Is It Safe To Leave My Child Alone In The Car?

Editorial Team

The topic of leaving a child alone in the car is a very controversial topic around the world. Then there is the question of how old does a child have to be before you can leave the child alone in the car to go run an errand. How many minutes is acceptable for a child to be left alone in the car.

There are a lot of opinions about this with a lot of people saying it is not that bad and also some saying it is very bad and dangerous. In America, there are a lot of laws that say it is an offense to leave a child below 7 years unattended to in a car for more than 5-15 minutes. This offense is punishable and can land the parent in jail.

As reported by Daily Mail, in March 2008, a woman Treffly Coyne was out of her car for just minutes and no more than9 metres away. But that was long and far enough to land Treffly Coyne in court after a police officer spotted her sleeping 2-year-old daughter alone in the vehicle. Mrs Coyne had taken her two older daughters to pour £4 in coins into a charity box. Minutes later, she was under arrest, the focus of both a police investigation and a probe by the state's child welfare agency.

Ms. Coyne said, "It's sleeting out, it's not pleasant, I don't want to disturb her, wake her up,". "It was safer to leave her in the safety and warmth of an alarmed car than take her."

According to Nigerian Tribune, in March 2010, A Nigerian couple in Cyprus locked their four months old baby inside their car at 3:00a.m and went to enjoy themselves in a nightclub. The parents were arrested and taken with the baby for exposing the child to danger and were questioned and charged in writing before being released. A Welfare Services officer was also involved in the case and arrived undertake issues related to the infant.

According to The Punch, in Kaduna state a couple were said to have stepped out with one of them leaving their Honda Civic car unlocked in the compound. Their four children ranging from 3-12years old entered into the car and later closed the door with one of them pressing the the lock button, when the car got heated, they became trapped. A resident said the kids suffocated, adding that their parents did not know they were dead until they came back home in the evening.

While doing my research, I found a lot of conflicting opinions on whether it is safe or not to leave a child in the car for few minutes. People agree that in extremely cold or hot weather it is better to not leave your child alone in the car while some feel it is even better to leave the child in the warm or cool car than carrying the child for example during rainy season.

This topic also brought to light the matter of what if you leave your child alone in the car and the child could even be kidnapped.

In the midst of all this conflicting opinions, one thing a lot of people had in common was that it is better to be safe than sorry and so if that means carrying the child out of the car while running a few errands they were ready to do it.

Mamalettes, what do you think about leaving a child alone in the car? At what age do you think it is safe to leave the child alone in the car? What is the time limit to leave a child in the car while running errands?



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