Birth. Its when they are least likely to unbuckle or roam around the car. That said, I'm not in any way worried about someone stealing my car in a busy parking lot in suburbia (I can't remember a time I shopped with kids at a non mid-morning time, as they nap in the afternoon or are at school). I'm way more lax about this than many people ~ I think that a lot of peoples fear around this is not based in reality. I also live in a very low crime suburb. If I lived somewhere dangerous I'd probably revise or reconsider my policies surrounding this.
I always did. I never worried about someone breaking into my locked vehicle which I started remotely. Plus, I try to park relatively close to the cart return. I don't worry about one of them choking because they're not allowed to eat in the van. The only time they ever eat is on a long road trip when DH and I are both in the vehicle. Is there a miniscule chance something could happen to one of them in those 15 seconds? Yeah, but the chances are no greater than when they're playing in the basement out of my sight. Come to think of it, they're way, way, way less
I'll be honest, it never occurred to me to not have the kids with me when I put the cart back. I don't know why, I guess I just never thought about it. They always come with me.
Laurie, mom to:
Nathaniel ( 10 ) and Juliet ( 6 )
Baking Adventures In A Messy Kitchen (blog)
Never. I'm one of those people who doesn't return her cart.
Never. Just not worth the risk for me, even though I live in a low crime area. BUT, I do always put my cart back.
Today its 36 and pouring and raining (hi neighbor, I'm sure you are getting it too)......I always wore my infants in a sling, or, with my first two, had a baby in a sling and a very young toddler. I'd always secure both before unloading my cart. I also grocery shop for the week or more, so have a lot to unload into my ride. It can take a while, and I'd rather have the baby/ies warm and dry while I do it. Like Lisa, I always park near the return, which are always mid row in the parking lot where I shop. Its, seriously, like 15 seconds. With young toddlers I think that the greater danger is them darting while my hands are full unloading, so it seemed the safer option to me. Now that they are older they climb in themselves while I unload.
In my state its legal to leave your car as long as you can maintain visual contact with it. I'm in no way worried about CPS. They have real fish to fry, LOL.
Because more often than not it's hotter than hell where I live, I have pretty much always put my kids in their carseats first and then unloaded the groceries. I also hate not putting my cart back...it makes me feel like a total slacker for some reason. Maybe because I had a friend who was a cart gatherer (or whatever you call them ) back in the day and I know what a hard job it is in this weather to get them from all over the parking lot. So I usually go out of my way to park near a cart return if I have the kids with me, even if it's a farther walk to the door. But I will walk up to 3-4 spaces away to return the cart and leave the kids in the car, and I'll just do it quickly and keep an eye on the car. My husband is the paranoid one and would probably freak out if he saw me do this.
CARRIE and DH 7/14/07