- Family and Parenting»
Don't Leave Your Child/Children in the Car Unattended
I might be preaching to the choir but hopefully someone can please tell me why parents are still leaving their kids in the car. I see this happening way too often. Am I too overprotective? Or are other parents simply too trusting? Maybe I am just young and naïve but this just does not seem right to me at all. There are too many things that can happen in a split second to many deaths that have happened from parents leaving their children in the car purposefully and accidentally. These stories alone should be a warning to parents that they should do something differently.
Seeing children left in the vehicle without supervision is so incredibly disturbing to me that I am just not sure how to address this problem. I know that it is becoming a major problem because I am now starting to see signs in stores and notices going out to parents about leaving their children unattended in the car. Half the time when I see this I don't know whether to call the cops or to find the mother. Sometimes that quick little trip into the store takes a little longer than expected. I know this because usually if I have to make a quick trip and I am with my family either me or my husband will run in while the other one stays with the kids and it takes a little longer. There might be a long line or not enough cashiers, anything is possible and kids do not need to stay in the car unattended while that is happening.
The grocery store is not the only place that I have seen this happen some other places are at the mall, my children's school and at extra curricular activities. Most parents that I am in contact with have younger children that they leave in the car while the older children are doing activities. For example when I go to pick up my kids from school or go to an extra curricular activity with my children parents will leave the younger sibling in the car because they are napping and they do not want to wake them up. This is where I have seen signs warning parents about doing this, but they continue to do it.
Being a mother of triplets I understand completely how inconvenient it can be to have to take kids in and out of the vehicle. There are plenty of times when I thought it would be much easier to maneuver through a facility quickly if I could leave my kids in the car. I have considered it often even for simple and quick things but the thought of what could happen in that time is enough of a deterrent for me. However I have always chosen not to. I feel that there are so many alternatives to leaving children in the car for any period of time.
Some of these are alternatives are:
- Find a baby sitter - Finding a baby sitter or someone to watch the kids while you run errands can be very helpful. While the kids are being watched you are able to run to different places and take care of the things that you need to without having to worry about your children or having them slow you down by taking them in and out of the car.
- Ask for assistance - One of my bigger struggles with this issue personally was when I had to take my kids to the doctor. It was not always easy to find someone to go with me.Often my husband or my mother would assist me with this task. However there were some emergency visits or unexpected visits when it was difficult to have someone accompany me to the appointment. During these times especially since my children were still in car seats and it is impossible to carry three at a time. I would call up and have someone from the medical facility assist me. They were always more than willing to help just so that I would not have to leave my children in the car unattended. So asking for assistance is possible in certain instances.
- Change schedule - Sometimes making subtle changes in your schedule could help immensely. Run your errands when someone else is around to watch the kids. Adjust nap times when possible so that your younger children are not napping when you need to pick up your other child/children.
- Get help - Sometimesit is possible to get someone to help you run your errands for you. If you need something done quickly, maybe a family member, friend or neighbor could help you out instead of loading up the kids unnecessarily. When my children were younger I would ask others for help often. I was not trying to be annoying but sometimes it was necessary to get help with some things and I was not too proud to ask.
- Prioritize - Make sure that this is something that needs to be done right now or whether or not it is possible to do it at a more convenient time when there are not so many things going on or when you do not have to take the kids with you. Maybe you can save an errand for another time or figure out a different method. If it is something that is not so important save it for later.
There are so many things that can happen to children left in cars in a matter of moments. There are all sorts of stories of children dying after being left unattended in vehicles, cars being stolen with children in them or runaway cars and car crashes from children playing in unattended cars.
I know that sometimes it seems that it so much easier to just run in somewhere and leave your kids in the car while you move quickly but please take that extra moment and time to take your kids with you.