Leaving an Infant in the car alone...

Crystal - posted on 12/01/2009 ( 200 moms have responded )

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i know someone who leaves her 9 mnth old in the car by himself. I have said to her that its Elegal for a reason, i dont care if you only leave him for 60 seconds thats enough time for him to choke or even get kidnaped! She only got really mad at me and defendant. Should i call the cops the next time she does it or what should i do?!

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Sharon - posted on 12/01/2009

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Most of you are unbelievably ignorant.



Do you really think cops stake out gas stations waiting to bust people who step away to pay for gas?



Or park near newsstands to bust people buying a newspaper?



Or, here, we buy filtered water from pumps, or dropping off rented movies in the drop slot?



Please use common sense. Its free and requires minimal effort.

Jenna - posted on 12/01/2009

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Quoting becks:

how bout wrapping your child in bubble wrap... seriously.. if you take the right procaustions there is no reason your baby has to get out of the car to pay for gas.. my son is 9months old and yes he stays in the car when im paying for gas, dropping off forms at the bank.. if i can see the car at all times i dont see a problem with it. on hot days i wind all windows down about a inch and make sure i lock the car. 9 times out of 10 my son is asleep.. so what is the point in waking him just to run into the gas station!! he just gets grumpy and that begins to stress me out while i am concentrating on the road!! just remember that every mother is different and every mother has different ideas on raising their children.. you can hardly say that this is neglet!!


your child should be a little bit more of a concern than your stress level...

Krista - posted on 12/05/2009

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I guess I've seen the light. If parents are being arrested for grabbing a newspaper 4 feet from their car, and if in Indiana, you can be arrested for being outside of your car and turning your back, then obviously I'm in the wrong here. I mean, how do I know that somebody isn't stalking me, just waiting for a chance to snatch my baby? Sure, the odds are minuscule, but it COULD happen!

And now that I think about it, maybe I should just not bring Sam in the car at all. Have you guys SEEN the statistics? A lot of babies have died in car accidents, and if I got in a car accident, and Sam was killed, I'd never forgive myself for bringing him in the car. So I'll just leave him home with a babysitter.

But...there have been cases in the news of babysitters killing or molesting children. Sure, the odds are slim, but it HAS happened, right? Okay, no babysitters then. I'll just stay home.

That'll be fine. I'll stay home with my little guy. The car's gas tank is almost empty and we desperately need groceries, but NOTHING is more important than the safety of my child. I have some dried beans in the house -- we'll manage for awhile. Maybe I can talk the Domino's delivery guy into picking up formula for me. But what if he's not really the delivery guy? What if he's some psychopath, intent on invading my home, and raping me and killing my baby? Never mind, then. Beans it is.

Maybe we'll pass some time by going for a walk. Oh wait...I read somewhere on the internet about a mother in Poughkeepsie who was walking her baby, and they got hit by a car and they both died. Forget that idea.

It's almost time for bed anyway. But...what about SIDS? I can't just walk away and let him sleep in his crib. I know...I'll stay awake all night and watch him breathe. If he died, while I was downstairs doing pointless stuff like bathing myself or eating, I'd never forgive myself. Okay, I'll pull up a chair, and will just stay awake and make sure he's always breathing.

Oh crap...didn't I read somewhere that sleep-deprived mothers are a danger to their children...?



/removes tongue from cheek.

Ellie - posted on 12/01/2009

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I am not actually positive that it is absolutely illegal to leave your child in the car alone for a few second. For 5 minutes, or more or even in hot weather yes, but I believe that a couple or even 60 seconds is not that big of a deal if you lock the doors and can still see the child. I believe the only time that this circumstance even occurs with me is when I am getting gas, which I have made it a habit to always pay at the pump, but even when you are doing that technically you are leaving you child alone in the car, which should hardly be illegal. But if I am paying cash and there is no one else inside, I pull my car up to a close parking spot, lock my babe in, go pay and I am back in the car in less then 60 seconds. Your child should not have things that he/she can choke on while your in a car at anytime, so that should not matter. As far as the kidnapping, I would suppose that would depend on where you are at, but my neighborhood is a great, friendly area, where I know and trust many of the people, but if I am in an area that I do not know, well then he goes inside with me no matter what.

[deleted account]

Quoting Crystal:

Leaving an Infant in the car alone...

i know someone who leaves her 9 mnth old in the car by himself. I have said to her that its Elegal for a reason, i dont care if you only leave him for 60 seconds thats enough time for him to choke or even get kidnaped! She only got really mad at me and defendant. Should i call the cops the next time she does it or what should i do?!


As a former police officer I would advise you to first assess the situation..ex. I on a regular basis exit my vehicle, leave my child inside it, and pump my gas, granted I never leave the side of the vehicle, I pay with a credit card right there at the pump. V.S leaving your child in the car and say going into walmart. I as an officer happend across a woman who left her 3 small children in the vehicle while inside a buiding for at least 15 minutes. The children wer ages 6 mos to 7 yrs. One was outside the vehicle playing. Technically in most states this would fall under neglect of a child. I was off duty. I called another unit out and notified child services. I had time to do all of this before she ever came out of that bulding..How easy it would have been for me to kidnap all 3 children.. People just don't think. You can notify child services and it doesn't have to be when she's "in the act". They won't take her child but they will scare the daylights out of her, or you can call the police next time it happens.

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Suvi - posted on 12/05/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

Most of you are unbelievably ignorant.

Do you really think cops stake out gas stations waiting to bust people who step away to pay for gas?

Or park near newsstands to bust people buying a newspaper?

Or, here, we buy filtered water from pumps, or dropping off rented movies in the drop slot?

Please use common sense. Its free and requires minimal effort.


I agree. And here´s another point of view;



I´m so glad I don´t live in the US. In my country people don´t go around steeling other people´s kids! Nor are we so hysterical. I live in the countryside of Finland (in scandinavia), and here moms ALWAYS put their babies outside in the carriage to take the naps, and they get the fresh air they need AND sleep so much better! Especially in the wintertime. (Of course we dress them up heavily and check on them all the time even with baby monitors on) Also, when we walk to the nearby store with the baby we mostly leave the babies sleeping in the carriage OUTSIDE the store (the small ones) while shopping, -I do it -and of course you can always step outside to check that the baby´s still asleep. And there are the baby monitors.. Here I´ve NEVER heard a baby gone missing like that! I think the only kidnapped kids in Finland have been kidnapped by the other parent. Usually from other countries and with custody issues. I do take the carriage into the store with me if the baby´s awake but usually the fresh air and walking makes them sleep like a log by the time I´m at the close by store. I know this all must be very shocking to you, but I´m just so glad to be born in Finland. By the way, infant deaths in Finland are the lowest in the world so it can´t be that bad.



ps. You already must have guessed; I have left all my six kids once in a while alone in the car. And still four of them have already succeeded to get over ten years of age.



Of course it´s irresponsible to leave a baby in a car on a hot summer day, but we don´t have much of those, either.. :) And what on earth is the baby going to choke on buckled in their seat??? They can do that while you´re driving, as well??

Krista - posted on 12/05/2009

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Betsy makes a good point -- we're losing focus on the OP here. And yes, if the boyfriend is leaving the baby in the car, and going out of sight, and for several minutes at that, then I think we can all agree that he is not showing good judgement. As far as what to do, it's tough. Nobody likes having their parenting questioned, or even THINKING that their parenting is being questioned. That's why she got defensive.



Are they otherwise good, conscientious parents, or is there other stuff going on that leads you to believe that the child is genuinely in danger? If there's other stuff going on, then you might want to consider a call to CPS. Make sure you're right, though, because more than one family has been dragged through hell by CPS based on someone jumping to conclusions. If they're otherwise good parents, then maybe talk to her again, but just express your concern, and that you'd hate to see anything happen to their child. Perhaps expressing it in a gentle, concerned way will get a better result than talking about the illegality of it. And if she still gets angry and defensive, then I would recommend calling the police the next time you see this being done. I could be wrong, but I don't think that the police are required to open a file and pursue things as aggressively as CPS would, but getting a stern warning from the cops very well might put a good scare into him. If you know any police officers personally, you might even ask their advice on your best course of action.

Kathleen - posted on 12/05/2009

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Useyour discrestion. If she walks away from the car for several minutes, by all means, let her know that the next time you see her do this,you will have to notify the authorities. However, if she can see and hear her son while remaining close to the car, and can get to him quickly if needed. A lot of parents don't appreciate being told how to care for their childen, and prefer for others to mind their own business. But in my opinion, if a parent is negligent, abusive, etc. in my presence, they have made it my business.

Betsy - posted on 12/05/2009

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Everyone is arguing over getting gas, but if you read the OP's posts and situation she is questioning, the boyfriend is going to the work of the mom, who works with the OP, and coming in just to check on his gf and chat. He can't see the car from inside, and doesn't check on the baby, who is sitting in the car alone in a parking lot. I can't imagine too many parents would feel that was fine or necessary if they found out a family member or day care provider watching their child, left their baby in a car, unable to be seen, in a public parking lot, while they went in to chat with a friend or bf/gf just to say hi all the time when the child was in their care. A few have gotten defensive thinking of choices they made in their own lives, but the majority who have answered the OP's question have said that is in no way acceptable and safe, and it isn't. Most wouldn't leave their wallets able to be seen in a car while they ran in to chat with a friend, nevermind a baby! If this thread was over a story of something happening to a baby after a parent or sitter left a baby unattended in a parking lot to visit with a friend, I guarantee it would be an unanimous response of outrage. If the bf, whether the father or not, feels it more important to check up on his gf while she is at work rather than checking up on an unattended 9 mo old, there is definitely a problem in judgment.

C. - posted on 12/05/2009

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Quoting Krista:

Sarcasm is my default setting. :)
Basically, the point I was making with my snarky post, is that we mothers can VERY easily drive ourselves completely bonkers, as there is NO way to keep our kids 100% safe.
We hear about one bad thing happening to one parent, a thousand miles away, and start assuming that this will happen to our child. Statistically, you're a LOT more likely to get into a car accident than for someone to kidnap your child. So do we all stop driving? Of course not. Just being ALIVE means being exposed to risks -- from colds to household accidents, to house fires, to car accidents. As parents, our job is to try to find that balance between keeping our kids safe, and driving ourselves insane trying to protect them from every single, statistically improbable danger that exists out there.

I'm not saying we shouldn't take reasonable precautions. And I'm not saying that it's right to go into a store for several minutes, leaving your child in the car. That IS irresponsible. But some people on this thread are going a bit overboard, saying that even 5 seconds is too much, because somebody might be lurking in the bushes, just waiting to steal your kid.


Ok. I understand that some parents go a little overboard, especially for not leaving their child in the car for even 5 seconds. It takes longer than 10 seconds to get out of the car and get yourself together, close the front door and open the back door. So I understand your point.



As for the driving, no. But accidents are not always preventable on your part, therefore you really have no control. I am talking about the situations that you do have control over.

[deleted account]

Like all things there are exceptions to the rule of never leaving the child in the car (as many have already mentioned). If she is responsible and aware, she probably knows the difference between safe and dangerous situations.

Krista - posted on 12/05/2009

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Sarcasm is my default setting. :)

Basically, the point I was making with my snarky post, is that we mothers can VERY easily drive ourselves completely bonkers, as there is NO way to keep our kids 100% safe.

We hear about one bad thing happening to one parent, a thousand miles away, and start assuming that this will happen to our child. Statistically, you're a LOT more likely to get into a car accident than for someone to kidnap your child. So do we all stop driving? Of course not. Just being ALIVE means being exposed to risks -- from colds to household accidents, to house fires, to car accidents. As parents, our job is to try to find that balance between keeping our kids safe, and driving ourselves insane trying to protect them from every single, statistically improbable danger that exists out there.



I'm not saying we shouldn't take reasonable precautions. And I'm not saying that it's right to go into a store for several minutes, leaving your child in the car. That IS irresponsible. But some people on this thread are going a bit overboard, saying that even 5 seconds is too much, because somebody might be lurking in the bushes, just waiting to steal your kid.

Ginny - posted on 12/05/2009

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How are you going to know and report her to the police, does she do this all the time?



I'd try talking to her again, use the "I feel so worried for you..." language. I doubt the police would do anything, honestly, it's not illegal in most places to run in and out quickly, you'd sure have to work at the timing. If you're going to call anyone Social Services would the right agency.

Elizabeth - posted on 12/05/2009

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It does not matter how long she leave the baby in the car or how old he/she is. If that were me I would call the cops and DCF. And I would tell her that the next time I saw this happen that I would be talking to the cops and DCF about what is going on. Try to get it on your cam.

Charlene - posted on 12/05/2009

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LMAO Laura!!!! I have heard people calling it the Texas of Canada before. But I'm originally from PEI, so don't worry, I'm not offended. ;)



And Larisa, your statement about how long it takes to reach 150 depends on how hot the external temperature is. You are right though, that it doesn't take long for the temperature inside a car to exceed the temperature outside.

Charlene - posted on 12/05/2009

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LMAO Laura!!!! I have heard people calling it the Texas of Canada before. But I'm originally from PEI, so don't worry, I'm not offended. ;)



And Larisa, your statement about how long it takes to reach 150 depends on how hot the external temperature is. You are right though, that it doesn't take long for the temperature inside a car to exceed the temperature outside.

C. - posted on 12/05/2009

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Quoting Krista:

I guess I've seen the light. If parents are being arrested for grabbing a newspaper 4 feet from their car, and if in Indiana, you can be arrested for being outside of your car and turning your back, then obviously I'm in the wrong here. I mean, how do I know that somebody isn't stalking me, just waiting for a chance to snatch my baby? Sure, the odds are minuscule, but it COULD happen!
And now that I think about it, maybe I should just not bring Sam in the car at all. Have you guys SEEN the statistics? A lot of babies have died in car accidents, and if I got in a car accident, and Sam was killed, I'd never forgive myself for bringing him in the car. So I'll just leave him home with a babysitter.
But...there have been cases in the news of babysitters killing or molesting children. Sure, the odds are slim, but it HAS happened, right? Okay, no babysitters then. I'll just stay home.
That'll be fine. I'll stay home with my little guy. The car's gas tank is almost empty and we desperately need groceries, but NOTHING is more important than the safety of my child. I have some dried beans in the house -- we'll manage for awhile. Maybe I can talk the Domino's delivery guy into picking up formula for me. But what if he's not really the delivery guy? What if he's some psychopath, intent on invading my home, and raping me and killing my baby? Never mind, then. Beans it is.
Maybe we'll pass some time by going for a walk. Oh wait...I read somewhere on the internet about a mother in Poughkeepsie who was walking her baby, and they got hit by a car and they both died. Forget that idea.
It's almost time for bed anyway. But...what about SIDS? I can't just walk away and let him sleep in his crib. I know...I'll stay awake all night and watch him breathe. If he died, while I was downstairs doing pointless stuff like bathing myself or eating, I'd never forgive myself. Okay, I'll pull up a chair, and will just stay awake and make sure he's always breathing.
Oh crap...didn't I read somewhere that sleep-deprived mothers are a danger to their children...?

/removes tongue from cheek.


There's no need to get sarcastic, Krista. Honestly. Especially about the part where you say "but NOTHING is more important than the safety of my child".. As a mother, nothing should be more important than the safety of your child. Getting gas when you're directly outside the car is one thing, going into a store for 5, 10 or 15 minutes while your baby is in the care by themselves is another. You shouldn't live in a bubble, but you should do everything possible to ensure the safety of your baby. And by being sarcastic about that, it makes it sound as if you take parenting as a joke. 

C. - posted on 12/05/2009

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Quoting Laura:

I hope none of you go to sleep at night...cause just about anything can...and has happened under parent's sleeping noses. Honestly...be careful about casting the first stone.


It's not about who casts the first stone. It is about the well-being of that child. Everyone needs to sleep. If something happens when you are sleeping, that's a shame, honestly. But when you are awake and should be able to stop whatever incident from happening to your child, then why CAN'T you do it? And that doesn't entail leaving your baby in the car alone to run into the store!!!!

Megan - posted on 12/05/2009

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i would definitely let her know that its unsafe, even if you are just running into the gas station to pay for gas, take your baby with you!! its kind of a hassle sometimes, but there should be NO reason why a child should be left in the car alone. i would definitely report it.

Larisa - posted on 12/05/2009

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In addition all it takes is 10 seconds for a child to get kidnapped. And In the hot sun a car can get to 150 F in just 15 mintues, THAT IS A REAL FACTS. I live in florida and atleast once a month you heat about children DIEING. I would call the cops,,,,, could you live with your self if the child got hurt or worse.? Better she gets a real wake up call now before somthing happens

Larisa - posted on 12/05/2009

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Yes I would confront her first , then if you see ithappen agian call the cops. AFTER ALL THE STORIES i hear about kids dieing in the car...... she must not care about her kids. I would never leave my dog in the car let alone my 4 month old

Lisa - posted on 12/05/2009

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I agree that leaving a child in a car is dangerous and unacceptable for any reason. However, I would be careful in calling CPS too quickly. You can bring a whole heap of trouble onto someone who is otherwise a good parent. Once you get the State involved, people can lose their rights and things can snowball. I'd try talking to her again, maybe find some examples to show her of kids who were injured or killed from this (I'm sure there are some you could find online). If you think her child is truly at risk, then call CPS.

Jennifer - posted on 12/05/2009

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Quoting Krista:

I guess I've seen the light. If parents are being arrested for grabbing a newspaper 4 feet from their car, and if in Indiana, you can be arrested for being outside of your car and turning your back, then obviously I'm in the wrong here. I mean, how do I know that somebody isn't stalking me, just waiting for a chance to snatch my baby? Sure, the odds are minuscule, but it COULD happen!
And now that I think about it, maybe I should just not bring Sam in the car at all. Have you guys SEEN the statistics? A lot of babies have died in car accidents, and if I got in a car accident, and Sam was killed, I'd never forgive myself for bringing him in the car. So I'll just leave him home with a babysitter.
But...there have been cases in the news of babysitters killing or molesting children. Sure, the odds are slim, but it HAS happened, right? Okay, no babysitters then. I'll just stay home.
That'll be fine. I'll stay home with my little guy. The car's gas tank is almost empty and we desperately need groceries, but NOTHING is more important than the safety of my child. I have some dried beans in the house -- we'll manage for awhile. Maybe I can talk the Domino's delivery guy into picking up formula for me. But what if he's not really the delivery guy? What if he's some psychopath, intent on invading my home, and raping me and killing my baby? Never mind, then. Beans it is.
Maybe we'll pass some time by going for a walk. Oh wait...I read somewhere on the internet about a mother in Poughkeepsie who was walking her baby, and they got hit by a car and they both died. Forget that idea.
It's almost time for bed anyway. But...what about SIDS? I can't just walk away and let him sleep in his crib. I know...I'll stay awake all night and watch him breathe. If he died, while I was downstairs doing pointless stuff like bathing myself or eating, I'd never forgive myself. Okay, I'll pull up a chair, and will just stay awake and make sure he's always breathing.
Oh crap...didn't I read somewhere that sleep-deprived mothers are a danger to their children...?

/removes tongue from cheek.


 

Jennifer - posted on 12/05/2009

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Thank you! I feel that each person has the right to choose what they find appropriate for their child, even if you don't! I think that letting the friend know that you find it dangerous was the right thing to do for you! However it is ultimately up to her.

Jennifer - posted on 12/05/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

Most of you are unbelievably ignorant.

Do you really think cops stake out gas stations waiting to bust people who step away to pay for gas?

Or park near newsstands to bust people buying a newspaper?

Or, here, we buy filtered water from pumps, or dropping off rented movies in the drop slot?

Please use common sense. Its free and requires minimal effort.


 

Cheryl - posted on 12/05/2009

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I WOULD REPORT HER...YOU TOLD HER AND SHE SEEMS TO NOT UNDERSTAND...THERE IS TO MANY THINGS HAPPENING TO OUR BABIES OUT HERE...WE HAVE TO PROTECT THEM, EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT OURS....THEY CAN NOT SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES....SO WE HAVE TO BE THEIR VOICES...IF SOMETHING WAS TO HAPPEN TO THAT BABY YOU WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO FORGIVE YOURSELF...THEN YOU BE SAYING, I COULD OF, SHOULD OF, WOULD OF, BUT IT WILL BE TO LATE.....SAVE OUR CHILDREN, THEY NEED US....

Julie - posted on 12/05/2009

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The key is to mind you own business... what she does with her kids is no matter to you. How would you like someone calling the cops on you for any thing you do that they don't agree with.

Jodi - posted on 12/05/2009

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Krista, what a brilliant summary of the "what ifs" of life and the "guilt of motherhood". I don't need to say any more, other than: there are no certianties in life and if we live our life around the remote maybe's, we may as well lock ourselves in the house (oh, no, maybe we need to be in a panic room....) - who is to say we won't be hit by a bus tomorrow?



Common sense, reasoning and minimising the risk without going overboard. There is a great difference between 10 second and 10 minutes. Laws are different in different places. Circumstances are different, and as mother's we all make decisions based on our individual circumstances. We should never make judgement until the circumstances are considered and weighed up. Not everything you disagree with should result in calling child services or the police.

Rosie - posted on 12/05/2009

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i have a sister that does that with her grandson.He is 7 months.She thinks that because she pulls up to the door or window "and" ask the person that is working to watch the car.That its ok. I tell her that it's not the person working place to watch HER child.What if the worker has to leave the front of the store? Plus sometimes she will leave the car running..I want to YELL at her and say have u not been watching the news? IT is a big NO NO!!!! My kids r 20 & 17 and i still dont like leaving them in the car alone..haha

Isobel - posted on 12/05/2009

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Quoting Charlene:

I would just like to point out that may be illegal and it may not be illegal depending on her location and her situation.
I'm unsure of the laws in Alberta, where I am from, but for some reason when I try to look them up I get redirected to Texas laws (wtf?!). Which says that a child under seven may be left unattended as long as the time left does not exceed five minutes OR they are accompanied by a person fourteen years or older. And I think that someone already mentioned that in Florida it is fifteen minutes.
I'm not saying whether or not I agree with either of these laws, I am just pointing out that, in the eyes of the law, she may very well not be doing anything wrong.
Perhaps, OP, before calling CPS call somewhere to find out the laws regarding leaving children unattended.

Oh and Krista... what do you mean?? I always climb over my seats... don't you? (:P)p


Please don't be offended but some of us who live in Toronto, call Alberta Texas...so I happen to think this is HI-LARIOUS...sorry



Isobel - posted on 12/05/2009

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I hope none of you go to sleep at night...cause just about anything can...and has happened under parent's sleeping noses. Honestly...be careful about casting the first stone.

Christy - posted on 12/04/2009

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It doesnt sound like it is HER leaving the child in the car but the BOYFRIEND!! Either way she is still at fault for knowing he is doing this and leaving her child with him! In my opinion yes the lady needs to get a clue if you have gone to her as a friend and offered to watch her child while errands are run and still lets the ignorant BOYFRIEND watch the baby! Maybe an anonymous call is an option since you did the respectful thing of speaking to her and letting her know your concerns! Maybe there is a community board that lists people that could watch the baby while errands are run or even a local church that has a nursery, as well a neighbors that are sometimes willing to help! So many children are murdered everyday by those around them that hurt them by accident, and someone knew and did nothing! If you took the honest effort to speak to the mother and made an honest attempt to help resolve the problem then its up to you to do what is right! We all would hate to hear of another babies death because of an act of laziness!

Isobel - posted on 12/04/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

Most of you are unbelievably ignorant.

Do you really think cops stake out gas stations waiting to bust people who step away to pay for gas?

Or park near newsstands to bust people buying a newspaper?

Or, here, we buy filtered water from pumps, or dropping off rented movies in the drop slot?

Please use common sense. Its free and requires minimal effort.


There was a woman last year who was arrested for leaving her baby alone in the car while she walked 10 feet away to help her other children donate money to a streetside charity...no joke...it was freezing rain...she considered waking her baby to bring her out into the terrible weather but decided against it since it was only a few feet



 



Cops aren't staking it out but over vigilent parents are.

Charlene - posted on 12/04/2009

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I would just like to point out that may be illegal and it may not be illegal depending on her location and her situation.

I'm unsure of the laws in Alberta, where I am from, but for some reason when I try to look them up I get redirected to Texas laws (wtf?!). Which says that a child under seven may be left unattended as long as the time left does not exceed five minutes OR they are accompanied by a person fourteen years or older. And I think that someone already mentioned that in Florida it is fifteen minutes.

I'm not saying whether or not I agree with either of these laws, I am just pointing out that, in the eyes of the law, she may very well not be doing anything wrong.

Perhaps, OP, before calling CPS call somewhere to find out the laws regarding leaving children unattended.



Oh and Krista... what do you mean?? I always climb over my seats... don't you? (:P)

C. - posted on 12/04/2009

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Quoting Krista:

I agree with a lot of the mothers who say that no, it is not fine, or good, or ideal to leave one's child in the car, but sometimes it truly is unavoidable. Some mothers don't have anybody they can call upon to watch their child or come with them while they run errands. Some mothers live in small communities where they don't have pay-at-the-pump at their gas stations.
And for those of you who say that you never, ever leave your child alone in the car for even a nanosecond, what do you do? Pop them in their carseat and then crawl over them to get to the front seat? Come on!
There's a difference between a 10-second scoot-in to pay for gas or to unlock your front door before getting your baby, and people who will leave their child in the car and take their sweet time doing whatever.
Basically, if I have to run in and pay for gas, and it's freezing/raining out, I'm not hauling my baby out of the nice warm (locked) car, when I can run in, slap my $20 on the counter, and run back out all in the span of about 10 seconds. And I would hope that anybody who saw me would show a modicum of common sense and would refrain from calling the cops.


Let me just state that there is a HUGE difference between leaving your baby in the car when it's freezing rain and all you're doing is slapping a $20 on the counter and running out and leaving your baby in the car to run into the store when you know darn well it will take more than a few minutes. Like I posted a little earlier, there was a mother where I live and she was being followed from the grocery store to the post office. She left her one month old son in the car while she ran to go get stamps (which only takes a minute or two) and when she came back out, her baby had been kidnapped by the 19-year-old that had been following her. Anything can happen within just a couple of minutes of leaving your child alone. I think that's where most of us that say "yes, call the cops" are getting at. 

Dana - posted on 12/04/2009

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Does her family know? If not maybe start by telling them of your concerns and that might do it if not be an adovacte for the child and call the police but you would have to know when and where she is doing it I think. You are right and she got mad because she knows its wrong and bad for her child. Thanks for being a great friend to her and the child. You go gril!

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I think that if she doesn't understand the risks and danger as a mother for her child, nothing anyone tells her is going to make her change her ways.... It is also Illegal for a reason and she will get caught no matter what!

Shenna - posted on 12/04/2009

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i live in indiana and if any oerson sees child abuse or neglect they are a mandated reporter. technically if u turn ur back on your child while they are in the car and you are not you are breaking the law. i know of a person that parked in the fire lane at the grocery store hopped out to go 4 feet away to get the paper from the newspaper machine and went to jail. This world is too dangerous for a child to be left alone for ANY reason!

Stacy - posted on 12/04/2009

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You should definitely contact your child protective services. This is child endangerment and it is illegal. No children should be left in the car alone especially that young.

Krista - posted on 12/04/2009

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I agree with a lot of the mothers who say that no, it is not fine, or good, or ideal to leave one's child in the car, but sometimes it truly is unavoidable. Some mothers don't have anybody they can call upon to watch their child or come with them while they run errands. Some mothers live in small communities where they don't have pay-at-the-pump at their gas stations.
And for those of you who say that you never, ever leave your child alone in the car for even a nanosecond, what do you do? Pop them in their carseat and then crawl over them to get to the front seat? Come on!
There's a difference between a 10-second scoot-in to pay for gas or to unlock your front door before getting your baby, and people who will leave their child in the car and take their sweet time doing whatever.
Basically, if I have to run in and pay for gas, and it's freezing/raining out, I'm not hauling my baby out of the nice warm (locked) car, when I can run in, slap my $20 on the counter, and run back out all in the span of about 10 seconds. And I would hope that anybody who saw me would show a modicum of common sense and would refrain from calling the cops.

Megan - posted on 12/04/2009

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do not let ur kids go w/ her... it is child neglect, my sister-in-law did it, could have ur children taken!!!

Yanice - posted on 12/04/2009

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When my kid's were babies safe in their cribs and I was in the next room I always had the baby monitor on. Anything could happen will they slept in the safety of my own home. Why would I have done anything less outside my house?

Sophie - posted on 12/04/2009

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Betsy you have gone too far...just accept that everyone reading this sees you as morally ambiguous and obsessed with being right rather than kind. Yes of course you are only trying to help... but one post would have been ample for this. Perhaps you should take the feedback to the legislators and give the vast majority of mother's who occasionally eave their kids in the car in full view, a break.

Theresa - posted on 12/04/2009

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Why is she leaving him in the car. I used to leave my little ones in the locked car while I ran in to pay for gas. I would use the pump closest to the door so I could keep an eye on them the whole time. It's still illeagal, but I hated dragging them out in the freezing cold just to pay, then come right back out. They are 10 and 13, so it was a little (not much) different time. I now have a one year old and don't do that because I pay at the pump. If the child is out of site, or it's for more than a minute or two I would report her. It's better to have her angry with you, than to try to live with yourself if anything happened to the child.

Sarah - posted on 12/04/2009

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I think sometimes you have to just turn a blind eye,,,they should know right from wrong ..If you think they are wrong then tell them ,its better coming from a friend,xx.Speek up ,xx

Lori - posted on 12/04/2009

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I have to agree with Ellie Wendel, it probly isnt illegal if your just running into the store to pay for gas. I see it all the time, I work at a convenience store and people do it all the time. I sometimes get angry when people come in and expect to get right out when its busy and use the excuss that their baby is in the car. I have told them that maybe should have brought their child in, that everyone else would like to get out also. I dont agree with the idea of you calling the cops, a true friend wouldnt do that, you have voiced your opinion to her, if she continues and leaves them in for a longer amount of time, someone else will call the cops and you wont be the bad friend.

JACQUI - posted on 12/04/2009

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Ask her the next time she leaves him in the car to think about this, Is a minute or two of not having to carry him in with her worth a lifetime of NEVER having him with her. She

should protect him every second of every day and if she still leaves him in the car call CPS.

Samantha - posted on 12/04/2009

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It is never good to leave a child in the car. With that said, you are mom too. You should have compassion on your fellow mom. If you want to make what she does with her child your business so much so that you would threaten to call people who will take her child away, then you can be involved enough to offer to babysit, or take a ride with her and sit in the car with her kids while she runs in. Let's help each other and uplift each other. Not call CPS on each other of situations that can be easily solved.

Brandi - posted on 12/04/2009

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This reply is to Ellie -- I don't think it matters WHAT neighborhood you are from or if you know everyone around you. SOMETHING could still happen. Someone could hit your car. Accidents happen. And at the gas station? what if someone throws a cigarette out and it catches the parking lot on fire? your child is in that car by him/herself.

Dot - posted on 12/04/2009

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I see a lot of people say they leave the child in the car at the gas station- That worries me- Seems that is where the car nappers steal most cars. I live in a small town where I knew the person at the next pump- So I told her I would stand between the 2 pumps While she ran in to pay and then vice versa- Pay at the pump with a debit/credit

Marie - posted on 12/04/2009

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i would never leave a baby alone , even for a second how would i forgive myself if my car went on fire or something else . it only takes a short while to take them out .babies have died alone in cars unattended and that person had thought before that , that wont happen to me ..leaving your baby alone in a car is like leaving your baby alone in your home .

Tamina - posted on 12/03/2009

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I am absolutely amazed that so many of the responses in this message think it's ok for ANY reason. IT IS NOT. It is illegal and the reason for that is because it is UNSAFE!! There is NOTHING in this world that is more important than a child. NOTHING!!! Not even 10 seconds. Don't wait. Don't worry what she will think. That child is much more important than that. Call and let the authorities know what is going on!!

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