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Do You Leave Your Kids Alone in the Car?

babysleeping2When my oldest son was a baby, I sometimes stopped at Blockbuster with him in the car. If he was sleeping, I would use the automatic car starter (a Hanukkah present from years past) to start the car, turn on the heat, then lock the doors (keys in hand). With baby Declan tucked safely inside, I was free to browse the New Releases, unencumbered by my offspring.

What the hell was I thinking?

My sister and I have argued about this before: I am a reformed leaver of kids in the car, she a proud leaver of kids in the car. She doesn’t actually do it often, but she is a vocal proponent of it–under the right circumstances.

My sister’s also a devoted poker player, but not even she would do what this Pennsylvania woman did.

Police say that 26-year-old Naomi Bryant left her two children in the car for two hours so she could gamble. That’s right, Naomi left her 6- and 8-year-old daughters in the car while she went into the casino, from 7:37am to 9:30am last Thursday. What, you thought kids were in school at that time on a weekday?

For the record, my sister insists that she would only leave her kids in the car (with the doors locked and windows up, natch) if the car was within her sight at all times and the weather fairly temperate–not too hot or too cold inside the car. She’s not too particular about where she does it, though; she’s okay with it at the bank (when you really need to deposit your paycheck) or at Starbucks (when you really need a double latte).

But not at the casino. As for Naomi Bryant, she’s been charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of children.

Do you ever leave your kids alone in the car?

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