Saturday, March 26, 2011

Question For Parents

Would you leave your 2 & 5-year-old in a car alone while you were watching a T-Ball game?

I went to watch Damien's first T-ball practice/game (he's 3) and it was really cold out. He told his mom and dad that it was too cold, so we decided to leave. When I was walking to my car, I noticed that a kid who couldn't be more than 2 and another who couldn't be over 5 were sitting a car all by themselves. I sat there contemplating what to do. I'm not a parent but I cannot see myself leaving a child alone in a car like that, even if my third child was in the middle of a game. I am not a parent but I can't see myself leaving a 5-year-old to take care of a 2-year-old. Is this OK?

I sat for a long time trying to decide what I should do. Doing nothing wasn't an option. In the end, I sat there until both parents got to their car and I got out and said "you shouldn't leave your kids alone like that". The woman said "these are my kids and I was right over there." My question is, if you were right there and could actually see them, why didn't you come over when the five-year-old got in the front seat and set off the alarm. I didn't say that but I should have. Then the dad starts yelling at me how she's a mother of three. I'm like, OK, well then you should know better. Right then, I knew I should have called the police. I don't like to start things but I am not the type of person who can just walk away and hope for the best. So I tell them that next time I will call the police. The guy starts yelling at me to call his brother/brother-in-law (I don't remember which it was). There were a lot of people around and I hope that I embarrassed them enough not to leave their children unattended like that. All I kept thinking was, these kids could be on the 6:00 news as kidnapped. I just don't understand some people.

Did I over-react? Or should I have called the police?

Well, I'm sure I will see them again the next time my nephew plays T-Ball. That should be interesting.

5 comments:

  1. What the Hell?!?!?!? Those stupid idiots... You should have called the police. I'm glad you said something to them. Me and Corey were just doing that the other day. We saw some idiot woman have her little kid in the front seat in her lap while her husband was driving. She was covering him with a pillow up against the window. Corey was yelling, "Where's a cop when you need one!!" We stayed right beside them and gave them tons of dirty looks. Some parents are just morons! You did the right thing.

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  2. Thank you for your comments. FYI - I was there for 20 minutes (in my car) and never once saw anyone check on the kids. Also I found a few important laws:

    A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly leaves a child in a motor vehicle for longer than five minutes, knowing that the child is: (1)younger than seven years of age; and (2)not attended by an individual in the vehicle who is 14 years of age or older. (b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor. Added by Acts 1984, 68th Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 24, § 1, eff. Oct. 2, 1984. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_texas_law_about_leaving_children_in_a_vehicle#ixzz1HjjxR8Ye

    As of now twelve states have laws that specifically prohibit parents or guardians from leaving children alone in cars. Some of the states make it a traffic violation that includes a ticket or fine and other states make the offense a misdemeanor with a possible prison sentence. All states have laws that allow authorities to charge parents with child neglect and endangerment if a child dies because he/she was left unattended in a car. - read more http://huntsville.injuryboard.com/miscellaneous/new-laws-about-leaving-children-unattended-in-cars.aspx?googleid=221596

    Here is an article about a woman who was arrested for leaving her kids in an unattended vehicle while running into the store - http://www.thesunnews.com/2011/03/24/2059113/conway-woman-released-on-bail.html

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  3. Bridget, You did the right thing and I just wish there were more people out there willing to get involved.


    (Here is the comment I posted on Readaholic) As a Mom of 2, I would also have been concerned about the safety of the kids and looked for their parents. If I could not confirm that someone was actually watching them, I would not have been able to just walk away. Beyond that I don't know what my reactions would have been without having been in your shoes. I am glad to hear in the end the kids are ok. It's just unfortunate things escalated to yelling and a confrontation.

    Personally, I feel kids that age should NEVER be out of a parents line of vision. Not only is there a risk of someone abducting them but there is always a risk of personal injury. How many times have you heard of children playing in cars, accidentally shifting them out of gear and rolled over a sibling. It's sad when you hear a parent say "I only took my eyes off them for a second"? That's all it takes.

    In the end, for me what it amounts to is that I have to live with myself and my actions. I would always rather err on the side of caution to ensure a child's safety than to walk away and possibly find out later I could have done something to prevent an injury or tragedy and didn't.

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  4. im not a parent either but i've been in similar situations before. Once I was in a big town with a decent amount of crime, and i was at the mall and noticed 3 kids, teh oldest was probably 7 and then one was just a baby in an infant seat - maybe 10 months? and the other was maybe 2.5 or 3? sitting in a car. so i sat waiting to see if someone would come right out and i finally called the police after waiting over 20 minutes. the oldest kid was jumping around in the front seat honking the horn and stuff.

    when i called the police it took them like 20 minute sto show up even though we were right in town and the cop acted annoyed that i had called him out. i sat until the parents family came out and in total it was over 45 minutes. the cop was like 'i was called to watch over your kids until you came out because someone was concerned' and the mom was like I'm a good mom i wouldn't have left her with the kids if she couldn't take care of them. and the cop was like okay and left. i was pissed.

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