Stay at Home Moms

Preschool drop off-- baby in car

At preschool drop-off this morning I noticed the lady who pulled in right before me had left her car running. I was pondering why since its not really hot or cold or anything, and then I noticed there was a baby sitting in the backseat alone. I thought maybe she was just running to the door and back or something, but the running car and baby were still there when I came back out 4 or 5 minutes later.

I hate having to drag DS2 in the building when I drop DS1 off especially when he's sleeping or the weather is bad, but I would never leave him in the car! The school also made a point of telling me when DS2 was born that I can bring him in and leave him behind the desk with whoever is working there so I didn't have to take him up the stairs or to the classroom.

I don't think I'm being overly judgy here, right? I understand it's a PITA, but so much could happen when you aren't watching, right?

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Re: Preschool drop off-- baby in car

  • Wow, 4 or 5 minutes while she was inside? I'd never do that, not in a million years. I think my limit would be as long as the car is still in my sight.
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  • MomIn2013 said:

    Wow, 4 or 5 minutes while she was inside? I'd never do that, not in a million years. I think my limit would be as long as the car is still in my sight.

    Yeah, and it's a big building and most of it does not face the parking lot, so it's not like she was able to see the car from inside.
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  • I wouldn't do it, but I do feel like it's not criminal or anything, and I think people have been arrested for this.  I mean, at our dry cleaner, you can literally park in a single space right in front of the door and then walk in double glass doors to the counter 3 ft from the door.  I feel like I cannot leave a carseat-restrained child in the car while I do 30 seconds worth of interactions and so I never go...  It just seems like people make too big of a deal about it--everyone should decide for themselves.
  • Yeah, no. I've left the two little ones in the car to walk C to kindergarten once. I walked about 30 feet away and watched her walk the rest of the way to the door. I could see the car the whole time. I'm way too anxious to leave them out of sight. Besides all of the terrible things that could happen, it may be illegal.

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    C  7.16.2008 | L  11.12.2010 | A  3.18.2013

     

  • I wouldn't do it, but I do feel like it's not criminal or anything, and I think people have been arrested for this.  I mean, at our dry cleaner, you can literally park in a single space right in front of the door and then walk in double glass doors to the counter 3 ft from the door.  I feel like I cannot leave a carseat-restrained child in the car while I do 30 seconds worth of interactions and so I never go...  It just seems like people make too big of a deal about it--everyone should decide for themselves.

    Even when she can't see the child? I think not being able to see the child makes a huge difference.
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  • That's terrible! You are not being overly judgy. At orientation this year, the principal brought this up. She said it was not to be done, it is illegal to leave a child in a car unattended.
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    Arnegard
  • I leave DS in the car to go sign DD into school. Usually there is a mom out there who I'll ask to keep an eye on him, but if not I still do it
    rachie1019
  • 1) I hope the parent has autostart so the keys are not actually in the vehicle where anyone can take the vehicle and the child.

    2) I would never leave my child in the car.  I have parked outside a gas station door to run in an d get a receipt, but that was with all 3 in the car.  To walk #1 into the classroom, no.
  • I see people do this all the time.  I just think way too much could happen is 3-5 minutes.  I panic just thinking about it.
     





    ~Mama to two daughters and baby #3 coming soon~
  • I feel like I should clarify that the drop off at the school involves checking the kids in at the desk and then walking them to their classroom. The building is 20,000+ sqft and 2 stories, so it takes at least a couple minutes even if you don't chat or have a stalling kid. When I was pregnant and had trouble walking the staff did offer to come get DS out of the car so I didn't have to get out, so they will accommodate you if you have a problem. I just feel like it's an unnecessary risk to leave a baby unattended.
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  • Arnegard said:

    1) I hope the parent has autostart so the keys are not actually in the vehicle where anyone can take the vehicle and the child.


    2) I would never leave my child in the car.  I have parked outside a gas station door to run in an d get a receipt, but that was with all 3 in the car.  To walk #1 into the classroom, no.
    I was also thinking I hope it was auto start.

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  • So what are we worried about happening? A car theft? Because a baby isn't getting out of his seat and driving away. I am not defending this but I am curious what has everyone so freaked out.
  • Yep, I'd be worried about someone hopping in the car and driving away with the kid in it.
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  • MomIn2013 said:
    Yep, I'd be worried about someone hopping in the car and driving away with the kid in it.

    Well I personally take the keys with me, car turned off and the ac/heat has a setting that will blow without the car on.
    rachie1019
  • I think this for sure has something to do with where I live. If I lived in a big city, I probably wouldn't do it.
    rachie1019likeanoldtimemovie
  • A friend and I trade off walking our kids in. One stays in her car in the parking lot watching the other car while the other walks the two preschoolers in. It means avoiding getting Drew out as well as her 2.5 year old and 6 month old. Are you absolutely sure that isn't what is going on? We rarely are parked exactly next to each other, so you might not notice that's what's up. Many parents in our school have that agreement with someone. So while it looks like it's a car on with a kid inside unattended there are eyes on it at all times.
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  • So what are we worried about happening? A car theft? Because a baby isn't getting out of his seat and driving away. I am not defending this but I am curious what has everyone so freaked out.
    My biggest issue is I don't know when a quick 2 min drop off could turn into a 10-15 delay. Sometimes DDs not ready to go, sometimes she needs to potty, the teacher needs to talk to me, another mom is chatting. There are a million little things that could hold me up. I'm certainly not leaving him in the car while it's running with my key it in and the weather is rarely nice enough to sit in the car without it running (too hot or too cold).

    but a lot of cars can run now without keys in it.
  • So what are we worried about happening? A car theft? Because a baby isn't getting out of his seat and driving away. I am not defending this but I am curious what has everyone so freaked out.

    Idk what the biggest concern is. Probably nothing will happen. But you are leaving an infant unattended in a public place. My biggest worry if I were to leave LO in the car is that something would happen to me and no one would know he was in there. That's more a concern at the grocery or somewhere with a big parking lot and in extreme temperatures. I worry that I will go to return the cart and slip on ice or get hit by a car. Highly unlikely, I know. There was also a family at my school as a kid where the mom left the baby asleep in the car in the driveway at home, mom fell asleep and baby died in overheated car. Different setting, but still a risk.
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  • amy052006 said:
    KateMW said:
    I think this for sure has something to do with where I live. If I lived in a big city, I probably wouldn't do it.
    See -- I feel like in the city no one wants my baby.  Maybe my car,m but definitely not my baby.

    Crazy stalker baby stealers is a suburban thing.

    Nobody needs my baby here...they all have 3-4 of their own. I'm always surprised there isn't an extra one when I get back. ;)
    nonoemilyrachie1019jensriot
  • Xtine22Xtine22 member
    A friend and I trade off walking our kids in. One stays in her car in the parking lot watching the other car while the other walks the two preschoolers in. It means avoiding getting Drew out as well as her 2.5 year old and 6 month old. Are you absolutely sure that isn't what is going on? We rarely are parked exactly next to each other, so you might not notice that's what's up. Many parents in our school have that agreement with someone. So while it looks like it's a car on with a kid inside unattended there are eyes on it at all times.
    I was an Office Manager for a preschool in my former life. From my desk I could see a car if it was parked under our awning. I would have parents call often if I could watch their car while they ran in and got their other child. Sometimes I would go out side and watch but there were times i couldn't leave the office and just watch out the window, 

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  • edited May 2014
    Xtine22 said:



    A friend and I trade off walking our kids in. One stays in her car in the parking lot watching the other car while the other walks the two preschoolers in. It means avoiding getting Drew out as well as her 2.5 year old and 6 month old. Are you absolutely sure that isn't what is going on? We rarely are parked exactly next to each other, so you might not notice that's what's up. Many parents in our school have that agreement with someone. So while it looks like it's a car on with a kid inside unattended there are eyes on it at all times.

    I was an Office Manager for a preschool in my former life. From my desk I could see a car if it was parked under our awning. I would have parents call often if I could watch their car while they ran in and got their other child. Sometimes I would go out side and watch but there were times i couldn't leave the office and just watch out the window, 

    It's possible another parent was watching. The office is not positioned to see all the cars in the lot. They have a lot of video surveillance, but they specifically told me to bring DS2 in the building if I want them to watch him. It's a big facility with a lot of students coming and going at different times since it is 6 wks through kindergarten, so it would be harder for the office to keep an eye out on the cars.

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  • Yeah, not judged. Depending where you are it's also illegal. Here you have to be within 10 ft and sight of the car if you leave your kids in it.
    To my boys:  I will love you for you Not for what you have done or what you will become I will love you for you I will give you the love The love that you never knew
  • I did it once out of desperation--dd was sick, had been up most the night, had finally fallen asleep and I didn't want to wake her. The walk from the lot to the car does take a few minutes to get there and back but the car was in my sight the whole time and I didn't go in the building. I don't do it solely because it's illegal and if someone took my plate and called cps it would be a nightmare. I've heard of that happening before.
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  • CeeBug said:
    I could never do it. I have a hard enough time running one baby in the house while the other one is in the driveway for 30 seconds. 
    I hear ya....and for me it's 30 seconds while the other one's in the garage! Not rational, just that jumpy feeling....
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    [Deleted User]
  • I do think it has to do w/ where you live. There isn't really anywhere in our town or area I'd leave a kid in the car. But in my own driveway? I do it all the time. 

    I've never left DS in the car alone except to return the cart at the grocery store. But he has often slept in the car in our driveway. Based on the long approach to our house and the fact that I can park the car so I can see him from the kitchen table, I'm comfortable with it. I def don't go to the back of the house to take a nap or hang out in the backyard. I stay where I can see him so I'm right there when he wakes up. Usually I just eat my lunch and read a magazine or do yard work in the front.
    Elkanah Brave, born 02/06/2012 7:26am
  • peaceinnaturepeaceinnature member
    edited May 2014
    I haven't read the whole thread yet, but this reminds me of something that happened here recently. A mom parked her car at the bottom of her friend's driveway, left it running with her baby in the back and ran up to drop something off.  And someone came by and stole the car with the baby in the back.  They dropped the baby off on someone else's doorstep about 20 minutes later and kept going with the car.  The person whose porch they left the baby on called the police and the mother was reunited with the baby less than hour after she was taken.  But I have to say that before I heard that story I would think nothing of doing something like that.  This was in a suburban/semi-rural area, not dangerous etc.

    I had some people laugh at me for taking DS into a gas station to pay, but I just never felt comfortable leaving him in the car alone even if I could see it.
  • My three year old hates when I "leave her alone" to put gas in the car.  And I'm all of 3 inches from the car.  She would freak out if I left her in there to get dd from school.
     





    ~Mama to two daughters and baby #3 coming soon~
  • So what are we worried about happening? A car theft? Because a baby isn't getting out of his seat and driving away. I am not defending this but I am curious what has everyone so freaked out.
    Honestly? Other people reporting me.  I think people have taken the idea of not leaving a baby in the car to an extreme level.  Heck, I was yelled at once for having my dogs in the car on a cool day with the windows open. I was sitting at a bench 5 feet away as my DH was running into the cider mill.  A couple chastised me for it, I can't imagine what they would do if it were a baby. 

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  • If dd is sleeping, I'll leave her for pick up bc pickup is from the playground and I can see the car. Drop off is in the building and there is no way I'd leave dd in the car. I live in the hood and there is a legit chance my car would be stolen.
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  • Haha @KateMW‌ I agree with you 100%. Quickly running in, car off, keys in hand, car in sight, NBD. DS's teachers know I have 2 baby girls in the car who are almost *always* sleeping when I get to preschool. They look for DS and grab him at the door. They help him with his coat and bucket. 60 seconds max?
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  • I've done it. I used to do it all the time at DS's old school where they didn't care, but at his new one they absolutely won't allow it and I have to haul everyone out. I've timed it, and the process of getting the babies out of the car and into the stroller takes about four minutes. If I can get the errand done in under four minutes, it's not a million degrees out, and I'm in a place where its unlikely a busybody will report me, I will leave them in the car. These conditions don't happen together very often, but when they do I take the chance.

    I absolutely would not leave the car running, though. There are more risks leaving a running vehicle unattended than a parked vehicle with a child safely strapped inside it. I think people are so affected by the horror stories of kids baking to death in hot cars that they automatically think that a kid left in a car for any length of time in any situation is destined for the same fate, and that's just not the case.

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    Grant - 6/2/11
    Glenn and Caroline - 6/19/13

  • No, never. I've been dropping DD1 off at preschool 3x/week since DD2 was 6 weeks old and I always lug her in and out of the car. It's a pain, but not worth the risk. If she's fallen asleep, I pop the bucket carseat into my stroller.
    DD1: Maya 05/10
    DD2: Lucia (Lucy) 07/13
  • NandaB said:
    am I on drugs or is this the same board who flamed someone we all love to hate to hell and back about leaving her kid in a nonrunning car to go in to weight watchers for 2 minutes?

    Its all the crack I'm smoking, right??

    I remember that and the windows were all glass. The board changes it's opinion pretty quickly...
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  • FTR, I can handle the flaming, totally cool with my decision.
    rachie1019
  • But I don't think it compares to going to weigh-in.
  • edited May 2014
    NandaB said:

    am I on drugs or is this the same board who flamed someone we all love to hate to hell and back about leaving her kid in a nonrunning car to go in to weight watchers for 2 minutes?

    Its all the crack I'm smoking, right??

    I definitely thought about that when I posted. Lol. That situation was different since she could see her the whole time. I think everyone has to use their best judgment. I did not report the mom this morning because the chances of anything happening are still very small, but it makes me nervous and I could not do it.

    Edit: To clarify, I did not participate in that flaming or in the defending either I think. I probably still wouldn't have done it, but I think of you can see the car and be close enough to sprint out there in an emergency (giant eagle swooping down for example) it's a different story.
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  • KateMW said:
    But I don't think it compares to going to weigh-in.

    Why? I would think walking into a school presents more danger than a building with all glass windows where you have a direct view, no?
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  • This is one thing I loved about DD's old preschool - curbside drop off.  One of the teachers met the kids in the building's "turnaround", and all I had to do was get DD out and give her a hug and kiss.


    I do not leave the baby in the car for preschool drop off/pick up, but I do leave them in if we stop at our corner cafe for a cup of coffee.  I park right in front of the all glass entrance, and am in and out in a couple of minutes.  Even with the wall, I'm less than ten feet away, and I can see them the whole time.  I have also left one or both of them in the car sleeping - doors/windows open, and I am within sight (gardening, reading on the steps, putzing in the garage, etc.).  I don't know that I would judge the mom leaving her baby in the car at drop off, but I might keep an eye on the situation for a minute to make sure everything is under control.
    My brothers' preschool was like that. It was nice in bad weather. I've never gone in a restaurant/coffee shop leaving a baby in the car, but I keep a mental map of nearby drive-thrus so it hasn't been necessary. Drive-thru coffee is a wonderful thing. :)
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