Leaving your kid in the car, you @#$%^&*

The following is the text of a letter I wrote to our newspaper.

*Woman, you should be glad I don’t have a cell phone, otherwise you might be in deep trouble.

I was in the parking lot of the Dillon’s at 29th and Topeka, about 12:45PM, on Sunday the 19th of October. Your little red car was there, with a small boy left totally alone in it. The windows were open and he was hollering out the window, trying to talk to passersby. I went back into the store to report this to a manager, as I did not have a phone. Otherwise I would immediately have called 911 to report an abandoned child, and watched as you tried to talk your way out of it. Driving off before they arrived would not haved helped, I got your license number.

The manager, to his very great credit, listened to me and I left the store, but kept a watch one the car. Then you came out, carrying what looked like a cake. So because I don’t have a portable phone you had just enough time to make a getaway. I did not confront you, but mine were not the only eyes watching, as some folks in another car saw what was going on and talked to me about it.

You left a little kid, the most precious thing in the world, totally alone. How could you? It only takes a minute to steal a car, or harm a child. What would you have felt like if something like that had happened? If you see this letter I hope you try never to do such a careless thing again.

Sincerely, Baker*

In this day and age how can some people keep on doing stupid stuff like this? Any pervert could have got that kid, he seemed to be trying to get people’s attention. I did not approach closely so as not to scare him(I was so pissed it would have showed). The store manager must not have had time to call the cops before the woman came back and drove off.

At least this time I did something active. A few years ago I didn’t, and while the kids in question were watched over by someone else, I left. I felt so guilty later on that I promised myself if I ever saw a similar situation I would report it, no matter what. Maybe the bitch mother(I’m assuming it was the kid’s mother) will see the letter(if it gets published) and in the future think twice before leaving her child alone.

Pant, pant, pant. OK, I think I feel a little better now. This forum is a great place to rant.

Oh my…how hard is it to bring your child into the store?? There should be a test prior to parenthood - I can’t imagine letting my kiddos out of my sight for a second, and they’re 6 & 8.

Baker, you have a big heart, my friend.

I dunno. Leaving a kid cooped up in a hot car for several hours is one thing, but leaving a kid sitting in a car for a few minutes (without any heat risk) is another. Shouldn’t the time and circumstances have some weight in the matter, as opposed to a blanket condemnation of all incidents?

No, rjung, one should never leave a kid alone like that, especially one so young.

I think the key here is, how small a boy?

When I was little (and I mean 4, 5, 6) my mother used to routinely leave me in the car when she went shopping because I didn’t like shopping and I didn’t want to put on my shoes.

I then rolled up all the windows so it would get nice and hot in the car. I liked it hot. (The day I discovered there was such a thing as a sauna was pure joy, but that came later. Much later.)

When she came out she would chastise me for making the car too hot (this was in southern Calif., it was always sunny). But think what passers-by of today would think of this behavior!

But other than the overheated car, the only time this routine didn’t suit both of us perfectly well was the time she was in a Safeway and there was an earthquake. In the car I didn’t even feel it, but the glass front fell out of the Safeway. To her credit my mother got back out of the store fast to assure me that really everything was all right.

The child appeared to be about three years old. Much too young to be on his own.

My daughter is six. The other day, we stopped at a 7-11 so I could get some milk. She was reading a book, and didn’t want to come in with me.

Even thought I was parked right in front of the door, I locked the doors of the vehicle, ran in, and grabbed the milk, and kept my eyes on the vehicle at all times. I was in and out in about 30 seconds, nervous the whole time. And we live in a nice, safe suburb.

That’s the first time I had ever left her in the car alone. I can not imagine leaving a 3 year old.

I don’t even like when people bring their kids into stores with them and don’t even make sure they’re still with them! I was waiting in line to pay at a clothing store yesterday (there was about a 5 foot space between where the head of the line is and the counter) and a woman passed through the space with her 3 or 4 year old daughter trailing several feet behind her. As the kid passed I thought in my head how easy it would be just to grab the kid and the woman would never have been watching.

I know it’s a morbid thought and I swear I would never ever do such a thing, but I see parents all the time just assuming their little one is somewhere trailing behind them. What ever happened to holding hands?

I hear you on that, Sam Stone - my boys are 6 & 8 and I never let them out of my sight. I almost had a heart attack a few weeks ago when I was stupid enough to take my 6-yr out on his bike around the park while I ran. He took off without me - and I screamed, ran across muddy grass for what seemed like forever to catch up with him.

The days when you could let your 1rst grader walk a few blocks to school (as I did) are gone forever in most of our cities. Damn, that is so sad.


Baker has spoken.

Let the amending of the Constitution begin.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

I suppose you think that 50 lashes as well as having the child taken from the parent and placed into a foster home is a suitable punishment, right?

Christ, apparently in the 27 odd years that have passed since I was a wee lad and was left alone in the car while my 'rent or 'rents did errands, the country has been overwhelmed as 10’s, nay 100’s of millions of pedophiles, child molesters, kidnaper and child abusers have swept into America and spend all of their time doing nothing but scouring the parking lots of the strip and shopping malls of our country looking for young children to take away and doing unspeakably vile things to.

Right. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

I never thought that people could get over-paranoid about something like this, but damn if I wasn’t wrong.

You’re about to get the shit kicked out of you for that idiotic post, Mr. Evil Breakfast. Yes, it is a VERY fucking different world than 27 years ago.

Or is it? I have sometimes wondered about this myself. When I had young children I was absolutely terrified if I lost sight of them well past the ages I used to run around by myself in 3rd world countries as foreign service brat, or in the US a young kid once we got back.

Regardless of MEB’s snide tone he does have a logical point. I do find it difficult to believe in practical terms, that there are that many more sexual predators extant than when I was child. In what very specific and concrete way, is it a “VERY fucking different world than 27 years ago”, relative to the real world practical risks of stranger abduction?

It’s not just the danger of child molesters, Mr. Evil Breakfast that makes it a bad idea to leave a child alone in a car, but also the fact that a child might put a car in gear.

When my cousin was a child, my aunt left him alone “just for a minute,” while she ran in to pick up a pizza. She looked up to see her car rolling down the parking lot, across the street and into some bushes. My cousin had unbuckled his seat belt, and must have bumped the gear shift while crawling around in the front seat.

He wasn’t hurt, thank God, because the person who was driving down that street saw the car in time to slam on the brakes. But he could have been.

Lots of things can happen to a child left alone in a car. The car could be stolen, for example. (I remember watching a case on Court TV which involved a child who was dragged to death when his mother left him in the car to go into a store. The thief claimed he didn’t know the kid was inside. The child tried to get out, and was dragged behind the car because he got tangled in the seatbelt.)

Hell, I don’t even leave my dog in the car, let alone a child.

You mean OTHER than the fact that it’s illegal? (at least in my state, are there any states where that’s not true?).

And OTHER than what other’s have said here, that it’s dangerous and foolhardy? It takes a millisecond for some pervert to grab a kid, especially a kid hanging out of the windows hollering at passers-by.

Yes, imho this is a case where a blanket condemnation of a stupid act/behaviour is in order.

Uh, Baker is absolutely right. Do you have any idea how many children are kidnapped in this country, never to be seen or from again? Do you see the pictures on the post office walls, the flyers in the mail, the milk cartons? Children have been kidnapped when their parent or parents took their eyes off them for a couple of minutes in a park.

The woman is very lucky her child was still in the car when she got back. Christ, she may as well have pinned a sign on the kid that said “Take Me!!”.

I agree that leaving a kid in a car with open windows (where he could climb out or be snatched) is foolhardy. I’m just questioning the absoluteness of the OP, that a child could never be left alone in a car, regardless of the circumstances.

I don’t know; do you? More specifically, is the number of child abductions in 2003 significantly different than the number in 1981 (27 years ago, to use Mr. Evil Breakfast’s point)?

Er, I mean 1976, which is 27 years ago, or something. Bleagh, no mind for math tonight…

Gee, if it’s not signifigantly greater, does that make it OK if THIS kid gets snatched? So long as the overall numbers are OK?

I got left in the car sometimes when I was a small child. It wasn’t unusual back then, though (late 70s).

Sorry to hijack your Q, but why would you question something like that?

I mean, it’s not rocket science, kidnappings, kids hitting the gear shift, etc DO happen, the chance is too much to take.

And HELL yes things are very different than they were when we 40somethings were kids.