New research released today has revealed that almost a quarter of UK parents have left young children alone in the car whilst out running errands.
Whilst most parents generally leave their children for only a few minutes some parents admitted to leaving their children for up to 27 minutes.
The top reasons for leaving children alone in cars are…
• Doing a quick task, like getting petrol or nipping into a shop
• Not wanting to wake a sleeping child
• The child wanted to stay in the car
• Parent thinking the child was old enough to be left alone in the car
• Parent was in a rush and didn’t have time to take the child with them
The results of the research by Kwik Fit Insurance Services also showed that when leaving older children, who are able to unbuckle their safety seats, parents often return to tears, fighting siblings, the car alarm going off or the horn beeping.
Whilst it’s not inappropriate to leave your children in the car whilst you pay for petrol not all scenarios are this straightforward. Last year a dad was charged with child neglect after leaving his two-year-old daughter alone in the car while he popped into a chemist’s to buy Calpol.
He returned after five minutes to be confronted by two police officers and was subsequently arrested and charged with ‘wilful exposure of a child to risk of significant harm’.
Have you ever left your child unattended in the car?