Leaving A Child Alone In The Car
NOTE: Please remember that everyone is entitled to have an opinion on this, and I am all for hearing what you have to say: but please keep your words kind. You do not need to be nasty to get your opinion across.
There’s always stuff in the news about parents who leave their kids in the car while they go shopping (or worse, go drinking, gambling, etc etc).
The latest is a Mum who went to the supermarket and left her child in the car. You can read it HERE.
Basically, someone found a baby crying in the car, went into the supermarket and told them about it; and the police were called.
Apparently 8 minutes later, the mother came out of the supermarket. She showed the people standing around that her baby was ok, and then drove away before anyone could talk to her.
I don’t usually leave my kids in the car alone for more than a minute. I leave them in the car when I go to the petrol station (and I usually pay at the pump) and occasionally into the dairy.
Once I left them for two minutes and I came out to find them screaming (they’d been fighting) and people standing around my car. I was beyond embarrassed. I have never ever done that again.
I might get slammed for this, but here’s the truth: basically if I can see the car, and I am only going to be a few seconds, then they stay in the car.
That might make me sound like a lazy Mum, but honestly it’s not worth the hassle dragging a toddler out of the car. Or even a baby; especially if that baby is asleep and getting them out might wake them up. NO WAY.
Again, it has never been for more than a minute.
I could explain more but I figure most people will understand why I don’t do it, and those that don’t understand probably never will.
Let me also tell you: if you choose to take your child out of the car, I applaud you!!!
HOWEVER, in New Zealand (according to the New Zealand Police) young children must never be left alone in a house or vehicle – they require constant supervision – and it is illegal to leave a child under the age of 14 without reasonable provision for their care.
So I am not sure if I am breaking the law, but I can still see my children, so they are still supervised IMO.
When it comes to parents who leave their children in the car for LONG periods of time (for long enough that they are screaming and crying and that people have gathered around worrying about the child), this causes me concern.
Not only for the child, but particularly for the mother.
I worry about what is going on in her life that has lead her to this point. Perhaps she doesn’t know that leaving a child in the car for a lengthy period of time is wrong.
Perhaps she doesn’t know what can happen when you leave a baby/child in the car for a long period of time: not only can your child get distressed, but they can suffer or potentially die because the car gets too hot. It can only take a few minutes for this to happen.
I worry that the Mother is perhaps suffering from post-natal depression, or that there is something else happening in her life that has lead to that moment.
We are always so quick to judge, and condemn the mother, but sometimes we need to look beyond the potentially fatal incident, and reach out to the Mother to help her.
Whether it’s educating her on the law and the hazards of leaving your child alone, or seeing if she’s ok. Seeing if perhaps she needs some help.
Do you get your kids out of the car when getting petrol? Or to go to the Dairy?
Please remember that everyone is entitled to have an opinion on this, and I am all for hearing what you have to say: but please keep your words kind. You do not need to be nasty to get your opinion across.