Fluff - At what age

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AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560
Fluff - At what age

Just curious, at what age would you leave your child in the car alone just long enough to return the shopping cart?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

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.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

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 Wink

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

I do live in a more high crime area. That said, my greater fear from leaving the kids in the car for that short of time was a debate we had quite awhile back about CPS taking a woman's child away for leaving her child just long enough to put the cart back.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

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.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

Never. I'm one of those people who doesn't return her cart.

bunnyfufu's picture
Joined: 10/21/05
Posts: 203

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. Smile

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

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.

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.

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

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 Blum 3 ) 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.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

At most stores I try to park near the cart return, but at Aldi's you have to return the cart back at the front of the store. Just recently I started leaving the girls in the car. If feels silly not to at their ages (3,5,7), however I am not sure if that is the right thing to do or not.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"Potter75" wrote:

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.

I've never even given it any thought! I have no opinions on this one way or the other, to be honest. I just bring them with me, they actually want to go with me.

Also we don't do a lot of big trips in the car, it's rare. We have a wonderful grocery store across the street that we go to on foot almost daily to get fresh produce or dinner ingredients; we do a big trip to the larger store maybe once a month.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Thats why everyone can be all obsessed with skinny in the city but strong in the burbs ~ my weeks groceries for 5 people are hella heavy Smile

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

"Potter75" wrote:

Thats why everyone can be all obsessed with skinny in the city but strong in the burbs ~ my weeks groceries for 5 people are hella heavy Smile

Ha!

Yeah we are actually in the burbs (I work in the city) but have a ton of stuff within walking distance. I can go weeks without driving the car at all.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I'm another one that does it from birth, depending on the weather (like, if it's a zillion degrees outside, I'll keep him with me while I return the cart, because I figure it's got to be more comfortable outside than in a sealed up car. If it's raining, he goes in the car first, and then the groceries, and then I return the cart by myself.) I just can't see CPS getting involved because I walked 20 feet away to the cart return in the rain while the baby sat in a warm(er), dry car. I also live in a generally very safe area, and it's also not really in my nature to worry about stuff like that over much.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I think my kids are at a bigger risk hanging out in/around the cart while I unload than they are strapped into their seats! Especially my 3 year old. I can trust that the kid won't decide to bolt. He's a born runner, that little monkey.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

I have always left mine in the car. I strap them in before unloading the cart. I usually turn the car on also so that I can heat or cool the car.
But to be completely honest, Dh does 95% of the grocery shopping. The store we like is 30 mins away in the town he works in. Plus he likes it (weird)

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

I turn my car on, too, and then strap them in. And I agree that I'm more stressed out taking them with me to return the cart. My older one doesn't intend to run in front of cars but she just doesn't think and turns to run back to the car or whatever. She loves to return the cart with me but I have to keep such a tight reign on her that I would just rather have her in the car and return it myself.

I will admit that while not overly cautious, I'm very aware of my surroundings at all times when in any parking lot, and I've definitely planned out in my head how I would jump on and strangle anyone who tried to steal my car with my babies in it. HA!

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

For those of you who said they keep their kids with them, at what age would you be ok with changing things?

Joined: 05/13/02
Posts: 414

My boys are older now, but I always put them in the car before unloading the groceries, and kept them in the car while I returned the cart. Now they help me unload the cart and then THEY get to put it away...I've even trained them to gather nearby carts that other people have left. It's become a pet peeve for them as well.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

I always put the cart away and then took the kids back to the car.. go out the same way we came in ;).
I do let them get in the car now, I always park as close as I can to this one cart corral so that I remember where I parked. They get in now while I put the cart in the corral or they do.. they are 9 and 10.

Heck I have left them in the car together while I went into a mini mart for an item now. They are responsible enough. And I have left my 10 yo at home alone to run to the corner market.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

We park far away and right next to the cart corral. I have left him at birth to run a few feet away to a cart corral before, though. Sometimes I will also ask a person if they need a cart and just give it to them instead.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

This isn't car-related, but I've done experiments with my 9-year-old where I go to the grocery store across the street and let him be in the house alone. It's usually a 15 minute errand, and he has all these instructions about what to do in various circumstances. I think it's good practice.

That's my equivalent of leaving them in the car, since I don't drive enough with them to have that one come up.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

This is pretty much a non-issue for me because of the places I shop. The folks at Trader Joe's come & grab your cart when you're done; their parking lot is tiny & there's almost always a wait to get in, so they want you out of there as fast as possible. And at Lucky, there's a big space in the middle of the parking garage to leave the carts right in front of where you've parked. Any place else I'm using a cart, if I can return it near where I've parked, I do leave the kids in the car to buckle up, or I leave the cart where I'm parked. I won't walk too far away from the car & I always lock it when I do.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3186

So here's my version: Nathaniel is home sick so we walked to the grocery store across the street. We had a small cart and while the cashier was ringing everything up and bagging it, I had Nathaniel take the cart back by himself. (We only had 3 bags so we didn't need it anymore.)

Is that my equivalent of leaving the kids in the car? Sending my son by himself to return the cart? Do I win something? Smile

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Sorry Laurie, you only win on this thread when you say that you refuse to return the cart at all ever because you believe that you are helping the economy. Ethanwinfield is currently in first place, but we have no true winner yet.

You do get a token for not sending a sick child into school, however. You can redeem your prize on sunday Smile

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

I walk or bicycle to shopping so I have never had this conundrum. Maybe I should leave my kids on their bikes outside the store. Hmmm.

smsturner's picture
Joined: 05/11/09
Posts: 1303

"bunnyfufu" wrote:

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. Smile

Me too. I would never leave them, until they were old enough to take the cart back for me. haha. This is what we do now. Wink (mine are 13 and 11, and I still wouldn't trust the 11 yr old!)

bunnyfufu's picture
Joined: 10/21/05
Posts: 203

"Potter75" wrote:

Sorry Laurie, you only win on this thread when you say that you refuse to return the cart at all ever because you believe that you are helping the economy. Ethanwinfield is currently in first place, but we have no true winner yet.

You do get a token for not sending a sick child into school, however. You can redeem your prize on sunday Smile

Dude! I totally want to win this time! I promise to not call anyone lazy this go around. Wink

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I'll still go with lazy, selfish, AND rude as those runaway carts threaten to scratch my ride and I love my ride....so clearly its too soon to have that debate again Smile

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"smsturner" wrote:

Me too. I would never leave them, until they were old enough to take the cart back for me. haha. This is what we do now. Wink (mine are 13 and 11, and I still wouldn't trust the 11 yr old!)

You really don't think that a 13 and 11 year old are trustworthy enough to return a SHOPPING cart or to be in a car without supervision for a few seconds? I was babysitting at 12! That really blows my mind. I must be totally underprotective.