Never leave children alone in a car

2015-07-22 06:00

FOLLOWING the incident at Liberty Midlands Mall last week when a parent left their two and four year old children in the car alone while going into the mall, Maritzburg Fever asked its Facebook followers “how long is too long to leave children in the car while popping into the shops”.

PMB parents responded with a resounding “never leave your children in the car”.

While a few tried to reason with the idea, taking the age and weather into consideration, the majority feared for the safety of their children, including the health and general safety from strangers and opportunistic criminals.

During the incident last week, ER24 paramedics were alerted to the scene by mall security and on their arrival, paramedics found the two young boys locked in a light motor vehicle with the windows barely open.

Paramedics were instructed by SAPS on scene to break one of the windows to gain access to both boys, who were found to be suffering from mild heat exhaustion and they were treated. It is unknown how long the boys were locked inside the vehicle however, law enforcement authorities­ and child services were on scene.


Winsome Mouton: Depends on the time of day and the weather - also where the car is parked. In the hot sun - after 20 minutes I would be running back!

Shannon Rees: Kids should under no circumstances be left alone in a car especially because number 1 the car could be stolen or 2 you just never know the exact amount of time you will have to spend in a shop

Lauren Smith: That’s crazy don’t ever leave kids or animals in the car end of story. You never know if car gets stolen or if something happens to them or if they fiddle with the hand break etc etc

Michelle Stevens: Depending on age - over 12 maximum 10 minutes. As kids get older, especially teenagers, they want to stay in the car so I let them but they have the key with the panic button and they lock and unlock the car. Under 12, tough they go in with you. If sleeping, rather go home and go back later

Ashleigh Thompson: I do it from time to time - but depends on the situation. Never alone (always with a sibling), never on a boiling hot day, not in town or at the mall for example. But at the Quarry, parked close to the Spar, starting their homework while I pop in for a few groceries? Yes, I do. I don’t live in fear and I don’t want my children to either. Common sense andamp; knowing what to do if anything should go wrong is preferable to my children living in constant fear of what could happen if they stay in the car alone for a few minutes.

Jane Ducasse Derengi: By the time such a sick, selfish thought like that even comes into your head, it’s already too long! It shouldn’t even occur to someone to do such a thing.

•Under no circumstances should you leave your child (or pet) in a vehicle, even if a window is left open and you know you will only be away for a few minutes.

•Always make sure that your children have left the car with you when you arrive at your destination to avoid accidently locking them inside the vehicle.

•If you notice a child in a vehicle, immediately try to locate the parents or owner of the vehicle and contact the police (10111) or Emergency Medical Services (084124). Taking immediate action could save the life of the child.

•Children who were successfully removed from a vehicle after being left unattended in the heat should undergo a medical examination to determine if they have any signs or symptoms of heat exhaustion or stroke

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