Yet another compelling reason not to........

Merry - posted on 08/30/2011 ( 58 moms have responded )

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Everyone should know not to leave your kids in a parked car in extreme weather, hot or cold, but there's yet another compelling reason to never leave your kids in the car alone!
I was watching animal planet a show called k9 cops I think, and a man was driving home late at night, his three year old daughter fell asleep in the car and he had to stop for gas, he left her in the car to pay the clerk and while he was in sight of th car the whole time' and he was in the station only a minute or two, someone stole his car!
Apparently the thief was just waiting at the gas station for an opportunity to steal a car and he had no idea this girl was in the car and he stole it.
Thankfully the girl was dropped on the side of the road a few minutes and miles away and someone called 911 and she was reunited with her dad. But it could have been alot worse!
So even if it's a beautiful evening, not hot or cold, even if you can see your child the whole time, even if you will only be away literally two minted, and even if they are peacefully asleep, don't leave your children in the car alone!

Or lock the door, idk if he locked the door or not, but still, even locking the door, just don't! Lol I wonder if he left the keys in the car too, that would be stupid, but somehow this dad got the scare of a lifetime and almost lost his girl. I admit I've left my kids in the car in our driveway to run back inside for something I've forgotten but I always lock them in....idk if that's safe but I've done it a d thought it was fine. Now idk, I couldn't imagine how someone could steal my car, but.....

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Krista - posted on 08/30/2011

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I understand the likleyhood of something happening may be small, but its non-existant if you take your baby with you, i just wouldnt be able to live with myself if i left my baby in the car and something horrible happend, knowing i could have completley prevented it by simply keeping my child with me, so i save 3 min, but lost my child?



There is no such thing as non-existent risk.



So you could take your child with you when you go to pay for your gas. And while you're in there, the place could be robbed, and a shot could go off that hits your baby and kills him. And you wouldn't be able to live with yourself for not leaving your baby safe and cozy in his carseat.



Not that I think that kids should be left in cars on a regular basis, but I think there comes a point where we twist ourselves in unnecessary knots over all of these things that COULD happen (even though the odds are greater of you being hit by lightning).



Use common sense. Evaluate the risk based on where you actually are. The odds of my (locked) car and baby getting stolen while I pay for gas at the station in our tiny, 300-person fishing village are infinitesimally small. The odds of my car and baby being stolen if I go in to pay for gas in a bad neighbourhood in a big city? Those odds are greater. So I'll go elsewhere for my gas and will pay at the pump.

Jodi - posted on 09/01/2011

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"if you dont leave your child in the car, the risk of someone taking off with your car and your kid IS non-existant".

You're right it is, but NOW you have created a risk that your child may get caught up in the robbery of the convenience store. Or may get hit by a car in the carpark. If you had left your child in the car THESE risks would be non-existent. That's the point that is being made. There is no more risk in leaving your child in the car than them getting caught up in the robbery. You are just perceiving the risk as higher because you see one as a poor parenting decision, whereas you would probably put the other one down to bad luck. IMO they are both bad luck.

Aleks - posted on 09/01/2011

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Look people... here is a real life scenario:
A woman was in a shopping centre (mall for all you in US). She has put her 3 kids in the car and was putting the shopping bags and pram in the boot. I think she had her keys in the ignition. A couple of no hoper druggies stole her car with all the kids in it... she was only putting stuff in the boot!!!! She chased, but was unable to catch them. (her oldest child, around 8 I think, begged the two thiefs to let them out and leave them... the youngest was like 2 or 3). Eventually the thieves did let them out of the car... unharmed.
So by going through some of the logic of some of you ladies, don't take your kids shopping? Or may be don't put them in the car while putting away bags and prams?

There are risks everywhere.. and any activity even ones we take for granted or don't assign riskiness to it (driving/riding in a car is one big one).

Anyway.... just thought I should mention this :-) If something bad is going to happen.... it will happen..... ( I know, sounds a bit like fate, but sometimes when you hear some stories you can't help but think it).

Rosie - posted on 09/01/2011

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i hardly think it should be called an inconvienance to take a child out in the pouring rain, or freezing weather, or stifling heat. it's protecting my child as well.

cars are for convienance, we could walk- but we take a risk everytime we get into our 2 ton death traps-which for me is multiple times a day. just because the idea of a car accident isn't as scary or intentional as someone deliberately doing you harm, doesn't make the heartache after the loss any better. shit, feeding our kids sugary snacks causes more damage, and has more lasting effects on them then leaving them in a locked car for a few moments, yet we do that all the time, and no one bats an eyelash. we're conditioned to be in fear of the unknown when the actual things to fear are RIGHT there in front of us. we're taught to be afraid of strangers molesting or kidnapping our children, when i reality it's someone we know staring at us everyday. our fear is misplaced most definitely.

Anna - posted on 09/01/2011

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Another thing I consider is that every time I take my kids into a store I first expose them to a parking lot and cars and the possibility of one of them getting hit, a risk which is also relatively small, but increased significantly when you have multiple children.
It's common to say, 'well wouldn't you just feel awful if...' I don't think this is the proper response. Yes I would feel awful, because my child is gone. But I don't think the guilt is usually warranted. As moms we make choices like these every day, and over analyzing often just makes fear irrational, which is never helpful.

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[deleted account]

Okay, I'm really confused. Whose post were you referring to when you said, it was probably in the south somewhere?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/03/2011

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I lived in Texas for just over a year. I have yet to be in another state that says: Welcome to *insert state* please drive friendly.

I know that's a generalization, I have friends from the south and from Texas and they're really nice.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/03/2011

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And it would probably be in the States in the South somewhere. No offense to anyone from there.

If it was a choice between my kids and everything in my vehicle, I'd choose my kids. I can get new stuff.

Jodi - posted on 09/03/2011

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Really good point Krista. I am pretty sure I read a case where this exact scenario did happen.

Krista - posted on 09/03/2011

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f you dont leave your child in the car, the risk of someone taking off with your car and your kid IS non-existant,

Not necessarily. Who's to say that the robber won't snatch your toddler right out of your arms, hold a gun to his head, and demand your keys, taking off with the both of them, using your kid as a hostage?

Aleks - posted on 09/02/2011

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i'm in Aust. and yeah... boot = trunk I guess... Same goes for petrol = gas....lol (when you say gas in aust it actually means LPG...lol)
Then there is :
dummy = paci
nappies = diapers
cot = crib

lol

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/02/2011

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In Canada since we're connected to the US we call it a 'trunk' and gas. But we switch between mall and shopping centre. I have to work on my spelling since I'm from the states.

Merry - posted on 09/02/2011

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Ok new thread coming on different words for the same stuff country to country. ;)

Sarah - posted on 09/02/2011

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I call it the "boot" too!

I leave the kids in car while I pay for petrol (actually, diesel, but saying that sounds weird to me! lol).
I live in a safe area tho, and I'm only in there for a couple of minutes etc etc.

As everyone else has pointed out, there's risks in everything, you just do what you feel comfortable with.

Merry - posted on 09/02/2011

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Lol 'boot' I'm assuming that's what we call a trunk? I can't believe how different English is country to country
Where are you aleksandra?

[deleted account]

Everything is a calculated risk. I leave the kids in the car to drop something off at a friend's house for a second. I've left them to put a library book in the book drop. But once I needed a fill up in a dangerous part of town. It was dark. The pay at the pump card machine was out of order. There were shady looking characters all around. I felt more comfortable taking my child inside with me. Of course, something could have happened to us inside that store. But in that instance, taking her in with me was a better decision. Had it been broad daylight at the station around the corner from my house, I may have left her.

Stifler's - posted on 09/01/2011

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Yeah there is usually no line to the counter and I can see the car the whole time

Sherri - posted on 09/01/2011

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I get what your saying but we were talking about gas stations and convenience stores where the children were never even out of sight.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/01/2011

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Sherri, fair enough. But all I could think of was a few people who probably thought they'd be a few minutes and left the kid for much longer.

I have left my older daughter in the car for a minute when I ran in to get things from my parents' house. But I haven't left the baby anywhere

Sherri - posted on 09/01/2011

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We are not talking about hours Megan literally we are talking 2mins or less.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/01/2011

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There were a few stupid people doing that in Kelowna back in July when the temps were in the upper 20's (low 80's) One woman did that to her 5 month old for an hour and the RCMP had to break into her car.

Dana - posted on 09/01/2011

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I've never left my kid in the car while paying for gas. I wish I could sometimes but, I don't think it's even legal here.

Sherri - posted on 09/01/2011

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Eh I never took my kids out of the car to run in real quick to a convenience store, back in the house, get gas etc. I locked the car if we were at a store but never in my driveway. Heck even let me kids finish naps in the car with the door open in the spring or fall too. I also leave them in the car when I walk my younger one into school.



Heck we live in a place though where you leave your keys in your car all night long, leave windows open and your house unlocked all night or when you leave.

Katherine - posted on 09/01/2011

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I agree with Dyan. There are risks everywhere. You could always be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Rosie - posted on 09/01/2011

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it's not different though tasha. so instead of leaving the child in the car you can take him in and still have him taken or killed. there is no more risk in leaving them in a locked car then having them out in the open with you.

Tasha - posted on 09/01/2011

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Krista, i understand that you can not take all risk out of anything, but if you dont leave your child in the car, the risk of someone taking off with your car and your kid IS non-existant, i never said it would prevent any and all other situations, i was simply speaking of the issue i thought we were talking about, not if someone robbed a store i was in with my child, completly different. You cant prevent everything bad that happens, but if we do take resposibility for the ones we do have control over, well thats just being resposible. Like i said, im not judging, and am not putting anyone down, its just my personal decision not to leave my baby in the car.

Merry - posted on 09/01/2011

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If the kids are awake I take them out, but if they're asleep, especially if it's really cold or hot I'll leave them the few seconds I need. I always pay at the pump but once I forgot my card and had to pay in change and a couple times the pump rejected my card so I had to go in. So it's a calculated risk I think, if I wake him and take him in the cold I know 100% he will scream and be mad and tired and fight sleep for the rest of the day. But if I lock him in and run inside I know there might be a possibility of something happening, but the odds are quite small.
So I base it on what's the best situation for the specific time. As I said,it's rare, and it's always done by the decision of what I think is the best choice for Eric at the time with factoring the risks involved.
Yes it would be better to have him alive with me and crabby then to have him kidnapped but when you factor in the odds of the latter scenario it changes the ball game.
And now that I have two kids it's going to be even trickier. Imagine a car with 5 kids, all sleeping, and the card gets rejected and you have to run in, it's night, in winter, 9pm , 5 degrees F,........wouldn't you just lock the doors and run in?

Becky - posted on 08/31/2011

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We have to live the with the potential consequences of everything we do though. Like others said, I could bring my kids into the bank with me for the minute it takes to use the bank machine and the bank could get robbed and we all get held hostage in that minute. I don't really think that's any less likely than my locked vehicle, with 2 children who would make a HUGE stink if someone other than mommy got into the driver's seat - would get stolen. I do always use pay at the pump, and 99% of the time use the drive-through bank machine, but a couple of times, I've been in a hurry and the bank most on my way didn't have a drive-through and I was parked literally 10 feet from the bank machine and there was no line up. If there had been a line-up, I would've taken the kids in with me. Yes, there was a small risk involved. But there was a small risk involved with taking them in with me too.

[deleted account]

Perhaps lazy was the poor choice of a word. But I could never justify that leaving a child unattended in a car as a good parenting practice. If you (you, in general) make a conscious decision to leave your child unattended, than you (again, in general) need to live with any potential consequences that may happen while that child was left alone. It's a decision you make based on convenience-but if you're fine with that decision then no need to justify your actions.

Krista - posted on 08/31/2011

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We don't have pay at the pump in our village. And sure, I could just let my 2 year old wander around our house alone while my husband works and I go fuel up my vehicle, but I'm thinking that might not end too well either.

Besides, why is pay at the pump considered to be risk-free? Who's to say that some nutbar won't come up to you while you're focusing on pressing all those buttons, shoot you, grab the keys out of your hand and take off with your car? That could just as easily happen, you know.

And I rather resent the implication that it's about us being lazy, Sharon. If my son has just fallen asleep, and I don't want to wake him up and haul him out of his carseat and get him all upset for the (literal) 30 seconds it takes me to slap a couple of twenties on the counter and run back out, then I truly fail to see what is so spectacularly lazy about that. Or if it's pouring rain out and colder than a witch's tit, and I don't want him to get drenched, then how does that make me lazy?

Aleks - posted on 08/31/2011

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Sharon, until you have 2 or 3 kids yourself strapped in the back seat, passed out sleeping, or just plain tired from the day... getting them in and out of the car to go and pay takes longer than pumping a full tank of petrol in! Also, depends on where you live. Car jackings are a lot more plausible in the US than are in Aust (where I live), no not impossible but less likely. When I had just one child and a baby I too took him with me. However, now that I have 2 and they are a bit older there is more likely hood of one of them getting hit by an approaching car when getting them in and out - they are still kids and inattentive.
Sorry, but I think I will take my chances. That is just my opinion

Ez - posted on 08/31/2011

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We don't have pay at the pump. And being single, my daughter is with me almost 100% of the time. I have never heard of a car-jacking in my city, let alone suburb.

Everything in life is a calculated risk. There is FAR for chance of my daughter getting a serious injury in my home or yard than some random stranger kidnapping her from my car in the minute it takes me to go in and pay.

Rosie - posted on 08/31/2011

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i don't use pay at the pump most of the time, because they take $100 out of my account for a day, plus i'll ususally stop and get smokes or a pop.

as for the risk, you don't think there's an equal risk of someone robbing you IN the store with your child in there? you have more chance of dying in a car accident, yet you take that risk multiple times a day.... people over react IMO.

[deleted account]

I have never ever left my child unattended alone in a car while paying for gas, running into the store, etc. EVER! My child is my life! Leaving a child unattended is good parenting? IMO, it's just being too risky and lazy that you don't want to take the extra steps it might take to unbuckle kids and bring them in with you to pay. Sorry-that's how I feel. Take the extra effort-even if it's only for 30 seconds to pay and you live in a crime-free bubble! I wouldn't do anything to intentionally expose my son to a potential car-jacking robbery if avoidable. How come some of you who do leave your kids in the car don't use the pay at the pump feature? Is it not available near you? Any reason not to fuel up without your kids? It's just that I see dangerous hazards that are 100% avoidable.

Caitlin - posted on 08/31/2011

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Evaluate the risk.. I leave my 2 girls in the car while paying for gas (it happens rarely that I have to do it anyways), lock the doors, bring the keys with me. They are both under 3 and I'm 8 months pregnant.. No way i'm dragging them both in for a 60 second transaction. I'm just as likely to get shot myself if the place gets robbed or way more likely to get t-boned going through an intersection with my kids int he car than my car is to be stolen while they are inside it like that. I think people are WAY too paranoid these days!

Elfrieda - posted on 08/31/2011

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Of course I don't do this for long periods of time, but when I leave my son in the car to run in somewhere, I open the windows but lock the doors.

I think it's very unlikely that anyone would kidnap him, more likely, but still not going to happen, that someone might steal the car for a joyride, and also barely possible that I might get killed or incapacitated in some way while out so that he will be left in the car until someone finds him. It's crazy how having a baby has given me all these paranoid thoughts!

So I think the best solution is: leave the doors locked, windows wide open, and nip in and out as fast as possible.

I have gotten the dirtiest look ever when my husband and I went to vote in May. Our son fell asleep in the car, so we had to either go in separately and vote, or wake him up (big no-no), or see if we could do it real quick. We ran into the polling station, saw that there was only 1 person in front of us in line, voted fast and ran back out. It took 3 minutes. (my hubby timed it) When we got back, there was a man with a few kids getting out of his car, and I'm pretty sure he was just counting the minutes before calling the police or something. We got a very dirty look from him! And at first I felt defensive, but actually turned it into gratitude. I'm glad someone else is watching out for my son! That makes me feel good. (and of course, my son slept through the whole thing in the beautiful May air)

Aleks - posted on 08/30/2011

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I just lock the car when I go into the service station to pay for the petrol - whether kids are with me (in the car) or not. Full stop.

Ez - posted on 08/30/2011

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I'm in the 'depends on the circumstances' camp. If I am at my local suburban petrol station (where I usually go) I will leave my daughter locked in the car for the 90 seconds it takes me to go in and pay. If I was in the inner city, or at a really large petrol station with heaps of people coming and going, I would take her in.

Like Krista said, you can not negate all risks. And you can't live in fear either.

Stifler's - posted on 08/30/2011

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If my car flashes low fuel I'm going to fill it up. If the kids are with me they'll stay locked in the car with the windows down. I can't carry them both into the shop to pay for fuel and Logan would run off and get hit by a road train. Who leaves their keys in the ignition and doors unlocked anyway. If I have to fill up I usually leave them home with dad but sometimes I can't.

Jodi - posted on 08/30/2011

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I guess I've never seen it as a big deal. It's such a small risk where I live, you never hear of it happening. It's kind of similar to the "oh, no, you can't let your kid walk to school on their own" debate or "oh, no, I won't let my kid go out on their own until they are 50" debate. The possibility of something happening in either of those scenarios is very remote.

Tasha - posted on 08/30/2011

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I try to get my hubby to understand, DONT LEAVE KIDS IN THE CAR. He thinks it ok to leave our 8 month old in the car while we run in the gas station for a drink. If you do then thats on you, i wont put you down, but i think its dangerous. I understand the likleyhood of something happening may be small, but its non-existant if you take your baby with you, i just wouldnt be able to live with myself if i left my baby in the car and something horrible happend, knowing i could have completley prevented it by simply keeping my child with me, so i save 3 min, but lost my child? Not something ive done or could ever see myself doing.

Jodi - posted on 08/30/2011

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Meh, I've left my kids in the car while I race inside the house to grab something I've forgotten, or while I go in and pay for fuel. I always locked the car. Everyone does it where I am. I think it depends where you live and the circumstances.

Jennifer - posted on 08/30/2011

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Only time I leave my two little ones in the car is when my older kids are with them. They are old enough to drive themselves, well, my youngest son is still 15, but he's 6'3" and looks older! Usually one of my dogs is in there, too. I hate seeing people leave little ones in the car. My brother drove my mom's car through a store front when he was 6, and yeah, he was trying to drive it. She still left us in there alone after that, but it was another time...........

Becky - posted on 08/30/2011

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There have been a couple instances where that has happened here. Both times, the mom was picking up older siblings from school, left her younger child in the vehicle (I know once it was unlocked and running, the other time, I'm not sure) and the vehicle was stolen.
That said, I have left my kids in the car I think twice to use the bank machine. I park right in front of the bank, turn the car off, lock it, and take my keys. I also put the windows down a bit so people can see there are kids in the car. Risks getting the police called on me, I suppose, but I think if someone sees kids, they're less likely to steal the vehicle. Usually, I use drive-throughs, pay at the pump, etc. I do leave my kids in the car in my own driveway though - unload groceries or run in to get something I forgot. If I lived in the inner city, I probably wouldn't, but I live in a very quiet cul-de-sac where I know all my neighbors and someone's almost always outside. The chances of my vehicle being stolen from my driveway in broad daylight are virtually nil. Plus, I leave my front door open and only put the groceries right inside it, so I'm not gone from the vehicle more than a few seconds.
I do think it depends where you live, but no matter where I lived, I would never leave my kids in a running, unlocked vehicle or go into a store where I could not keep my vehicle in view and leave them in it, locked or not.

Sal - posted on 08/30/2011

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i for the most parts have always been pretty relaxed at petrol stations as i live in small places and the hassle of dragging 2 small kids is a pain.....that was until someone told me a horror story (but real life) where a woman in the small town where i went to school was paying for her petrol at the night counter when the cashier asked if she had anyone with her,she said no and he told her to get inside asap, he had seen someone climb into her car on the security screen, when the police arrived he was in the back seat with a knife.he was going through gang initiation and had to abduct a woman to take back for a gang rape......my whole sence of security is now gone...

Rosie - posted on 08/30/2011

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with info. that i could find from 2009 my city had 28 car thefts. i couldn't find much info on teresa's city, exept that 3 property crimes were held there, which included burglary, arson, and motor vehicle theft, it also didnt' list the year for hers.

edited to add: zero kidnappings, and 2 murders since 1999-one of those murders a man killed his mother, the other 2 teenagers killed a pizza delivery guy when he delivered the pizza to their house. this is in my city.

Jenni - posted on 08/30/2011

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Not to mention you risk the chance of child protective service becoming involved, as it is seen as negligence.

[deleted account]

The ONLY stolen cars here are teenagers out for a joy ride and it happens so rarely that 99% of the people I know not only never lock their cars, but leave the keys in the ignition half the time.

Rosie - posted on 08/30/2011

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to me it depends on where you live as well. i live in an area where a stolen car is unheard of, let alone kidnapping.
you take more risk just driving with them than you do leaving them in a locked car for a minute while you pay for gas. car accidents is the number one cause of death for children.
i find the fear surrounding this type of stuff misplaced, and unwarranted most of the time.

[deleted account]

Something very similar happened in my home town when I was a little girl, but it did not end so well. NEVER leave a kid in the car unattended in a public place, even if you can see the car. There is rarely a situation where it is safe.

The incident in my hometown happened at 3pm, broad daylight. The mom stopped for gas after picking my classmate up from school. We lived in a VERY small town--1 school, 1 gas station, everyone knew everyone, etc.
She ran inside to pay (which was common back then before pay at the pump stations) and the man in front of her robbed the station. He pointed the gun at her and demanded her keys, but knowing that her boy was in the car, she refused to hand them over. He shot her in the stomach and killed her.
He then took the keys and the car. He dumped the boy by the road but he wandered into a corn field where he also died of hypothermia.

If she had just taken him inside with her, she could have tossed the robber her keys and all would have been fine, but she couldn't and they both died.


Yes, it rarely happens, but that one of those rare times could be your kid. Is it really worth the risk? Besides, it's not as rare as you would think. Car theft and gas station robberies rarely make the news, but they happen all the time. If you pull records for your town (go to the police department and file a freedom of information form for the stats) you will see that average towns have triple to quadruple digits on these crimes alone. There are rarely kids involved, but that is because we KNOW not to leave a kid in the car.

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