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Parenting Issues Message Board

Parenting Issues Board Index

I agreed with leaving kids for just a minute until my experience yesterday. I always leave my 2 y/o in the car for just a second while I run into the gas station to get a pack of cigs. He has one of those car seats that just sits in the seat and uses the regular seat belt. Well, he crawled out of it yesterday and when I came out of the gas station, he was "Driving." Ugh, I thought I was gonna die. People were gawking and one guy even said something when I came out about the keys being in the car. And to top it all off, I work at the local P.D. Oh, that would have been so embarassing if someone called them. From now on, he's going in with me everywhere. I did wake up and realize how disastrous that could have turned out. And yeah, that is crazy about there not being an age limit to stay home alone. Someone called the p.d. the other day to ask that question and I had to go ask someone to find out the answer. They said it just depends on the maturity level of the child and that is up to the parents. I think that's crazy!
My kids are 13 and 11, and I will leave them in the car while I run into a store to get something. If it's not hot, I lock the car and take the keys with me. I also always leave my cell phone with them. If it is hot, I'll pull up to the front of the store and leave the car running with the A/C and the doors locked. When they were younger and still in car seats, I, like others, would lock the doors and only run into a store--usually a convenience store or gas station--if I could see the car. I don't know if Maryland has any laws about leaving children in a car, but I do know that to be left alone in a house, a child must be 8 years old. In order for an older sibling to be in charge of a younger sibling, the older child must be 12 or 13, I can't remember which. Legal babysitting age in Maryland is 13. I'm not sure how it works if you have two kids who are older than 8 but younger than 12 or 13.

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