Do YOU Think Parents Who Leave Their Children In Cars Should Be Prosecuted?
With the glorious sunny weather we have been experiencing lately comes a challenge for many parents.
That is, how to keep the kids from over-heating or burning.
Many kids aren't eating well because they're so hot and bothered and lots of sleep routines are out of whack.
We are slathering them in sun cream, popping on protective hats and trying to keep them as hydrated as possible.
Transporting them around in ridiculously hot cars poses a different set of problems altogether.
On Friday, despite having the air conditioning on, sun screens on every window, bottles of water handy for my two kids, our one-hour journey in the heat caused my daughter (2) to vomit in the back of the car.
We had to pull over and clean her up before cautiously proceeding home, and I haven't ventured out in the car with them since because I'm afraid of it happening again.
When we are armed with information such as that 'a child can suffer heatstroke up to five times faster than an adult', it's no wonder that we're afraid.
And it's no wonder that the public was outraged during the week when this couple left their newborn baby unattended in their car for over twenty minutes.
But the thing is: it happens all the time, not necessarily in temperatures like we've been experiencing, but parents do leave their kids in cars 'just for a minute' all the time.
I've done it.
I've put my kids in the car and then nipped back into the house to make sure everything is locked up, the dog is where she needs to be and that I haven't forgotten anything.
I've parked right at the ATM and left the kids there while I've gotten cash.
I've put them into the car and gone back to the trolley bay to park it and retrieve my euro.
I've filled the car with petrol and popped into the garage to pay, leaving the kids waiting in the car outside.
I've left one in the car while I've dropped the other to their grandparent's house.
Have I left them for more than a couple of minutes? No.
Would I leave them any place where I'd be so far away that I wouldn't be able to see if something went wrong? No.
But I cannot say that for every second that they are in the car, that I have been there with them.
So what do we do - should we make it illegal to leave kids in the car, for even a second?
Do we report every mum who rushes back into the house because she's forgotten her handbag?
Or do we time them, to make sure that they haven't left the kids in the car long enough for it to be a chargeable offence?
I do think that if the threat of prosecution loomed over any parent's head with regards to leaving their kids unattended then they might think twice to do so - but we have to recognise the difference between one minute and complete neglect, no?
What's your take on this? Let us know in the comments on Facebook.