The Problem with “Unattended Child” Laws

By Veronica

After several tragic deaths of children left in hot vehicles, cities and states across the country have been enacting “Unattended Child” laws. Depending on the law, parents are threatened with a misdemeanor and a fine if they are caught leaving a child unattended in a car.

While I understand the desire of lawmakers to prevent another tragic death, I am skeptical that these laws will actually protect children. In the dreadful cases where a child has died from being left in a car, the reason was a parent’s forgetfulness, not a deliberate decision (If you can stomach horrifying stories, this excellent Washington post story covers several of these tragedies. But I warn you against the article – few parents could read it without nightmares). Laws do not prevent forgetfulness.

In fact, I think in some situations these laws may increase a child’s danger. Let me give an example. I have four small children, all under the age of six. Sometimes I must take them all shopping with me at the grocery store. The biggest danger to them at the store are the cars in the parking lot – car accidents are the leading cause of death for children age 2-14. To protect them from this danger, I bring my children through the parking lot by placing the youngest two in the cart and having my oldest two walk with one hand on the cart. The oldest two are within arm’s reach if they decide to run. Once I bring my cart and groceries to my car, I load the groceries, buckle my children into their carseats, and then return the cart.

If my state passes an unattended child law, then that walk back to the cart corral just became a crime. To obey the law, I must manage all four kids to the cart corral and back without a cart. That means holding the two youngest and just hoping the oldest two stay with me, because if they wander or run, I have no free hands to grab them. The threat of arrest creates a choice between the legal option and the safest option.

That is not a choice I should have to make.

When children die in unattended vehicles, it is a heartbreak beyond imagining. I have deepest sympathy for the parents and caregivers responsible. The situations in which I have forgotten my child – for example, once I thought she was sleeping in her room when really she was sitting quietly in the living room – have been harmless, but the forgetfulness was real. I do not delude myself that this could never happen to me. It could happen to anyone. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying to himself. There is no world where accidents do not happen.

But a parent must be free to judge what is the biggest danger to their child in a given situation. The law should not take that away.

51 Responses to The Problem with “Unattended Child” Laws
  1. Brea's Mommy
    March 31, 2009 | 9:28 am

    Wow. I never considered leaving your child in the car to return a cart a crime and really hope that others don’t either. Although I do have to say I have seen parents make dumb decisions that this law may prevent. The other day when I was going out for pizza I saw a lady come out of the store. I noticed her getting into her car without unlocking the door. The car was running and there was a child in the backseat. A number of things could have happened to the child while she was getting her pizza. Sadly this law probably wouldn’t make any difference to her anyway.

  2. edj
    March 31, 2009 | 9:28 am

    A mom in France recently left her baby in the car in a parking garage for her entire 8-hour work day, thinking the child was at her in-office day care. The baby is fine, thanks to an especially cool day that kept the car from overheating. The poor mother just kept saying, “It’s all my fault! I’m a horrible mother!” but I felt so bad for her. By all accounts, she is anything but, just had a moment of forgetfulness.

  3. Bon
    March 31, 2009 | 10:18 am

    i read that Post article a few weeks ago and it’s haunted me, indeed.

    but i agree with you…forgetting a child is not walking away b/c you need to return a cart or even b/c you want to pay for gas or go to the bank machine or worse, like the dad in Calgary who recently left his 21-month-old in the car in -8 degree weather with a blanket over the window so no one could see in while dad played at the casino for six hours, b/c you’re an ASS…real forgetting of the kind that endangers lives isn’t going to be protected by that law.

    and i’m never sure what to do about the damn carts, myself.

  4. Chantal
    March 31, 2009 | 1:18 pm

    But what about those who leave their children in cars on purpose. I know someone who routinely goes shopping and leaves her children (multiple children) in the van while she is gone. Her justification is that the oldest is 9 but I just don’t agree. It would be nice to have some kind of rule to follow. Right now there is no rule and these kids just sit there, unattended, for goodness knows how long.

  5. Kara
    March 31, 2009 | 2:22 pm

    I can understand both sides of it. The law could maybe keep people who purposely leave kids in the car to run errands from doing it, but could also be a problem like you described. For example, a few weeks ago I had to go return a rented steam cleaner. I had 4 children ages 4m, 8m, 2.5 and 4.5 in the van and it was snowing heavily outside. There was no way I was going to take 4 kids out in the snow, 2 of them babies, just to bring them into the store (I was parked right in front of the doors), run back out to the van for the cleaner, and bring them all back out in the snow a minute later. But if someone had saw that I left them there while running in, they could have called the cops and I could have gotten in trouble.

  6. Alexandra
    March 31, 2009 | 2:56 pm

    I can’t imagine how you forget a child in the car. I’ve heard of people doing it, but I mean, seriously… how is that possible?! There is no way I could forget a child. I have three, all age 4 & under. I don’t exactly need to do a head count when I walk in the door, but I do always pay attention to where my kids are.

    As far as the grocery cart thing goes…I’m bad… I just put the cart in a front corner of my parking space & hope no big winds smack my cart into another car. But I mean, I typically find the carts there when I arrive anyways…

  7. Hannah
    March 31, 2009 | 3:09 pm

    I totally agree. And I’m glad I’m the only one who dashes alone to the cart corral!

  8. Anitra
    March 31, 2009 | 3:11 pm

    These laws do annoy me. They won’t prevent accidental death, and they make it so I can’t legally leave my sleeping baby in the car when I go into the gas station to pick up a gallon of milk. Instead, I must take her out of the carseat (waking her up), and then carry her, money, and a gallon of milk until I can put something down again. If I can leave her in the car (which I can see the whole time), it takes 2 minutes. If I must take her with me, it takes 10.

  9. Kimberly
    March 31, 2009 | 6:31 pm

    I think this is the trouble with a certain type of law: those which try to make us “better” human beings. They don’t necessarily work.

    And, this is trying to prevent accidents. It is sortof like saying that it is against the law to have a car accident. Well, I suppose that there are laws regulating types of driving that might lead to an accident, but there aren’t laws about having accidents, per se.

    I suppose they could be seen as educational: “don’t leave children alone in cars, it isn’t safe”. That then balances the varying degrees of safety, as you have said.

    Also, I wonder if this might have an unintended effect of criminalizing this to such an extent that a parent who has left a child in a car, won’t call the paramedics, who might be able to help, because that parent would be worried about going to jail.

    This has been very much on my mind lately since I left the infant outside my son’s preschool classroom when I dropped the toddler off. Seriously, I just walked right past my stroller in the hallway, got all the way out of the church and to my car before I snapped to. Holy cow! I guess, if I am going to forget the baby, a church preschool is an ok place to forget him, but still. I was so freaked out.

  10. Stacey
    March 31, 2009 | 8:26 pm

    I agree with you. I would never leave my daughters in the car while I was getting my haircut or a massage or doing all of my grocery shopping, but I do leave them in the car while I run into the post office to grab my mail out of our PO Box. I leave the car running, locking it and taking the extra key and remote with me. I would take so much longer if I were to take them in with me instead of my 45 second jaunt into the building. I can see the car the entire time. And I do buckle them into their seats and return the grocery cart without them, too! I guess I’m going to jail with you 馃檪

  11. candace
    March 31, 2009 | 10:06 pm

    I never leave my son in the car by himself. I would gladly take the extra time so I know he is okay. The whole cart thing: well I load all groceries in, leaving him in the cart during this, and then return the cart to the proper place with him in it, pull him out and we walk back to the car together. I always load groceries in the trunk of my car and he is always right beside me where he sits in the cart. Yea it takes extra time but it is okay because he is safe.

  12. Veronica
    April 1, 2009 | 12:59 am

    Candace, perhaps you didn’t read the whole post. Your way works if you have only one or two small children. Those of us with more can’t carry all our children in our arms.

  13. Julia
    April 1, 2009 | 1:08 am

    I think about those laws and just the safety issues involved every single time I am shopping with my two kids. I try to park next to the cart returns so I can put the kids in the car, put the groceries away and then place the cart in its spot right next to my car. Obviously I don’t always get that option to park next to one- in that case I put the cart in the front of my car.

  14. Happy Geek
    April 1, 2009 | 12:51 pm

    I am totally with you on the locking your car with kids safely strapped inside to return your cart, or to grab the mail.
    However, I am from Calgary and the story of the dad who left his boy in the car to gamble for 6 hours, makes me want to lay down and weep. But there are already laws in place for Jack@sses like that.
    There was another case recently a case in Calgary where a mom ran into a store for a minute to grab something, leaving her kids safely strapped in. A couple of passer-bys saw the kids, called the police and then blocked her car so she couldn’t leave till the cops arrived.
    I now check around for goody-two-shoes before I return my cart.

  15. candace
    April 1, 2009 | 4:47 pm

    I guess it is a good thing I am only having one child then. Even if I had more than one or two I would still do the same. I know mothers who have four who do it.

  16. Jennifer Sandberg
    April 1, 2009 | 11:54 pm

    I am so happy to see this post as I totally agree! I think the thing that makes me the most crazy about it is it takes away a parent’s right to make the best decision for the child in any situation.

  17. chrissy
    April 2, 2009 | 12:44 am

    I think you are wise when you say it could happen to anyone. ‘Never say never’ is one of the only things I know for sure about parenting. I think that’s what is so scary about seeing those parents on the news (here in Texas it happens a lot in the summer) is the sobering realization that it just takes one moment of forgetfulness, and we all have those from time to time, but so far with lesser consequences, thankfully.

    I don’t think it’s wrong to leave your kids in the car while you return a cart, but if it were against the law, I would sooner risk leaving a cart and denting someone’s car rather than have free running children in a parking lot.

  18. Angelad
    April 2, 2009 | 10:59 am

    Legislation will not help forgetfulness. For the rest of it, isn’t it about a judgment call and who decides what is safe for my children? Increasingly, that is becoming the government, not the parent.
    At home, I get to make the rules – for example, there is no law that says when I should transition my child from crib to bed. I won’t get hauled before a judge for giving my daughter cow’s milk or strawberries before the recommended age.
    It just seems that the more legislation that is in place to “protect” our kids, the more judgmental we become. Was reading a blog post recently talking about being a “car seat Nazi” and while I agree that it is NOT RIGHT not to use a car seat, the way we condemn other parents is so ungracious and self-righteous.

  19. Moriah
    April 2, 2009 | 4:12 pm

    V-

    We have about the same ages of kids and I TOTALLY get this – “hoping they don’t run” – yeah, that’s me.

    I’d just say screw the cart. Leave it on the parking lines OR park purposefully right next to the corral. I do that often… even if I have to park a little ways away from the store, getting that space right next to the cart return is worth it. Problem solved.

    But I’m with you on the law. Completely.

  20. Carrie
    April 2, 2009 | 4:20 pm

    I live in a very small town, actually, in the country, but the post office/library/store is in a small town, and at home & the camp where I work & at times in that small town, I have left my now 15-month-old son sleeping in a running, locked car. I know he’s not in any danger, and I wouldn’t do it if the car were not running or the day was very hot or cold, or if I were in a bigger town.

    I can’t imagine this law applying to someone running to put a shopping cart away…I would say it would more apply to an unattended car- like if you see a baby in a car where no mother is frantically running back from the cart corral. 馃檪

    And as far as shopping carts go, I do only have one child so far, so I do the same thing as Candace, leaving him in the cart until I put it in the cart return, but I see how that isn’t possible or feasible or even safe for those of you with more than 2 children. If it came down to a law being enforced, I think leaving the shopping cart in the front of the space as several people mentioned is an excellent, safe, legal idea.

  21. Elisa
    April 2, 2009 | 8:34 pm

    I worry about the safety of leaving my children unattended in the car myself. I do it, on occasion, but I worry about it.

    To me the issue is not whether or not it is or isn’t safe (we could argue about that all day long), but rather whether or not it’s the purpose of the government to make laws like this. I think our founding fathers would be rolling over in their graves… Remember, there was a time, not that long ago, when home-schoolers were prosecuted under Truancy laws and their children were taken from them and put into foster care. This is not what the American government was intended for.

  22. Melissa
    April 9, 2009 | 12:13 pm

    So, I’m confused. IS this already a law that no child can be left alone in a car for one second? Or is it just something that legislators are considering?

  23. Veronica
    April 9, 2009 | 3:01 pm

    Melissa, it depends on what state you live in. Some states have already enacted unattended child laws, but precisely what they outlaw depends on the wording of the specific law.

  24. AT
    April 10, 2009 | 12:41 pm

    OH Please, leaving the kids when you are in sight of the car returning the cart is not what these laws are about. These are for parents who leave toddlers and infants in the car while they go into the store and lose sight of the vehicle. Recently, a couple in NJ were arrested after leaving their two month old in the car for over an hour. The child could have choked on a button and died. That’s alright with you I guess? How would YOU protect these children?

  25. […] it embarrassed me personally, but it also bothers me because it fits with a larger pattern – (in unattended child laws, in parenting methods) – that DEPENDS on parents have very small families. This rule – in a pool […]

  26. Christopher
    July 7, 2009 | 8:01 pm

    Veronica, you are right but it’s worse than you think. I was unaware of this law until today. I pulled up to the front of a store and saw that my 7 month old was sleeping, I did not want to disturb his sleep so I locked the doors and cracked the windows in this low 80’s weather and I walked in to the store only to see if they had 9 volt batteries, the door had windows so I could watch my son while I was doing this. I grabbed a bag of cheetos and some things near the register and begin to check out, I noticed some women stopping and standing around my car, I pay the clerk and head over to my car, I said “He’s ok I’m right here” and one of the women replied “I’ve been here ten minutes and I have called the police!” I was thinking in my mind what for? I have only really been away from the car no more than five minutes. I’ve broken no law that I am aware of, and I haven’t even sinned. So I hop in the car seeing that he is still asleep and cool, so I pull out. About fifteen minutes later I receive a call from the police department, I was scared wondering how this could happen and wondering how the police would get involved so I wait for a message. I get home and search to see if I had really broken a law I was unaware of and I found this. I called the police back and explained myself and because of certain conditions I was left with a warning on my record. Now, how is it that it is legal to make a decision on murdering your own unborn child (regardless of the conditions besides age in certain cases) but it is illegal to make a decision on parenting your own child? Yes, I have heard of the cases where babies have been killed because of forgetful parents, but why make things worse for that baby by sending his/her loving parent to jail when the baby needs them and is instead raised by child care or babysitter or grandma. I love my baby more than anything and instead of a relationship between me and my child it ends up with the government and my child!!! Where is the logic in our laws anymore? Our nation is falling upon itself!!! The blind are not only leading the blind but everyone else! If there are a few people who do stupid things then judge according to those things and do not make a law to burden everyone else in this nation not alone every parent. This nation mainly has been running off of the greatest good for the greatest number (Which I don’t believe in) and now decides to burden most because of an act of a few!!! Nothing can take the place of a child and his/her loving parent, since when is allowing your baby to continue to sleep while your watching him/her afar a crime? Why don’t we just make it illegal to think stupidly, because that is one thing I may be guilty of inspite of thinking on my child’s best interest. What’s next, it is illegal to leave pets by themselves? Actually, it’s probably already a law. Simply put, laws cannot make bad parents good, it can only make both good and bad parents angry.

  27. Christopher
    July 7, 2009 | 8:06 pm

    So put the parents in jail and put the baby in foster care, after all that’s what the baby would want, wouldn’t it? People can help if the see a real need, but why make it a law? If you have children would you want your neighbor to call the police everytime they think you are being a bad parent?

  28. Jenne
    October 29, 2009 | 1:53 pm

    These laws are being pushed not for the heat issue but by someone whose child was killed when two toddlers left in a car put it into gear and it rolled down the hill. Basically, she and her foundation don’t give a rat’s butt about the kids *in* the car. It’s a vendetta based on the fact that her child was killed.

  29. Terra
    January 29, 2010 | 9:30 pm

    I had to pay my mortgage today. Never leave my daughter in the car. But I had to go into the bank. Also have a puppy. Didnt want her to rip up anything, daughter was eating her snack after I picked her up from school. Told her not to open the door up for ANYONE…Ran in, waited in line. COuld see my car out the door. ANd they had cameras everywhere.Came back out to a cop trying to open my doors. I said…are you trying to open the doors?What are you doing? He said it is against the law to leave any child..unless they are old anough to drive, in a car alone. So if she’s 14..cant do that. I didnt leave her in there forever…and I dont live in Arizona for gods sakes.I was thinking. I will be looking up the laws…so he better be right…have his badge #. Otherwise they will here from me. We cant live in fear all the time. And I dont like being treated like I’m a bad parent. He asked for my dl. I gave it to him. He gave me a lecture and left. He would have given me a ticket if it were against the law. I unlocked the car and asked my daughter what happened. She said he asked her to open the door. She told him no. I told her …good girl. Cop or not.

  30. Busch
    July 1, 2010 | 5:17 pm

    I did the same, when i only had one child and two children, but i now have 3 kids, i buckle them in, lock the car and return the cart.
    Oh dear! Try what the lady with 4 children was trying to avoid, a dead child from walking 2 infants and 2 toddlers from the cart corrall. Good luck to You, if You choose to have more than 3 kids;)

  31. Nedergaard
    July 1, 2010 | 6:41 pm

    Christopher in # 27 is very right!!! I went to return a scale and swich it to another in working condition. I am parked right in front of the store next to the handicap spot,my 13month old is finally sleeping(teething) my 2 boys 4 and ahalf year old and 8 year old are plying their Ds, so i leave tje car running and lock the car. i go in, there is no Line-up, so i return the scale @ 1:44pm run to the isle, get the other scale, pay for it @ 1:47pm, hurry to my car, and there is 2 ladies by my car one on the phone with authorities, telling Them my numberplate and kind of car. Saying she had been standing there for at least 10 minutes!! When i have the receipts to prove her wrong!I it had been maximum 4 minutes with walking to an from the store! What does she get out of lying about that?!
    My daugther was in her babyseat in the front, and the boys in the back, i asked my son “did she even look in the back of the car?” he Said”no”
    my husband could have been sitting in the back thinking she was just making a phonecall, and not done a thing. Which he often does.
    I have been careless many times then….
    Example 1: i have left the House with All 3 kids in the car, but i forgot the diaperbag, what do i do? I leave the car in the driveway, with the kids inside and run into the house and get the diaperbag! Or should I get all the kids out of the car, and then we will all go inside the house to get the diaperbag??
    Example 2: putting a letter in the mailbox: even with one child… do you take your child out of the car to do that? While parked right next to the mailbox??? I am sure most people don’t even lock their car for this!! I DO lock the car, I must say.
    Example 3: the bank machine, same scenario as with the returning of the scale! But have now for years enjoyed the very convenient option to safe kids: the drive-through bank, I know this is probably not available everywhere, but if you have the option, it is definately A lot easier 馃槈

    ????am I being neclectful when I quickly go to the washroom inside our home? Or quickly wash my hair? Or when I find my kid with something in her mouth she could choke on at a store?

    I live in Calgary, but I moved from Denmark, I am stating this to show how paranoid ladies in the scale-incident is!
    In Denmark You leave Your babies as in newborns and up in their prams, outside grocerystores, cafe’s and the hairdresser! I still haven’t heard of anyone’s child being kidnapped or harmed as a result of being left sleeping outside. We even leave the baby in the prams outside our houses or apartment building for their nap, even in the winter, dressed accordingly, because the babies sleep much better in the fresh air.
    We look after each others kids, and we are all being aware for oneanother, I think it is fine to call authorities, to get help for a child who needs help, I certainly do not think you should be given a fine or the incident put on your record, unless it is for longer than reasonable, by that I mean, leaving the child(ren) in hot weather, cold weather in cars that have not been turnied on and without appropriate temperature blowing, or for long periods of time! I don’t see 5 minutes as fair game for the authorities! It is just pure paranoia, and I’m not bringing my kids out in minus 20celcius if I can avoid it! And that is not for my convenience!!
    Thank You for Your ear on this.

  32. Jonathan
    October 9, 2010 | 7:50 pm

    I think that my neighbor is always leaving their baby unattended for a hours in his room. He can be heard screaming and crying for a long time while we are sure she is down stairs totally ignoring him. would DYFS do anything about that?

  33. Nedergaard
    October 10, 2010 | 4:21 am

    Yes i would d贸 something about that! There are different ways to d贸 this, you Can go ring your neighbors door Bell, and simply ask if everything is okay, and make it clear to Them that you were scared and very worried because you heard the baby crying. then if it happens again you Can go overthere or Call authorities with the same explanation, i know when my baby is crying i sit with her trying to comfort her, she just had 5 more teeth come in simultanously so for 3 weeks she wouln’t eat a lot, sleep so we walked around in the garden a lot and looked at pictures 贸n the walls 馃槈
    Can i ask what DYFS means?

  34. Charmaine
    November 12, 2010 | 12:21 pm

    Thank you for this article. I am dealing with this not being against the law in Kansas and so it falls under a very vague “child endangerment” law. The police have to respond if someone calls, but there is not specific law.

    I leave my girls who are 2 and 1 in their car seats to drop my son at preschool (I have to walk him down a hallway – which takes all of maybe 2 minutes at the most). Anyway, it bothers some of the other mothers and so they are calling the police on me. BUT like the shopping cart deal – I feel it is more dangerous for me to manage children that may run off into a busy street.

  35. STEVE
    November 24, 2010 | 7:19 pm

    I know a couple young couple who left their babies sleeping in their apartment while they went to eat. Now they will loose their children to their parents.. I think this was dumb but not a life sentance..

  36. aiza
    June 26, 2011 | 4:22 pm

    On June 5 2011 it was the worst
    Day of my life , it is a birthday of my husband but he wanst here in the state to celebrate it with us ge currently deploy in japan hes a military. it was a nice warm day 63 to 65 degree that morning me and my daughter just stay at home and she was happy playing at home then I was thinking maybe on the afternoon I take her to the park on militery beach were I always take her to play when daddy still around and working there . To celebrate for her daddy birthday and less sadness for me. I put her in the carseat and left the house probably 3pm that time then when I was passing through the payless shoes I think maybe I should stop real quick and see if the shoes that I see for my daughter was still onsale or maybe I can return the shoes for me, and then when I stop the parking lot I look at the back where my daughter was sleeping drinking her milk I was thinking I don’t want to disturb her maybe I just run and ask the cashier on payless shoes. Then I crack a little bit
    of the window both side, to atlest has air circulate inside maybe 2 inch, after that I run to the payless shoes and look for her shoes and to see if the shoes I want is sale and while I was waiting to ask the cashier i kinda look inside of the payless shoes of the truck window in the payless shoes was mirror where I can see the truck where I park. Then all of the saden I see a girl looking at the window on my truck and another girl comes up two of them wearing the same shirt, so I run and open the truck get my baby and the girl yell at me said don’t leave your child on the truck ! On a hard voice and said police is on the way… I was scared I don’t know those people who knows what there trying to do or where to kidnap my daughter, so I run and didn’t talk to them and go back inside the shoes with my daugher. my daugther stop crying as soon as I get her ( she’s always cry if she wake up and didn’t see me) I go back to the payless shoes with her she’s alright. Then I see the
    police when I was inside at the shoes store and go to them and the op ask my driver lisnce and my daugher name and ages. And took a picture of my car and me and arianna he didn’t even ask anything or why I leave arianna on the car he just told me the girl said I went to keymart store.( witch not true) And the op get my car key and do something on the car I don’t know and I try to open the door and he said no I’m trying to do something you should not open. As on me I just want to get arianna milk. And I was sad that he didn’t even give me a change to explain I said I am very sorry I only leave arianna for 2 min or 5 and he ask my address and I was giving him but he didn’t lissen he said you got it on your driver lisence wer I already give it to him and he forget to give it back he just leave it on the back of he’s car and the other girl police give my dl to him. He let me go and said to me I can still be arrest or jail I was really scared that time I dunno what to do as I
    don’t have a friend or close friend in the new place wer we are now. As driving pass them the police was interviewing the girl who call him. And I don’t know what there doing. After that 1 weeks later the police call me said he want me to go to police stations for my picture and my criminal pinger print record, I was really scared. Please help me with my problem I don’t know what to do!!!! Addetional I did call the police and told them I can’t go to police station beacuse I am visiting my parent inlaw and ask what my status and he said your going to curt for endangerment your child and maybe prison . And isaid even just for a 3 or 5 mins I leave her he said it doesn’t matter u still leave ur child in danger. I wasn’t mean to put my child in danger she’s my child shes my everything and only thing that making me happy, I will lay my life just to save her and if I did make a mistake I hope I deserve a second change to be the best mother without any criminal record of being
    a baD mother. And keep on for the rest of my life. As I really didn’t know about the law here in the state as I don’t leave her that long as if I know I of course obey the law. I live and grown in the town where there is no car or electicity no tv. So how am I going to know about the law in the united state? I feel tirrable I just want to live with my family and be happy with my family. And this is just driving me nuts, I am worried that this case make me insane my poor daughter is gunna suffer for her mom stupidety :(( just beacuse I grown up on the deffirent side of the world with no cars and laws to fallows….

  37. danna
    June 26, 2011 | 5:37 pm

    this is not ffair life should be easyer to the woman who love there kids and they do deserve a second changes to be a good mom you just make me cry to tha sad story

  38. samantha
    October 14, 2011 | 3:24 pm

    I just now came home from taking my son to preschool. I have three children-ages 4, 3, and 10 months. It is just about impossible for me to take them anywhere all together, I generally get a babysitter for grocery shopping. Today I was in a rush when I left the house, I didnt have time to put pants on the baby. It’s not a particularly cold day, sunny out. When I got to the preschool I got the older two out and the noise didn’t wake the baby at all, she was fast asleep. I was just running in and out to drop my boy off. My son has been hesitant to go to school the last week or so, crying when I drop him off. Grabbing my arms and clinging to me, things like that. I saw no problem with leaving the baby to sleep for a few minutes while I ran in. I really don’t think I could have handled a screaming baby, and hyper three year old, and a clingy 4 year old all at once in a public place. On top of that, she wasn’t wearing pants.
    The “family advocate” asked me where she was, I had no shame in answering because I didn’t think there was anything to be worried about. She told me that I could get into a lot of trouble for that, I asked why. “because it’s dangerous”. There is nothing more that could happen to a child sleeping in a car, strapped in, with the doors locked and the windows cracked than what could happen to her in her crib. I’m tired of raising my family with the constant fear that I’m doing it wrong. I’m tired of having to explain a bruise that my child has, especially when, to be honest, I don’t always know where it came from. It is good for a child to be left alone sometimes, it teaches them independence. We can not protect our children from everything, and I do not feel that it prepares them for successful adulthood. I would very much like to base my parenting decisions on what I feel is best for the child, rather than fear of what someone else might think or what kind of trouble I’ll get in.

    Had I brought my baby into the school with me, they probably would have had something to say about the lack of pants. I suppose not fully dressing your child, even if the weather is nice, is neglect as well.

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