Being a Mother, Is This Wrong?

United States
September 18, 2008 4:15pm CST
I was watching Dr Phil today and the discussion questioned whether or not it is wrong to leaveyour child in a car unattended. Me as a mother if I'm going into a store and Im going to have to stand in a line or it's going to take longer thatn 5 minutes then no i won't leave them in the car but if i need to step out th car and it takes a minute or less to do what I need to do then I will leave them buckled in theri carseat. IBut I think the bigger issue here is what is considered attended and unattended?? If you can see the car and had to make a quick move will you be able to get to the car quick enough or not? What do you think?
7 people like this
35 responses
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
19 Sep 08
You should never, ever leave your child in the car alone. Haven't you heard of children being abducted when the car is carjacked? I remember a story on the news awhile back where a woman was at the trunk loading her groceries after already putting her child in the car. She couldn't see because the trunk lid was open, and didn't realize someone had gotten in until they drove off - with her child in the back seat. They later found the car abandoned, with the child still in his car seat. But it could have turned out much worse.
2 people like this
@Hope32 (119)
• United States
18 Sep 08
Leaving your child in the car unattended is not safe!! Anything can happen in a spilt second, it is better to be save then sorry!!!
1 person likes this
19 Sep 08
You are right!! Not safe at all.....I heard about case of a dad that left his kid inside the car for only 5 minutes and when he came back to his car he couldnt finf it because it was gone!!!! another car crashed it!!...I dont know if its true but its scary so as you say its better to be save!!
• Indonesia
19 Sep 08
Yes, I agree. Never leave your child in the car unattended, even in one second.
• United States
19 Sep 08
Yea that is horrible. I honestly would die because I always have my kids together. if i take one I have to take the other thats just the rule.
@Hatley (159308)
• Garden Grove, California
19 Sep 08
miamilatte 20006 wrong of course its wrong,take your kids with you always. anything can happen injust seconds and you will not be able to move that fast. a woman left her two toddlers in their car seats while she went in the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. when she came out the police were there and her car had been pushed out into the street by being hit by another car, the kids were not injured but the firemen had to pry open the door to get the kids out of there, and the car was just on the verge of catching fire. had that car that hit her car been moving a bit faster it would have caved the side of the car in where the toddlers were setting. mom was in the store for twenty minutes due to a mixup in her prescriptions.the mother was not arrested but cautioned to not ever do that again. not worth it just to save a few minutes. and the two toddlers were heavily traumatized too.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Sep 08
In a situation like that I wouldn't have left my kids in the car espcially in a situation where your kids are completely out of your sight. Like I've said before if you have to walk into a place, have to stand in a line, or you are in an enclosed pace and your kids are not within reach then you should not leave them in the car.
@cbreeze (1209)
• United States
18 Sep 08
I dont think it makes you a bad parent, however I do think it is ill advised. I read something that made sense one time. The jist of it was this: If you had a $20 bill, would you leav it lying on the dashboard of your car, even though you are only stepping out of the car for a minute and the car is in plain view? If not, why would you leave something as priceless as your children in the car. It made a lot of sense to me because I would not leave money laying on my dashboard. That put things in perspective for me. I didn't think it was a problem to run into the gas station to pay for gas and leave my kids in the car before that. Afterward, I would either take them in or do those little things while they weren't with me. Take care.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Sep 08
That is a great analogy but then again there are so many peoplet aht leave their purses sitting on the seat wile they drive. I think it all comes down to scommon sense. If you know that you are not in a position where if something were to happen you would not be ale to respond then it goes without sayin. There have been plenty of times wher I have left money sitting on the seat but i'm right there. I honestly don't care about moeny but I care about my kids.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84148)
• Shingle Springs, California
18 Sep 08
If I'm walking to a gas pump or over to another car and I have the child in my view the entire time I consider it OK. If the child is old enough to get out of the car if there is a problem (8 years + maybe) it's also ok if you go into a store quickly or something. But I wouldn't leave a baby in a car while I go into a store under any circumstances. Too many things can happen.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Sep 08
I do agree with you somewhat. now if I'm at the gas station and I'm using my credit card then yes I will leave them in the car. But if they are old enough to get out the car they are getting out of the car for me to go in a store especially the infant. I have a 3 year old and 3 week old. I only try to go to the gas station with my husband or go to a convience store with someone else so they can run in the store or I run in but making sure someone else is in the car with the kids. Especially since my 3 year old is too helpful and may hurt the baby.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Sep 08
I think a minute should be fine. If you're leaving your child alone for a while, then it could be a problem. Its always better and safer to take children along with us where ever we go...
• United States
18 Sep 08
Think about this... What if you are driving down the highway and teh baby or your child starts to choke and it's almost impossible for you to pull over right then and there. What do you do then? I mean I would think of it as the same thing with leaving your child in the car just to walk around to the other side and drop a letter in the mailbox.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
19 Sep 08
Anything can and has happened in a split second...hence the law. I would never run into the store even just to buy a pack of cigs and leave my child...even if the car was parked where I could see it. Anything could happen and what should be a 2 second exchange could be a bit longer. Your child is too precious to risk even the most improbable of accidents. I know of a woman that did leave her child for less than 2 mins. to run in the store and buy a drink and smokes. She came out and her child had twisted and got his neck caught around the strap of the car seat. He didn't die but he did suffer brain damage. Beyond all that...it is the law and if a cop or another concerned person sees it, you will be fined and go to court with a charge of child neglect...even if you were not really being neglectful. I have seen this happen to very good parents.
• United States
19 Sep 08
Sid quick question... I see that you buy cigs do you smoke? And if so do you smoke around your child? If so isn't that just as deadly as leaving them in the car?
• Canada
19 Sep 08
The thought also crossed my mind.
• United States
19 Sep 08
Gimmieadream I like that we think much a like
1 person likes this
@Amywrites (143)
• United States
19 Sep 08
Hello miamilatte2006, You asked what is considered attended and unattended? The very second you shut the door on your child is unattended. When a child is born into this world that child deppends on everything from someone. They are completely helpless and a Mother or Father is responsible for thier well being. Me personally, I would not Ever leave any child alone in a car better yet my own children. My daughter is 15 and when I go into the store I take the keys and have her lock the door, and if I know it is going to take me a while I make her come in with me. This world can be so cruel to our children, so my answer would be unattended is the second you shut them in the car.
• United States
19 Sep 08
So basically you have left your child unattended at some point in time event hough she's 15 she's still a minor she can't even drive yet. When I was 15 I was never even left home alone...
• United States
19 Sep 08
There is a big difference with leaving a helpless child in a car or at home. My daughter is 15 and as big as I am there is a big difference there.
• United States
19 Sep 08
There is a difference in age but I don't think there is a difference in concept. Unattended is just that unattended no matter what the childs age is. I would be more trusting to leave a child that can somewhat fend for themself at hme alone for 2 hours or less but never in a car. The movies Final Destination have killed al hope for me that if something is going to happen it will happen but I don't want to feel like I could have done something else to prevent it from happening. Just my thought...
19 Sep 08
I work in a supermarket and was absolutely gob smacked when a customer approached my desk to inform me that the car she had parked next to had a baby strapped in a car seat crying!! I then got security to stand with the car while i went in store to tannoy for the owner of the vehicle....after the 3rd tannoy they finally arrived with a trolley FULL of shopping and asked me if their CAR was ok....I was furious and said your car's fine however your child may not have been!!! Their response....well she was asleep and I didnt want to wake her!!!! I said my next phonecall was for the police if she hadnt responded to the tannoy to which she just shrugged, other customers then got involved making comments to which the customer swore at me got in her vehicle and drove off!!!! I encounter some fairly surprising queries but that would have to have been the most scary...that poor child imagine waking up no mum there, you cant see her, in possibly strange surroundings. The way the world is now all it takes is a second for that car to be stolen....its been in the papers before, car jackers taking cars only to realise a few miles down the road there is a child in the back.....I dont think i could ever leave my child alone in the car, for the sake of an extra minute or 2, parking up and taking my child out of the car....id rather do that than risk their safety!!! hugs Jessica
• United States
19 Sep 08
Jessica, Wow! You must have been filled with so much anger for the person responsible for that! How old was the child? Was it hot outside? How long was she left in the car alone. The second she said she did not want to wake her, I think I would have blown up. Children are such precious gifts, every second of thier lives deppend on us.
1 person likes this
19 Sep 08
exactly, i was so furious the child didn't look over a year!! it was evening time but thankfully the weather wasn't too warm, the child seemed fine apart from being upset!!! hugs jessica
• United States
19 Sep 08
In a situation like thatbeing a mother I would have lost all control wit that woman. Especially after her first concern was her car and not her child (obviously for leaving the child in the car). Secondly she could have easily taken the child out of the seat put themin the shopping cart gave her a blanket to rest her head and back to sleep she goes. I think I would have called the police just for her being a jerk and acting as if that was ok for her to do.
1 person likes this
@ladysakurax (1163)
• Canada
19 Sep 08
There's no wrong or right answer. It's just the fact that you are taking a risk. When i was little, my mom would never leave me on my own. The same goes when i had to go to school. I had to walk every morning at the corner of the street and wait for the schoolbus to come and pick me up. My mom would always come along and wait with me. The only time she would leave me alone in the car is when she has to pump gas. I think it's safer than having all the children running all around. But still you have to be careful and look at them frequently.
• United States
19 Sep 08
I thin it's just that motherly instinct but there are some mothers that just are too ove protective and take things too far. A lot of the people that gave responses on the show stated that parental rights should be taken away from people that leave their children in the car. Should parental rights be takin away from people that allow their children to walk to and from school, or parents that leave their 12 year olds home alone, or parents that leave their child in the care of caregiver and something happens just because the parent wasn't there?? There's pretty much a double standard to everything.
• Canada
19 Sep 08
On this, i agree with you.I don't think parental rights should be removed though. Whatever the parents decide is their choice and decision. But if I had children, I might very careful with them. When you mentioned overprotective, I don't know what it means. At some point, it's not just being overprotective but also have peace in mind. I don't know about other parents but my mom was always worried because of the movies she watched or what is in the news. Like this girl here called "Cedrika Povencher" has been kidnapped a year ago and her whereabouts are still unknown. It was on the news for a long time and it might make parents worried. She was playing in front of the house and disappeared in a blink. If there wasn't such people, parents might be a bit more carefree. I must say though that some parents are really careless. When i was working in a store at night shift, I would see teenagers walk outside ..somtimes alone a 3-4am. I find it really shocking but I don't know to others. Even as a 22 years old, I get home before 9-10pm or if i have to stay later, I'll call someone to give me a lift. Accidents are unavoidable sometimes like fate. It also happens to adults but if we can do something to avoid a certain incident, it's better to do than regretting it later on.
• United States
19 Sep 08
I totaly agree and I must say I'm pretty overprotective with my kids because I have two boys and I know they are very inquisitive. My 3 year old knows a lot more than I would expect him to know and it scares me so i have to feel like I have to keep my eyes on him I even changed my shift at work to the overnight shift so that I could keep him during the day and he wouldn't have to go to a daycare center after he was bitten by another child and the caregivers didn't even tell me. i didnt see the bite mark until i got him home and gave him a bath and I must say i was pretty irate and really wanted to kill those people for first not knwoing that it happened and secondly not letting me know. So I know exactly what your mom was thinking and witht he evolution of time thigns are not getting any better in the world.
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
18 Sep 08
I missed the first part of the show, but I did see where they were saying how the police department was mad the charges were dropped and how the situation was mishandled. My son is 9. Up until not that long ago, he HAD to come in the store or whatever to me if it was goin got take longer than a minute or two. It is one thing to leave you kid in the car to walk across the street to put a letter in a mailbox or run in to pay for gas. Another to go into a large store - lets say Wal-Mart - and leave your kids unattended - especially a smaller child that can not get out of the car and/or defend themselves. An older child may be okay because if they get bored or whatever, they can come find you.
• United States
18 Sep 08
That is true and I believe what my mom believed, if you aren't old enough to stay home alone then you aern't old enough to stay anywhere else alone. I remember being in 5th grade and a group of friends and I ue to walk hom from school. Once I got home I didn't even have a key and would have to stay at a friends house until my older brother got home from college. I mean some parents leave thei children in the house to walk to the front door and get the mail. Its just one of those situations that we really dont think about that often.
• United States
19 Sep 08
That is very tragic just like a situation that happened down here in West palm Beaach a few months ago. A lady was going to get her nails done for her wedding which was later that day and she dropped her kids off to a relatives house so that she could run errands. After dropping off the kids some of the children left with another realtive and whent hey counted to see were all the kids were they assumed tht the 3 year old was with the other relative that took some of the kids. Come to find out, the three year old had hidden in the back of his mother's SUV behind some clothes taht were hanging up and he was not discovered until 6 hours later when they Aunt went to take the clothes out of the truck and by then it was way to late.
@scorpio19 (1363)
18 Sep 08
I wouldn't leave my young children in a car but I have older children so yes I would (but I don't drive anyway) but it is a question of what is attended and unattended because I know plenty of people who leave their child in a car when they fill up with petrol and go to pay and yet wouldn't leave them if they had to nip in a shop...hmmm it's a tough one this.
• United States
18 Sep 08
I do agree but it comes down to common sense and i mean think abotu weather conditions. If its cold outside or raining or snowing, I wouldn't want to have to take my kids out of the car just to go pay for gas. I would rather subject myself to the inclement weather and get sick rather than have all of us sick.
1 person likes this
@scorpio19 (1363)
18 Sep 08
I agree also but on the flip side what if there was someone hanging about with bad intentions towards a child any child and saw they were unattended for that minute or two it took to pay for the petrol.. so took the opportunity that had presented itself...oh gosh it is so hard I guess the best thing to do is always make sure there is another adult in the car too, at all time eh ? brillant discussion you've started here and really got me thinking.
• United States
19 Sep 08
ea I agree with that and thats something that a lot of people don't think about...
1 person likes this
@getnbuy (1315)
• United States
19 Sep 08
Never, never ,never leave your child in a car aolne, even for a minute! Haven't you heard of car thieves driving off with kids in the back seat? Even if you could see him do it, you couldn't stop him. Or, what if it takes you longer than you thought and your baby fries in the back seat? Please take the added effort it takes to take your child with you!
• United States
20 Sep 08
Yes I have heard of these issues and I never said I codoned it but there are more times that yuour children are left unattended not in a car but at home and other places.
@getnbuy (1315)
• United States
21 Sep 08
I never left my children unattended until they were at least 10 years old. And then, at home for very short periods of time. You obviously have a different idea of what is safe than I do. What if there was a fire while your child was home alone! There are too many what ifs to take chances. That is what I believe. God bless your children .
• Canada
19 Sep 08
I'm on different minds about it. Is the child safer in your arms then in a car seat. What if you trip and fall? The child is killed hitting his/her head on the pavement. Believe it or not ankles can be twisted with a child in your arms as well as without. I don't think it wise to leave children alone in a car, but where exactly is the safest place. I guess each parent has to decide what it is that they can live with, in the case of an accident. Ok I'm thinking, how often do I have an accident or someone steals my car? The answer is zero times, so far. Now how often have I fallen because of a twisted ankle or a rock rolls under my foot? I'd say several times a year. So you see, we can't foretell what will happen, to us and to our children for each and every action we take. We just have to hope and pray that we take the right action and let God handle the rest.
• United States
19 Sep 08
Gimmeadream you get the best response. That is the most logical answer I have seen so far. I was waiting to see how many people would rely on faith and look at things from a truly realistic perspective. Thanks!
• Canada
19 Sep 08
Thank you! I wished people would stop blaming each other for incidences that are out of a persons control. I was reading the responses and one lady mentioned a car jacking with the child inside the car. I thought, 'what if the jacker ran over the mother and child in his attempt to escape or the car pushed them into traffic. Would the child be better off, under the tire of a moving car or found in the car seat, crying after the jacker abandoned the car?'I think we all know the answer to that, in which case, the mother should have been given a metal of valor.
@kavinsh (78)
• India
20 Sep 08
hi miamilatte i think its not safe to leave the child alone in the car. anything can happen in just a couple of seconds. even it depends on the age of child also. if he can take care of himself or not. but better to take with u. children become more naughty when they are alone. i used to take with me always. take care.
• United States
20 Sep 08
YEs I do agree i always take mine with me if i'm going to be gone for more than 30 seconds
• Canada
20 Sep 08
I myself would never do this, where I live. We live in a city of more than a half a million people and there are just too many people out there that I wouldn't trust. Why take the chance of having something happen to your children. I agree, it can be a pain to get them all out of their seats- I have 3 in car seats. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if something did happen.
• United States
20 Sep 08
I totally agree with you...
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
20 Sep 08
Well, I do things like leave my daughter in the car when I am swiping my card at the gas pump - I don't go into the convenience store but I would not take her out of the car to stand by me when I'm pumping gas. She is 4, she is fine with me outside standing by the car. I have also left her in her seat while I push a cart back to a return, but I'm usually in view of the car, 20 feet away or less. I was planning to watch this Dr. Phil episode because my friend mentioned it to me but I missed it. I think it depends on how far you're going - standing outside your car or being a few feet away or gone for less than a minute and in view doesn't seem to be a problem, especially if your child is older. If it involves going out of view or inside an establishment, I would kind of shake my head at that, especially if you have a newborn or an infant. This brings to mind another situation - how many people have a baby monitor and leave an infant inside sleeping and take the monitor and go outside and sit or work in the yard or on a porch or deck? How about going and taking a bath or shower while baby is sleeping? If they are in a crib and safe and you check on them frequently plus have the monitor so you can hear and/or see (video), is this wrong? I'm not talking about visiting a neighbor or going off your property.
• United States
20 Sep 08
I totally agree with you on that that is the same point that I was trying to make...
@raeann (6)
• United States
20 Sep 08
My kids are older now but when they were babies, before "pay at the pump" was invented (Which,by the way, is one of the best inventions ever!) I would always unbuckle both babies and carry two infant carrier into the gas station just to pay for my gas. I considered leaving them in the car but just couldn't bring myself to do it. If something happened I would just die. Now if you are talking about in your own driveway or somewhere secure maybe it would be different. Now how about this....Recently in our very small town a young mother was arrested and taken to jail for leaving her child in the car while she had her hair done. I know sounds awful right? Now here is the rest of the story. Her 7 mo old had been most of the night cutting teeth. On the way to her appt. he fell asleep. The person in the salon who is a friend and usually watches him while the mom gets her hair cut told her she should leave him in the car and she would keep an eye on him so he could get some sleep. She left the car running, air conditioner on, and doors locked. They went out and checked on him about every 5 minutes. They could see the car at all times. Someone in the parking lot called 911 when they saw the child. Police came in sirens and all. Handcuffed her and took her to jail. Charge with felony child endangerment. Her mug shot was all over the local paper. The charges were latter lowered to a misdeamanor. I think a bit overkill! The police offical stance is still that the child was unattended. What exactly is unattended?
• United States
20 Sep 08
That is what I want to know. What exactly is unattended.? But in a situation like that I would have taken the baby inside whoever the person is that said they would watch him could have watched him in theri or too a little walk to keep the baby asleep until the mother finished getting her hair one. In a salon I'm pretty sure the sounds of the water runnin and blow dryings going would hae kept him sleep or at least drowned the cryin gout a little if he did cry. Most babies cry more at night when teething.
@jzjqdkd (273)
• China
20 Sep 08
for the child ,we'd better take him or her anywhere we go,the world is too much for them to control something right now,we need to take good care of them,probably it is not easy to watch them all day long.but at the time that exists some potential risks .we should care more.being a mother is really not that easy.i understand that totally.
• United States
20 Sep 08
Very true thansk for your comment
@chaska (170)
• United States
19 Sep 08
I really do beleive that you should never leave your kids in the car. About 6 years ago I was visiting my mother when my child was 2. I put her into the car along with all of my travel bags and had started the engine. I realized that I needed to use the restroom before I took the 2 hour drive home. I closed the door to my SUV with the motor running, air conditioner on, and keys in the ignition. I went back into the house just for about 2 minutes.When I returned the doors of the vehicle were locked. I do not know how , but they were locked. I was panicking when I realized that to the grace of GOD my sun roof was open. I climbed into the car through my sun roof. I have never ever left my child in the car ever again. That mistake could have had bad consequences.