If You’re Wondering When It’s Okay To Leave A Toddler In The Car Alone, The Answer Is ‘Never’
A mom left her 22-month-old strapped to her carseat in a running, unlocked car this weekend, so she could shop child-free at Walmart. Seriously, this happened. If anyone is wondering when it’s okay to leave a child strapped into a running, unlocked car — the answer is never. Ever.
A concerned bystander called 911 when she saw the toddler by herself in the back of a running, unlocked car. When the police arrived, Walmart security was standing by the car. Officers went inside the store and ran the vehicles registration, imploring the owner to come forward. 25-year-old Alyssa Kelly came forward, and immediately began making up lies to cover her inane behavior. She said there was someone else in the car when she left it running. Thankfully, Walmart has great security cameras and was able to immediately report that was a load of crap. So Kelly grasped at more straws, saying that she meant to explain that there was someone watching over her child in a neighboring parked car. Yeah. That makes sense.
Lt. Rodney Mahinske told WTAE News, “Probably several times a year we get these cases where a parent will want to just run in and go shopping and they don’t think there’s anything wrong with leaving a child in the car by themselves,” Mahinske said. “First time you lose a child, I bet you won’t do it again.”
I know there are situations when you can safely leave your toddler in a car; when you’re pumping gas and right outside the window, when you’re in your driveway and quickly running to your door for something you forgot — yes, there are moments when you can still see your child and are very quickly returning. But I really believe if you are stepping away from your vehicle and your child is unattended for more than a few seconds – you should take your child with you. Also, a running, unlocked car? No. That’s a no. It’s a total pain in the ass, but that’s basically the definition of parenthood. Things will always be just a little harder when you have a baby in tow – and you have to deal with it.
Kelly still has custody of her child but is being monitored by the Westmoreland County Children’s Bureau.