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What do you think of this?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
The other day, DH and I stopped for gas. As we were filling up, the woman in the car across from us finished and walked into the store to pay. There were 2 kids in the back seat, both in car seats.

Now, technically, it is illegal in this state to leave kids in the car unattended for even a short period of time. She was only in the store for a few minutes and came back and drove off. The kids were fine.

My husband was upset because she left the kids there. But, we were also getting the latest snow/ice storm and it was VERY cold out. The engine was shut off...I have no idea if the doors were locked or not (I hope they were, but not sure).

So, was it wrong for her to leave the kids in the car while she paid for gas? As apposed to bundling up the kids, making them leave a toasty warm car to go out in the 20 degree temps for the few minutes it took to pay for gas? DH thinks it's terrible, but I think she did the responsible thing, IMO. I mean, yes, the worst could happen and the store could have been held at gun point or something (not likely in our town), but I was just curious what everyone else thought. To me, the dangers (not the mention the time) of taking them out in below freezing weather was worse than actually leaving them for a few minutes.

Oh, by the looks of them, they were about 2 and 4. Neither one were infants, and both were buckeled in good. I kept an eye on them while DH paid for the gas.
post #2 of 19
Honestly, I can see both your points. Ideally, everything will happen just as it did, in, pay, out, all is well. But suppose you had not been there, and in the middle of the ice storm she slipped and fell on the way in and hit her head. Hopefully, people would come to her aid. But, how many would notice that there were children in the car? How many would put two and two together to figure out it was her car even if they did?

So, I don't know
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I know, this is a hard call, and it's been a debate in our house for the last few days (not a fight, just a debate). He's the one that brought up the hold-up scenerio, but I did think about falling on ice thing too. The only good thing is you do have to have a special card that you put in the pump before you actually start pumping that has your license and tag number in the system. Otherwise, you have to pay before you pump. Luckily the town this was in is VERY community minded and if something would have happened I don't think it would have taken long for someone to put two and two together.

I just didn't see the sense of bringing those kids out in the cold when the car was still pretty warm. But, it's illegal and would be considered child neglect.
post #4 of 19
Excellent question In this instance, IMO, it was okay. The odds of her falling, or the older child slipping & causing her to lose her balance & fall with the toddler in her arms was probably much greater than the odds of a robber/car jacker.
Esp. with an alert cat person nearby - we do defend the "kittens" of every specie
post #5 of 19
I think it's fine, and see people do it all the time.
post #6 of 19
All I can think of is the horror stories of someone stealing the car, with the kids in it.

BUT, that being said, my girls are given the choice to stay in my truck with the doors locked and engine off. My girls are 12 and 8. I only started doing this about 2yrs ago, prior to that they came inside with me.

Not knowing if the doors were locked in this case, I don't know. Even with locked doors, if a person wants your vehicle, they will get it. In my case, my kids know to lay on the horn if someone ever comes up to the vehicle acting strangely or aggressive. (yes they've scared a couple people who were parked next to us, but...my kids learned what is suspicious behavior, vs someone getting into the vehicle beside us)

Ironically, I didn't even think of the situation of the person falling on the ice. My immediate thoughts were of theft.

I really don't know. But I do know one thing, if that car was stolen there would be alot of guilt felt.

Bottom line: is it right? I don't know. Would I do it? Probally if I was in the exact situation and depending on the surroundings. If it was a small gas bar, no other people around....then no I wouldn't do it.

It's a personal call on what you feel safe with.
post #7 of 19
I wouldn't have taken the kids in either.
post #8 of 19
IMO, assuming the doors were locked, the kids would be safer in the car if the mom slipped on the ice. Otherwise, they would be in the middle of the parking lot.
post #9 of 19
I probally would have done the same thing. To get the kids out, bundled up, inside to pay, unbundled, and back into the car seats would take 2x as long as just going in to pay. If she sliped on the ice a 4 year old is more then capable of undoing her seat belt to get out. Like Rockcat said they are safer in the car then they are in the parking lot.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
The other day, DH and I stopped for gas. As we were filling up, the woman in the car across from us finished and walked into the store to pay. There were 2 kids in the back seat, both in car seats.
Neither one were infants, and both were buckeled in good. I kept an eye on them while DH paid for the gas.
Good thing you were the one keeping an eye on them rather than some crazy person that wanted to seize the opportunity. And there are a lot of crazy people out there!
post #11 of 19
In the town I live in now or even a smaller town - that sort of thing is ok. It wouldn't be in a bigger city.

And who knows? Maybe one of the kids was sick and didn't need to be out in the cold anymore than necessary? (there's been a lot of sick kids lately)
post #12 of 19
I see no problem with what she did. You were in a safe neighborhood, and it could have been a bigger issue getting them out and across the ice than leaving them in a warm car.

I know society has changed since I was a kid, but back in those dark ages, kids were normally left in the car in these situations. And we survived.
post #13 of 19
I think if it's a place you're not familiar with then no I don't feel comfortable doing that. But if it's a community you know and where people know you, recognize your vehicle, I honestly do not see a problem with it.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
The other day, DH and I stopped for gas. As we were filling up, the woman in the car across from us finished and walked into the store to pay. There were 2 kids in the back seat, both in car seats.

Now, technically, it is illegal in this state to leave kids in the car unattended for even a short period of time. She was only in the store for a few minutes and came back and drove off. The kids were fine.

My husband was upset because she left the kids there. But, we were also getting the latest snow/ice storm and it was VERY cold out. The engine was shut off...I have no idea if the doors were locked or not (I hope they were, but not sure).

So, was it wrong for her to leave the kids in the car while she paid for gas? As apposed to bundling up the kids, making them leave a toasty warm car to go out in the 20 degree temps for the few minutes it took to pay for gas? DH thinks it's terrible, but I think she did the responsible thing, IMO. I mean, yes, the worst could happen and the store could have been held at gun point or something (not likely in our town), but I was just curious what everyone else thought. To me, the dangers (not the mention the time) of taking them out in below freezing weather was worse than actually leaving them for a few minutes.

Oh, by the looks of them, they were about 2 and 4. Neither one were infants, and both were buckeled in good. I kept an eye on them while DH paid for the gas.
I would have never left children in a car alone, but that is just me.

If I needed to get gas, I would have waited until the children were not with me, or waited until another adult was in the car.

I have had my grandbaby with me when I was out doing errands, and I get him in and out each and every time. It has never even crossed my mind to leave him in the car alone.
post #15 of 19
I personally don't see anything wrong with it, in this instance. I have been known to do the same thing if need be-but we live in a VERY small town, and I feel safe.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I see no problem with what she did. You were in a safe neighborhood, and it could have been a bigger issue getting them out and across the ice than leaving them in a warm car.

I know society has changed since I was a kid, but back in those dark ages, kids were normally left in the car in these situations. And we survived.
I was left in a car for times when a little one... in the 80's so not the dark ages
post #17 of 19
Couldn't she have paid at the pump? I guess if she were using cash that might have been a problem. I'm torn about leaving little kids in the car, even for a few minutes. But then, I am a big city girl, and we have had people here carjacked with their kid or kids inside the vehicle.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
Couldn't she have paid at the pump? I guess if she were using cash that might have been a problem. I'm torn about leaving little kids in the car, even for a few minutes. But then, I am a big city girl, and we have had people here carjacked with their kid or kids inside the vehicle.
I was thinking about that. Here's a possible scenario:

No checking account (no debit card).
No one to leave the kids with.
Needed gas now.
Since the OP said "the other day," we know it was daytime.

She didn't want to drag the kids out in such bad whether. She (hopefully) locked the door and hurried in and out. With only those 2 choices I think she did what she thought was best.
post #19 of 19
I think if I didn't have a credit card or debit card, I would buy some of the prepaid gift cards for the gas station I used the most and use those to pay at the pump. I don't think I would leave kids in the car.
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