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“I’d better go, I’ve got the kids in the car”

By Tenpoints - 9 January 2015 28

child-seat-child-in-car-stock-080115

First up, I’m a young fit adult who does regular exercise through cycling throughout the year, including through the hottest parts of Summer. I have no particular predisposition to heatstroke.

The following events happened on Wednesday as a prelude to the topic of this discussion.

I met with a friend for Lunch, and was heading into work for the afternoon around 1:30pm (thanks flex-time). I got in the car to drive over to work after it had been parked in full sun. I maxed out the air conditioning (A/C) in order to counter the intense heat of the cabin. I received a call on the handsfree bluetooth while driving, and due to the relatively crappy nature of my car’s microphone, I had to cut the background noise of the A/C going full blast by turning off said A/C. Over the 2 minute phone call, the car temperature skyrocketed up to the point where I was starting to struggle with concentration. I had to end the call abruptly so I could resume the life support that was air conditioning.

Later in the afternoon, I happened to be doing the grocery shop at Woolworths Majura Par. I decided I needed to pick up a few hardware items from Masters. Rather than moving the car again, I decided to leg it across the carparks to Masters, which turned out to be the best part of a kilometre in distance. The heat on the asphalt was oppressive, and by the time I got into the store I was sweating buckets.

As I was picking out my items from the irrigation aisle, I overheard a man a few metres away with one of the sales assistants. The topic was fairly mundane, but my ears pricked up when the man said “I had better go, I’ve got the kids in the car”. I sneaked a look at the middle aged father and had a quick think. Has he really left his kids out in the car on a day like this? To my mind, (and no I don’t have kids yet), it is not OK to leave the kids in a hot car while you bathe for minutes on end in the air conditioned shops.

For those who haven’t seen this video, it’s a pretty confronting indicator as to the potential severity of this decision.

I didn’t call him out at the time, but I wish I had now. Another day and no lesson learned. I acknowledge I have a pretty strong viewpoint on one side of this argument. What do you think?

What’s Your opinion?


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28 Responses to
“I’d better go, I’ve got the kids in the car”
Solidarity 9:51 am 12 Jan 15

He may have “had the kids in the car” and really needed to “drop them off at the pool”

As for ending a phone call abruptly due to not having the AC on for 2 minutes… really?

Why is this generation so needy?

Do most people even use AC? I sure don’t.

Tenpoints 9:35 am 12 Jan 15

My thinking is that if the guy was expressing urgency about the situation, then there’s a good chance he was feeling guilty about leaving them in the car. Sure they might have been teens able to manage their own temperatures or have the A/C running, but then perhaps he wouldn’t have said anything.

Someone who was completely oblivious to the dangers might have never mentioned it at all, so maybe some credit to this guy for at least being aware of his actions.

switch 9:24 am 11 Jan 15

carnardly said :

who’s to know they weren’t 12 and 14 and sitting there with the doors open just waiting till dad gets back.

They’d have an app to tell them they were overheating.

carnardly 5:39 pm 10 Jan 15

who’s to know they weren’t 12 and 14 and sitting there with the doors open just waiting till dad gets back. it doesn’t mean babies locked in unable to control anything.

switch 8:18 am 10 Jan 15

He may have simply wanted to terminate a boring conversation and needed an excuse to go. More sophisticated types get their phone to ring on command.

gazket 11:10 pm 09 Jan 15

It’s not only kids, but old people and animals shouldn’t be left in hot cars.

I pulled in and parked and noticed the car next to me had a 90 + year old lady near dead left in a hot hot car at Bunnings Belconnen last summer.

I had to open the doors of the car as she couldn’t get the back door open, she could barely hold her arm up . Her Daughter turned up with a trolley with a few things in it just as I was going to run off and get some water.

Innovation 11:07 pm 09 Jan 15

Madam Cholet said :

So hang on a sec….an overheard coversation seems to be turning into a bit of a lynch mob. Middle aged man could well have had older children who are quite trustworthy when left for 10 to 15 minutes.

Not saying it doesn’t happen, but maybe need to slow down a bit on the presumptions here.

This site is turning into a bit of a ‘mothers’ corner of over concern.

I was thinking the same thing. Trolls don’t exist just on the internet. I vaguely recall a long lost friend saying these exact same words – without substance – just to shock and bait.

Madam Cholet 5:35 pm 09 Jan 15

So hang on a sec….an overheard coversation seems to be turning into a bit of a lynch mob. Middle aged man could well have had older children who are quite trustworthy when left for 10 to 15 minutes.

Not saying it doesn’t happen, but maybe need to slow down a bit on the presumptions here.

This site is turning into a bit of a ‘mothers’ corner of over concern.

Evilomlap 4:27 pm 09 Jan 15

Alexandra Craig said :

Agree – 100%. I know of someone in a similar situation, but they came across the kid in the car first. Security came and managed to open the car (the old coathanger down the window trick). When the kids mother came out, she was totally suprised as to why her child had been removed from the car and completely brushed everyone off. I suspect there’s a lot of people like her that don’t realise (or care) that it’s an issue. I say call the police immediately and have them charge the driver.

Even if I had a coathanger handy I’d still smash the window – the least the idiot deserves is a repair bill.

Evilomlap 4:18 pm 09 Jan 15

Speaking about that video – how the hell does this happen? I’m not even a parent and I can’t imagine ever leaving a child alone in a car whether it’s a hot day or not or whether I think I’m gonna be gone for 10 seconds or 10 minutes. Seriously, is it laziness, stupidity, ignorance…combination of all three?

74Daizies 4:13 pm 09 Jan 15

I have a real problem with leaving kids in the car.. even for just a minute. I have two children btw. I would never leave them in the car in the heat! Should I come across this at any point in the future I will be calling the Police and getting permission to smash a window. Kids die in minutes in cars. Might also add that I would do the same thing should I see an animal in a locked car on a hot day.

Alexandra Craig 3:37 pm 09 Jan 15

Agree – 100%. I know of someone in a similar situation, but they came across the kid in the car first. Security came and managed to open the car (the old coathanger down the window trick). When the kids mother came out, she was totally suprised as to why her child had been removed from the car and completely brushed everyone off. I suspect there’s a lot of people like her that don’t realise (or care) that it’s an issue. I say call the police immediately and have them charge the driver.

rosscoact 3:34 pm 09 Jan 15

Had he left the kids in the car with the motor running and the AC on?

Emily Morris 2:58 pm 09 Jan 15

I was thinking about this the other day. I dropped my daughter at a music program she’s attending at 9am and left my two little ones (nearly 2 and 3) in the car so I could race in and out quickly. On my way back I found myself thinking how much easier it would be to do that at pickup in the afternoon. But, when I came back at 3.30 it was just too hot, so I took them in (tantrums ensued but at least they weren’t stuck in a hot car).

For the guy in Masters, maybe his kids were a bit older and maybe OK to let themselves out of the car and into the shop if they weren’t OK… Or maybe not.

The video is shocking – I can only imagine how fast that car would have heated up.

Mess 2:50 pm 09 Jan 15

While I agree 100% with you, calling out an idiot like that would have been wasting your breath. He would have argued with you and the kids just would have been left in the car even longer.

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