while you go in to pay.

I always pay at the pump but sometimes the pump flashes ' see attendant ' so I have to run in. No way would I wake up two sleeping kids to go inside and get my receipt or whatever. I couldn't carry 52lbs of baby and toddler anyways and if I wake my son from a nap he refuses to walk as he's crying in a pile on the floor.



"if your kids are with you"

This pops up again. I'm a stay at home mom and I don't use a nanny or a babysitter ever. If I'm in the car, 98% of the time my kids are both with me. The other 2% is split between just me and the baby and the one percent of my life I'm in the car alone without kids!

If I need gas I have two kids with me every time. Of I have 5 errands to run that take a minute each I still have two kids in the car! Grocery shopping, two kids with me.

I think this is a big deal to consider. The moms who literally are with their kids all day everyday.

Nicole - posted on 02/12/2012

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Never! I have 4 year old twins, and it's a hassle getting them in and out of the car (Especially when it's cold outside), but I feel better knowing that they're safe with me. It's WAY too dangerous to leave a child in the car, and I think a parent would have to be INSANE to leave their child in the car. No matter how many kids you have, if they're with you, TAKE THEM INSIDE WITH YOU.

Merry - posted on 02/12/2012

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@ Rayne

The triplets are just a comical point to make at how all the moms screaming NEVER! Shouldn't be so condemning.

My son was not a triplet, but he was 20lbs at 4 months so that's why I made the story :)

My daughter on the other hand is more normal sized at 9 months she's just almost 20lbs :)



I will nva say nva!

Christina - posted on 02/12/2012

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When we were about 6 we walked to school through a field on our own. It never did us any harm I'm 30 now the world hasn't changed that much, I think paranoia has increased to silly levels though!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/11/2012

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Don't worry Jodi, I'll share my Excedrine with you. That post hurt my head too. Where's the auto correct when you need it?

Gabrielle - posted on 02/11/2012

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When I have to use a walk u p ATM and the car is close enough that I can see in it at all times...oh and it's a cool day... Especially if he fell asleep.... A hot day: never, for anything...

Selina - posted on 02/11/2012

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I wld neva and neva left my kids in car wen im not there we live in apartment wth undagrnd parking i stop car at frnt main door unload there put just in door while they r still straped in windows dwn and and i cn still see n talk to them as just taken out of boot them putten beside car on step i get the kids out to payfor gas or get hubby to fill or go wth sumone so they cn sit wth them in car id rather take the extra minutes to get them n pram out of car than leave them in it

Lorraine - posted on 02/11/2012

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I left my 4 kids in a car while I went to the post office, NOBODY wanted to car jack this car.....I wonder why!!!!!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/11/2012

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OK, it was probably from early this morning. I wouldn't leave my kids in the car for longer than it takes to go to the ATM in the bank or to get something I forgot from the apartment. I don't even like leaving my baby by herself to return a shopping cart or my 7 year old by herself when I have to go inside the library to return books and pick up a hold.



I wouldn't leave a dog in a car let alone a child for an extended period of time. We had a few incidents of that happening where I live over the summer (both kids and pets) one woman left her 5 month old in a car while she shopped at the local Wal Mart. The RCMP came and took the child, she was given her child back.

Rory - posted on 02/11/2012

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You are misunderstanding. You addressed me in your initial post. My post said everyone should call the police if they saw kids left in cars. I specifically mean b/c so many kids die from being left in cars. It does not sound like you do what is alarming to me at all. I was just clarifying that what you do does not seem harmful or dangerous, but many of the posts I saw this morning did.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/11/2012

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Rory what now? My 7 year old knows how to stay put and she has books in the car so she does stay put. I don't leave my 11 month old in the car by herself at all.



Frankly I'm not even seeing your post that was talking about what you're addressing me about.

Rory - posted on 02/11/2012

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@♥♪Megan♫♥ Regnier - Putting a cart away or pumping gas is not what I'm talking about. Also, a seven year old can probably get out of a really hot or really cold car. When I have seen kids in cars in parking lots, I scan the parking lot and usually the parent is right there just putting their cart away. I haven't called the police yet. You should all check out kidsandcars.org if you want real info on just how horrific of a subject this can be.

Rayne - posted on 02/11/2012

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Triplet 4 month olds who are 20lbs? My daughter just turned a year old and she's just under 22lbs, and her doctor told me that she's bigger than most kid her age. I think lots of these posts are ridiculous. What kind of people undermine others' parental abilities? It all boils down to personal choice and judgement. Just because there are different beliefs, doesnt mean that one belief is right and one isn't.

Janice - posted on 02/11/2012

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Yes, occasionally I have for 60 seconds when I have to run back in the house for something I have forgotten. Or for the less than 60 seconds it takes to return a cart after shopping but I always park close to the corrals. I lock the car and my kids cant get out of car seats (2y & 2m) so I really don't think there is a huge risk if it is very brief. Would never leave them for extended periods though. I use my debit card to pay for gas, cause while I'm okay not seeing the car when I run in my house, I would be too nervous to do that in public.

Merry - posted on 02/11/2012

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Haha one on the back, one on the front, and one on the hip! Totally doable even if they're each 20lbs.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/11/2012

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Mary Beth if the slogan is "No kids in or around cars" then how in the hell do you take them places like their grandparents or a grocery store? Do they have to walk? Take a plane? Yes I'm being a smart ass and I know it, but really how do you expect children to learn how to be safe and take care of themselves?



Like Johnny said, we're not saying that children should be able to play around in a vehicle or outside of it(DH and I showed some scary youtube videos to our older daughter when she wasn't practising vehicle safety) But we're being practical and realising that we can't keep our children in bubbles 24/7 and expect them to learn anything.



ETA: No Laura and Sherri, you wear the twins or triplets (at least 2 out of the 3) and keep wearing them until they hit grade 4.

Angel - posted on 02/11/2012

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I have. Lock the doors. My kids are 10 and 6. Never for more than 10-15 min.

Merry - posted on 02/11/2012

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Now Sherri if I had triplets I'd have a triplet stroller and I'd pull out all three car seats and hook them into the stroller and push it over to the red box and return my movie, then I'd put all three seats back in the car' fold up the stroller and go! But if I had to go in the gas station to buy milk I'd be out of luck as a triplet stroller wouldn't fit in there!

Bummer I guess I'd have had to get a selective reduction and avoid the issue all together.

The real issue would be if I had triplet 4 month olds who were 20lbs and had grown out of their infant car seats like my son had! Then I'd have to actually remove them from their seats and either use a stroller or carry all three lol, seriously.

I hve never thought twice about returning a shopping cart with my kids in the car. Never. The car is locked and it's a few feet away and takes less them a minute. What could happen? Someone could pick my lock and Hotwire my engine and drive off? Well I know my kids are the cutest ever but gosh, what a compliment that someone would care to steal my kids!

And even if that happened I'd be able to call 911 instantly and say my purple pt cruiser with the lisence plate 111-xxx was just stollen from x parking lot and they're heading right on x street.

Seriously people get a grip.

Any where are all these first time posters comming from?!?!?!?!

Kat - posted on 02/11/2012

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I have and do, but my children are older and tend to not want to come with me into the store lol.

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