“Don’t Leave Your Child in the Car for Even a MOMENT” — Toronto Police


What is the rationale behind this so-called public service announcement that insists children cannot even wait in the car A MOMENT?

If erkiadfirh
children died in cars this quickly, they’d be dead the second mom came to a red light. The fact is, each year, more children die in parking lots than die while waiting in the car.

So this ad is not only going to subject more children to danger, it is scaring parents about an extremely unlikely tragedy, making it seem like it happens in a MOMENT. This is a wild-eyed view of our species, this idea that without mom’s eyes on her kids, they die. It’s like magical thinking, except tragic. Tragical thinking. Why is the government turning normal, decent parents into pariahs for the “crime” of one moment of convenience? – L

P.S. Cookies bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Not at 80 degrees for one moment.


Take me with you when you return the shopping cart or you are a BAD MOMMY! Photo credit: sean dreilinger / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

If you leave me here to return the shopping cart, you are a BAD MOMMY! I learned that from TV.  Photo credit: sean dreilinger / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA



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60 Responses to “Don’t Leave Your Child in the Car for Even a MOMENT” — Toronto Police

  1. BL May 25, 2015 at 9:24 am #

    So if you have a car, you don’t need an oven. Is that the message here?

  2. Elin May 25, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    While I am no fan of leaving children or dogs in the car on hot days it is much over the top to say “even for a moment”. Also the risk is mainly very hot summer days and not every single day unless you live in the desert.

  3. Cynthia812 May 25, 2015 at 10:37 am #

    This reminds me of the advice to have your baby sleep on his back, and getting the distinct impression that if you ever let him sleep on his stomach, HE WILL DIE, instead of having a slightly higher statistical chance of dying.

  4. Vicki Bradley May 25, 2015 at 10:39 am #

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s not the kids of parents who are knowingly and carefully leaving their children in the car for a few minutes who are dying; it’s the one whose parents’ routine has been changed for some reason, resulting in the child being accidentally forgotten in the car, often for a whole day.

    P.S. I like the term “tragical thinking.”

    P.P.S. It makes me so glad my children are now 13 and 15 years old, so that I no longer have to worry about all this nonsense of leaving children in cars.

  5. Jill May 25, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    The woman in that PSA is Stepford Wives scary. I suspect that she’d go berserk over the presence of wire hangers in her kid’s closet. “Do you want me to put you in the car for a moment?” she’d shriek, wild-eyed. “Because I will, if you keep torturing me like this.”
    O, Canada! Our neighbor to the north has become just as bat#@$& crazy as we Americans are.

  6. jennifer May 25, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    this was posted to facebook this morning by the local news. What Florida law says about leaving children alone in the car the comment section on facebook is crazy.


  7. Montreal Dad May 25, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    We either push back against the insanity or it becomes normal.

  8. Don K May 25, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    Many’s the time my mom left me in the car for a couple of minutes while she got an item or two in the grocery or drug store.Sometimes my mom and her sister would leave me and my cousin in the car, and we’d take the opportunity to do some pretend driving, sitting in the driver’s seat and tugging on the steering wheel. According to the modern consensus, we’re both lucky we lived to reach puberty.

  9. Renee Anne May 25, 2015 at 11:45 am #

    I am so frickin’ over the “don’t leave your kids alone for more than five seconds in a car because they will die immediately.” While I do agree that it’s dumb to leave your kids in the car for a 20 minute spree when it’s 95 outside, I am not above doing it for 2 minutes to pay for gas or run into the hardware store (which I did the other day – the baby was asleep and Little Man was perfectly content so I ran in for 30 seconds, got what I needed, and we were on our way – BIG SPOILER: THEY DIDN’T DIE!).

  10. Richard May 25, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Even the officer seems to ignore the law banning leaving a child alone in a car for over 15 minutes. Under the normal rules of statutory construction, this establishes that it is legal to leave such a child for less than 15 minutes absent other stated factors.

  11. Bose in Phoenix AZ May 25, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    Wait, because parents of 2015 are going to be reached by the image of 1950s mom in her starched white apron, living only to make her family happy with cookies?

    Pssst to the Toronto PD: To whatever extent some Moms of the 1950s had unencumbered time to tend to the house & kitchen, much of it was due to sending the kids outside to play with their friends!

  12. Michael May 25, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    The solution is simple. If kids die this quickly in a stationary car in the sun, every parent should get out of the car at every traffic light or stop sign to get their kids out of the car and then buckle them in again when the light turns green. Do that en masse a few times during rush hour in Toronto to protest this isanity and it will make headlines everywhere, guaranteed.

  13. Warren May 25, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    But you notice, they never said it was against the law. All PSA’s by the cops always remind you it is against the law.
    Let’s face it. This was just a popular way to bilk the taxpayer for another bunch of money. And yeah, looks like Canada is going for a sh–.

  14. Eric S May 25, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    Might be a little too late for that Montreal Dad. Just in the last decade, everything that is normal now, we would find out of the norm the years before. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still “push back” to get things back the more sane past.

  15. Vicky May 25, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

    This is absolutely infuriating!. So glad I don’t live in the progressive h e double hockey sticks that is Canada. But we must remain vigilant! Progressives in almost every city USA rarely allow an election to pass without some type of Constitution busting legislation.
    Liberals are determined to remove every vestige of humanity and moral foundation from our country as well!

  16. Eric S May 25, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

    Hmmmm…yet, they (or any other cops in any other city) still drive distracted. I see cops on their cellphones while driving quite often. Oh the hypocrisy.

  17. JillS May 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    So, the article about Florida law states, no longer than 15 minutes. So, I would be putting a sign on the window saying, my child has been in the car without me for exactly… then have a timer hanging right beside it on the window.

  18. Brent May 25, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    New product idea.
    Make a timer and temperature indicator you can stick on the window.
    This will show how long the child has been there and the inside temperature.

    Also could add a button to call you if pressed.
    Preset alarm levels could be added to to call you if temperature/time gets to high.

    Now anyone can see the child is safe.
    If still concerned they can you you to verify..

  19. JP Merzetti May 25, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    Well, here in the good ol’ Gee Tee Aye folks just believe in drivin’ sexy. Their high performance vee-hickles go all to waste if not drivin’ Indy-style. Out there with their 10-year repayment plans, zingin’ and zippin’ and buzzin’ like bantam roosters in a henhouse. Kidless or not – it’s the new style…….racing the clock.
    This is what’s dangerous to kidlets.
    But we don’t like to talk about it so much. The big shrug.

    Cars have been given human rights, while the humans take the back seat, or get thrown in the trunk (or under the bus.) So all those accident and incident and injury and death reports just get swept aside. I survived every unbelted ride (but folks drove different, then.)

    This is how Doug Henning used to make elephants disappear on the magic stage. Just distract the people. Cute trick.
    Can common sense be legislated? I always thought it was taught and learned.

    As a kid, I got in and out of a car like I got in and out of my bed. I wasn’t trussed up like a car ride was a moon shot and I was an astronaut.
    Safety………………..is not about the car. The car is just a dumb inanimate thing. (computers be damned)
    It’s all about the attitude of the driver (multiplied throughout our mobile universe exponentially.)

    And this issue is really all about an unwatched kid.
    For five seconds, ten minutes, whatever.

    Why don’t we all just go whole hog in our sci-fi scary world, and implant car-cams, helmut-cams, soccer-ball cams, classroom cams, nursery cams……………..and parents everywhere can swing out of bed in the morning and just whip on their special 3-D monitoring goggles, legislated to be worn upon penalty of death, taxes and public shame?
    We’ll all just monitor each other into the grave.

    As to the heat issue – it’s weather, people. Adjust accordingly. Wow. Rocket science owns the thermometer.
    How do Bedouins handle the Sahara?

  20. Rachael May 25, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    In SC, the PSAs I hear on the radio say that a child can die within minutes in a car “even on a cool day.” I am all for raising awareness about hot car deaths, but why must they resort to outright lies to get the point across?

  21. SanityAnyone? May 25, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

    Not that I would make this a law, but my discipline is that I always take the keys with me when I leave kids in the car. Kids being what they are supposed to be, I feel like the biggest risk is that they unbuckle and touch the controls, shift into gear (possibly when changing the radio) or something that would cause the car to move. Curiosity and accidents happen. If I am being paranoid, I think of it being just too easy for a thief to target a running car with no driver. I will do this even when my eldest has a license unless he is sitting behind the wheel.

  22. Peter Grace May 25, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    This whole deal is made us to scare people into complicity.

  23. caiti May 25, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

    @Brent I love it! I’d be interested in helping you develop such a product if you’re serious.

  24. SarMis May 25, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    At my child’s preschool the parking spots are literally, maybe 5-10 feet from the door of the school. We have to bring our kids and in and sign them in and out. No biggie. I leave my 8 year old in the running car while I do this everyday. She is always fine (of course!). I see all the other parents dragging napping babies, and whole carseats out for the literal 30 seconds it takes to accomplish this task. I have even offered to stand next to their car for the moment because I hate to see a sleeping child disturbed. But they usually decline. The flier handed out at the beginning of the year states not leave your other kids in the car because it is unlawful. I do it anyway. It is so ridiculous.

  25. Michelle May 25, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    SanityAnyone, I think taking the keys is smart. I will leave my car running if one of my teens is sitting in the front, but a running, unoccupied vehicle (or one that appears to be unoccupied because small children in the back are not visible) is realistically a target for a thief. I think it’s unfortunate that fears of busybodies make us think twice about leaving the car off and windows down, as that’s probably the ideal.

  26. Mommala May 25, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

    So, judging by this ‘just a moment’ crap, my kid will die in the time it takes me to walk around the car to my side after i strap her in.
    Yeah. Absolutely ridiculous.

  27. costanza May 25, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

    As a kindergartner I walked 1 1/2 miles to and from school with my 2nd grade sister. We lived in the city of Chicago, and crossed neighborhood streets as well as busy ones with pedestrian cross walks. I clearly remember pushing the button and waiting with my sister for the signal to change. My mom was home with babies and with our older disabled sister. Regardless, walking was the norm. On days when my mom needed something from the store, she had us to pick it up on the way home. Why not? We were going that way and would save her one more tedious task. I remember my sister and I trading off carrying the paper grocery bags (and one time a driver chastising my sister for “making” her little sister do all the work). No one thought twice about kids handling some of life’s necessities. They didn’t ask where our parents were, call the police or harass us in anyway. We were competent and that was normal and expected.
    That children now cannot be out of their parents sights is outrageous and does nothing to benefit, but works only to the detriment our kids’ safety and development. A product of the day, my own kids are nervous to do things on their own, not because they are in anyway incapable, but because they know they will have to answer to questions and accusations of the shopkeepers and other adults as to why they are in a store/ice cream shop/library/fill in the blank alone. Kids are not in danger if they are on their own– in public, in a store, at a park, OR in a car.

  28. sigh May 25, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    “I think it’s unfortunate that fears of busybodies make us think twice about leaving the car off and windows down, as that’s probably the ideal.”


    Back in my day, the big risk to kids alone in cars was they would put the car into gear and get it going. Cars were redesigned to prevent this. Now I believe nearly every car manufactured after 1998 or so has features in place making it impossible to get the car into gear or neutral without the keys.

    When I was a kid, being left to wait in the car while Mom ran an errand was a nearly daily occurrence, especially during hot Ohio summers. The car windows were down. ALL THE WAY DOWN. The doors were unlocked. The keys were with Mom, until we were a little older and wanted to listen to the radio, and knew enough not to mess with the gearshift.

    I could get behind a PSA saying “If you’re running an errand, don’t ever leave your car running, whether your kid is inside it or not.” I get weary of parents trying to defend themselves for leaving the engine on and the climate control engaged. If it’s winter, then leave the car off and make sure your kid is dressed warmly enough to endure 20 minutes in the car without heat. If it’s summer, leave the car off and make sure the windows are ALL THE WAY DOWN so there is constant air circulation in the car and no chance of hyperthermia.

    Show me a court case where a parent is charged with negligence for leaving their kid in a car WITHOUT THE KEYS AND ALL THE WINDOWS DOWN. And if there is one, then show me the conviction. If the big concern is the kid putting the car into gear and getting into an accident, I am betting this has not happened since 2000. If the big concern is abduction, I am betting THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO A KID SITTING IN A CAR WITH THE WINDOWS ROLLED DOWN WHILE PARENTS RUN AN ERRAND. PERIOD.

    So it’s indefensible to convict someone of neglect when it’s clearly a matter of safety: SAFER to leave the child in the car than to drag them across the parking lot. SAFER. STATISTICALLY SAFER.

    And never mind how risky it was GETTING to the parking lot in the first place. You actually drove your kid somewhere? Don’t you realize how many kids die each year in MOVING VEHICLES?????

  29. Melissa May 25, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    I live in Hamilton, not far from Toronto. When I need gas (once or twice a week), I get it at the Canadian Tire on the way to the kiddo’s daycare. She gets a timbit at the drive through, we stop at the gas bar, I roll down her window, pump the gas, then go in to pay (I have a 3x Canadian tire money coupon! Can’t pay at the pump for that!).

    I just cannot fathom how ANYONE would think it would be safer for me to take my slippery little 3 year old out of the car, across the gas pump islands, and into the store, then back again. Even if there’s a lineup, she’s only alone in the car for 3 minutes maximum.

  30. Don May 25, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    Going overboard as usual.
    This issue has been dealt with in the USA multiple times with parents being charged and taken to court only to have it overthrown because leaving a child in the car for a few minutes to run into the store or whatever does NOT constitute neglect or abuse.

  31. Warren May 25, 2015 at 5:35 pm #


    Who pays for this piece of tech? Becuase I am not going to spend my hard earned money to buy something, just to ease the minds of people I don’t even know. I have a very low tech way of doing it. Pen and paper. Note in window reads,
    “My kids, my call, mind your own damn business. So go ahead and break the window, cause if I don’t get ya, the dogs sure as hell will!”

    Brent, we are already doing far too many things just to make other people more comfortable, I sure as hell am not doing any more. So do not suggest more ways for parents to bend over and take it where the sun don’t shine.

  32. Donald May 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    This message is played as often as they played the ,”Say No to Drugs” campaign in the 80’s. We are told all about these dangers of leaving kids in cars. However we never talk about the dangers of scaremongering.

    It’s well known that the outside world affects a persons attitude, outlook, and self esteem. Even the hyperventilate parents agree to this. That’s why children are awarded trophies for being the ‘eighth winner’ and being showered with praise at every turn. We are obsessive about only saying what’s positive to children and we do our best to keep anything negative from them.

    However when they get old enough to have children of their own, we do a complete back flip. When you become a parent, the news media and government obsess about only reporting the negative and they do their best to keep any positive news away from parents.

    The ‘Say not to Drugs’ message was played over and over in an attempt to brainwash. It didn’t curb the drug problem as well as planned. However the repetition of the constant message was still implanted in the brain.

    This is modern times. We don’t implant, “Say No to Drugs” to children. Instead we say:
    You’re Helpless
    You Can’t do Anything on Your Own
    You’re too Stupid
    If you do anything even remotely wrong, (in our opinion) we will jail or bankrupt your parents and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT!

    However we also want to award you with a trophy for being the eighth winner because we don’t want you to feel bad. That may stunt your growth.

  33. Emily Morris May 25, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

    I admit, if I had reason to believe, based on my medical training, a child alone in a car was in heatstroke, I probably would break a window if needed. Consequences be damned.

    If I saw a child alone in a car and I had reason to suspect heat exhaustion, I’d probably call the police or notify the store at hand or something.

    Perhaps that makes me anti-freerange. Oh well. I will watch out for my neighbor. I am not going to ignore people in true trouble and call it minding my own business.

    But I will never call the police on the simple general statement of “kids alone, no other noticed problems”.

    “Not even for a minute” is stupid.

  34. Donald May 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

    @Emily Morris

    I would as well. I’d break a window if I saw obvious signs of heatstroke. However I wouldn’t assume that;
    “Ok here is an untended child in a car. Therefore the child has been in for for 5 hours. Besides even if the child has been in for only 2 minutes, no child age even at age 12 is smart to open a car door! I also have public hysteria on my side. Therefore I can feel self righteous if I call the police.”

    My apologies to Emily. This rant was not meant to be directed at you. You could very well be one of the sensible people that would step in only if obvious signs of heatstroke are present. I didn’t mean to imply that you would call the police if you see a child in a car IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE regardless of the outside temperature.

  35. Donald May 25, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    Hyper-vigilant not Hyperventilate. Auto correct error.

  36. Emily Morris May 25, 2015 at 9:11 pm #


    You’re fine and I agree! I was hoping to communicate that if I had reason (and a reasonable reason) to believe your child (or you) were in true danger, I’d try to help. But I would not burst in all crazy on a no-danger situation just because the latest parenting mag told me to.

  37. Havva May 25, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

    There is one thing in that “PSA” that I believe. That on a hot day a kid could die after 20 minutes in that (pre-heated) car.

    In the US, in 2014, there were 3 cases where children were found dying after only 20 minutes in a hot car. Two 4 year olds and a 3 year old. Not one of them was left in the car. Every one of them wander out of their home and put them selves in a car, that hadn’t been driven in a while, and was thus already hot. Every one of them did this during nap time. Each parent checked on the kids during nap time and saw (or thought they saw) the child sleeping about 20 mins before. Eight of the 30 hot car deaths last year involved children ages 2-5 wandering and trapping themselves in hot cars. One kid it took 7 hours to find him because he climbed into a car down the street from his home.

    After digging into these tragedies I did something that these safety campaigners *never* suggest parents do. But which I dare say would be more effective than telling parents “not for a moment” (especially in Toronto). I checked to see if my 4 year old could open the car doors (she is getting close to able from the outside). She had forgotten how to do it from the inside. She needs to push with both legs to open the door open from the inside. Since she forgot that trick once already, I now let her get her self out as often as she is interested. She thinks it is fun and has gotten lots of practice in the last couple weeks.

    Since the rest of heat stroke deaths with known causes involved children being forgotten, I would also say that if you are going to make a PSA for something so rare, focus on the message that if a small child is missing, first check the pool (if you have one), then the car. But if you really want to save children’s lives PSA money would be far better spent on showing how to properly install a car seat, and on water safety.

  38. MomOf8 May 26, 2015 at 12:21 am #

    Ha ha ha ha ha! Now watch, someone’s gonna see this ad and worry about eating underbaked cookies and then they’re gonna make a You’re Smarter Than That ad about the dangers of salmonella. At least this one portays the mom as an idiot.

  39. The other Mandy May 26, 2015 at 1:26 am #

    Great point about kids being accidentally trapped. I know my kid can climb over and open the front doors (we have “kid locks” engaged in the back because he has opened the door while we were driving), but I can picture him climbing in, buckling his car seat harness, and being unable to unlatch himself. I don’t know if he even has the hand strength to open the buckles. Looks like it’s time for another safety lesson. I keep my car locked anyway, because of neighboring teens stealing my quarters.

  40. Alex R. May 26, 2015 at 2:03 am #

    This is where they’ve decided to make their stand, at least within the Canadian power structure.

  41. Alex R. May 26, 2015 at 2:17 am #

    There may be some leverage involved here, and they’re making it obvious and easy… dunno what else to say.

  42. sexhysteria May 26, 2015 at 2:24 am #

    Let’s not forget the extreme likelihood of kidnapping if you leave a child in a car even for a moment. Perverts and psychopaths are just waiting for an opportunity to spring and snatch a cute little baby in broad daylight. Your own neighbors, co-workers and fellow shoppers are all likely culprits.

  43. Emily May 26, 2015 at 8:00 am #

    I think Brent’s idea is a good one (at least when the temperature outside rises or falls to uncomfortable levels). I agree with Warren’s “people should mind their own business” stance, but the reality is that people DON’T mind their own business, and sometimes there’s no way to know whether Junior has been in the car for 30 minutes or 30 seconds. That’s how we hear all these stories of people who ran inside just for a minute to pay for their gas, or return library books, or mail a package at the post office like SKL did, and came back out to their cars to find that some “concerned citizen” had called the police.

    Also, Boze in AZ, I don’t think it’s quite fair to judge the image of a woman baking cookies in a 30-second commercial as “oppressive,” or “stuck in the 1950’s.” Sure, the dress and apron are a bit much, but honestly, I saw it as just a snapshot of one moment of one day of that woman, or really any woman’s life. Maybe the commercial would have been better if she’d been wearing regular clothes, but I think they were going for “prim and proper” effect. If she’d been dressed normally, then that effect might have been diluted, and if it was a man baking cookies, the point might have been obscured as well, with the “clueless male” slapstick effect, which I also find distasteful. Maybe a PSA featuring a professional male chef would have been less offensive, but again, it wouldn’t get the point across, because leaving children in cars is much more universal than that. My point is, though, it’s possible to be TOO politically correct sometimes. I believe in equal rights for all genders, but I still bake from time to time, for potlucks, friends’ and family members’ birthdays, and other special events as needed. I also live in jeans, observe International Women’s Day and December 6th (the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre in 1989), and I belong to both the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, and Amnesty International. My point is, being “liberated” or “progressive” doesn’t mean never engaging in any gender-stereotypical activities. That would cause the pendulum to swing the other way, and that would be a shame, because that would just reverse the genders of gender oppression, instead of solving the problem. I mean, if it’s offensive to show a short video clip of a woman baking cookies, then wouldn’t it also be offensive to show a video clip of a man fixing a car or playing football with his son? I don’t think so.

    On another note, I posted this on Facebook already, but how is it scientifically possible for a child to bake to death in a hot car in 20 minutes, when a batch of cookies takes two hours?

  44. MichaelF May 26, 2015 at 9:27 am #

    All that for one pan of cookies? Lame.

  45. Matt May 26, 2015 at 9:39 am #

    I put my daughter in the car first, before I load anything else, because having her in her seat means she can’t run off (and believe me, she would). She doesn’t quite understand the danger of running out in to the street yet, so I do it for her safety. Guess TPS would be coming for me – good thing I don’t live in Toronto!

    For that matter, perhaps TPS shold be informed that there are these fancy new gizmos that let you raise AND lower your windows 😉

  46. pentamom May 26, 2015 at 9:39 am #

    I guess people with two children young enough to need help getting into the car will just have to give one away, because one of them is going to have to be put in first and then “left” there.

  47. Anna May 26, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    Havva: That’s an excellent point about training the child. My 3-year-old has recently insisted on letting himself out of the car, and I get impatient with how long it takes, but now I’m going to make a point of letting him do it. You’re right that we should make sure kids know how to get out of a car themselves.

    Pentamom: Good point! This “not for a moment” stuff makes me think of my sister-in-law with 3-year-old twins and a 1-year-old. There’s literally no way she could obey this PSA, and hauling all the kids along to put the shopping cart back would be madness for her.

  48. That '70s Mom May 26, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    I’d love to meet the advertisers who came up with this ridiculously ineffective ad. If you want to promote not leaving the kids in the car in the danger zone (20 minutes, as the announcer said) then focus on that – not the absurd notion of not leaving them “even for a moment.” That statement turns reasonable advice into hysteria. Also, who is this woman and where can we find her in Canada? She doesn’t exist in 21st century America…and if she does, I don’t want to meet her, thank you very much. Talk about alienating your audience. Finally, if you’re so busy watching your children every second of every day, you don’t have time to bake cookies. What a LAME advertising campaign…thanks for the laugh though :).

  49. anonymous mom May 26, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

    I think it probably ends up watering down the effectiveness of the ad to move from “A child can die in a hot car in as little as 20 minutes” to “Don’t leave a child alone in a car for even a moment.”

    @Emily Morris, I don’t think there’s anything anti-free range about helping a child who genuinely appears to be in danger. I think it makes it safer for all of us to allow our children out unsupervised if we can trust that other adults will do just that. Of course we need to be reasonable about what really constitutes danger, but total non-intervention should not be the ideal, as far as I can see.

    There was a terrible story on our local news last night about a 5yo boy who drowned in a pool. Apparently an adult passing by saw this child go into the pool–fully dressed into an algae-covered pool that had not been opened in years–and called 911. Now, it’s great this adult called the police, but my husband and I both had the same immediate reaction: why didn’t they check on the child? I don’t agree with assuming that every child is in danger, but more and more we seem to see stories where children really were in danger, and an adult chose to call for help rather than immediately intervening.

  50. Liz May 26, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    This also seems to be an attack against poor parents. The insinuation is that an un-air conditioned car is way too hot for a child, so they should never, ever be put in one, even for a minute. If the legal standard becomes “child in car that’s not air conditioned” how many kids will be taken from parents who can’t afford a car with a working air conditioner?

  51. Peter May 26, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    One difference between now-a-days and back-when-I-was-a-kid is the use of car seats and non-power windows and door locks.

    Way back when, if we used a seatbelt, it was pretty easy to detach. So when you got to the destination and Mom or Dad would say, “Stay in the car, I’ll be right back”, we could get out of the car or roll down the windows if it got too hot.

    Today, the kids are strapped in with four-point harnesses into car seats and the locks in the back seat don’t unlock because kids could end up unlocking the car door, open the door, and fall out while the car is moving.

  52. Emily May 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    @Peter–Do you actually know any kids who’d be stupid enough to actually try to exit a moving car?

  53. Donna May 26, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    Emily, my little genius did open the car door while driving a few months ago. She’s 9. Kids do amazingly stupid things at times. That said, I hate automatic door locks.

  54. Michelle May 26, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    Emily, one of my kids opened the door while I was driving a few years ago, and when I was a kid I fell out of the car while my grandmother was backing out of the driveway (although I think, in my case, the door wasn’t closed all the way, rather than that I opened it).

  55. pentamom May 26, 2015 at 10:37 pm #

    When I was a kid I started to open a door on a moving car. My mom shrieked for me to stop before anything bad happened and then explained why that was a dumb thing to do — I was young enough that I just hadn’t grasped that it would be dangerous, but car doors aren’t that hard for a small child to open. So it does happen.

  56. Allie May 27, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

    You’re an idiot. End of discussion.

  57. Thomas O. May 28, 2015 at 9:34 am #

    At least in Texas, you can legally leave your child alone in the car for 5 minutes. I haven’t had to remind anyone publicly about that…. yet.

  58. Papilio May 29, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    Okay, this is one of the dumbest ads I’ve ever seen. Thinking logically rather than with creative insanity, I didn’t even understand the ad at first! At the moment she steps out of the kitchen into the hallway I thought the video was edited and she was taking the freshly-baked cookies out to a neighbor or something – why else would you take them outside?
    “You’re smarter than” what – smarter than trying to bake cookies in a car?
    Though if you CAN use the car for more purposes than just driving, that would actually be quite smart 🙂

    @Havva: How did those kids even get into the car? Don’t people lock their cars? I can imagine leaving it unlocked when it’s sitting in your garage at home, but then it wouldn’t be in the sun…

  59. Warren May 30, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    The only time I lock the truck is when we are out of town over night. Never at home or in town. Hell never lock the house unless it is unoccupied overnight. No need.

    Our service trucks carry cash, but on the tech’s person. My insurance wanted me to install lock boxes attached to the truck. I told them no, because if someone were to rob one of our trucks and couodn’t get the money., they would probably then take the truck as well.Iwas! Surprisingly they agreed.

  60. SKL May 31, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

    How many children have died in a hot car in Toronto in the past 5 years? I know it is extremely rare where I live, and I’m south of Toronto. It just doesn’t get hot enough to bake a kid without leaving her in the car for a really long time.

    If there have been any cases of it happening in Toronto, how long were those kids in the car?

    Why do people talk out of their butt so often?