Viral Video: Man Shames Mom for Leaving Baby in Car During Errand, Right in Front of Store


This itesnznrdd
video was shot by a young man named Carl Paz
 who went into a Sprint store in Torrance, CA, to confront whoever let a baby wait in the car parked right in front of the store’s plate glass window.

As Paz wrote on his Facebook page:

Walk by a Sprint Retail store and spot a baby, alone in a car, while its 82 degrees outside. No shade, no A/C…nothing. And the mother has the nerve to have this attitude. No concern for her child’s well being until attention is called towards it. I wanna make this somewhat viral, to spread awareness. If you see something, say something. This ISNT right. Share this if youd like. P.S. sorry for the shitty angle, im six foot five lol#badparenting #stupid

Posted by Carl Paz on Monday, August 3, 2015

When a mom in the store says it’s her child, Paz tells her, “As a good parent, I would go out and look on my baby.”

The mother says that’s why she parked her car where she can look on. “There’s nothing wrong with my kid being right there.”

“In YOUR sense, maybe there’s nothing wrong,” Paz responds.

You bet, in her sense! She’s the mom. She cares far more about the child than Paz does — but he assumes she doesn’t. Because we’ve all been trained to judge parents mercilessly and assume the worst.

But the mom is right. There is nothing wrong with a child waiting a few minutes in a car.

Yes, I know we have been exhorted to believe every child in every parked car, even 10 feet from a parent, is in immediate danger of heat stroke or kidnapping. But in fact, the most dangerous thing the mom did that day was drive her child at all. Kids are in more danger in moving cars than parked ones, and yet we don’t make viral videos  every time a mom drives her kid to the mall.

We go crazy when we’ve been told to go crazy, and lately we’ve been told to go crazy when a kid is waiting in a car, no matter what the circumstances. Paz even parrots the mantra, “If you see something, say something”  — a mantra that implies we are in such constant danger, we must be on the lookout at all times.

Fact: Of the 30-40 children who die in parked cars each year, 80% were either forgotten there (which was not happening here) or got in without anyone knowing and could not get out. They are found too late. That leaves about 10 children a year who die in cars where we don’t know exactly how it happened.

As for the odds of this child being in true danger, here’s the math I did for an essay at Cato Unbound, discussing a year in which 31 children died in cars (and for this I included all 31):

So, if there are 40,000,000 children under age 10 in America (and there are), and if they take an average of, let’s say, 10 car rides a week, we are talking about 20,800,000,000—that’s more than 20 billion—kid car rides a year. And 1 in every 670,967,742 of those errands could prove fatal—that’s 0.000000149% of them. Should we really be regulating parental choice based on percentages like these?

No. And by the way: more kids die in parking lots than in parked cars. (See this piece.)

What I appreciate about Paz is that he did NOT call the cops, because he knew that this could easily bring on a Child Protective Services investigation, and the family could be traumatized.

On the other hand, he posted the video including the licence plate, and now the police are apparently looking into the matter. Meantime, on Facebook, strangers are calling the mom a “bitch” and “crackhead” — which would make most of our own moms bitches and crackheads, because most of us waited out some errands in the car.

Here are two things that would actually make all kids safer:

1 – When you put your child in the backseat, put your phone there, too. That way you won’t forget your child, not because you love your phone more, but because you will notice when you don’t have your phone with you. You may not notice you don’t have your child with you if you get to work, the child has fallen asleep in the back, and you go about your day. Especially if normally you are not in charge of dropping off the child.

2 – When you’re running an errand and it’s hot, roll down the windows. Our parents did that back when the crime rate was higher than today.

Unfortunately, the law in California is draconian. (As most laws are, when they are named for a child who died.) Larry Altman at The Daily Breeze reports:

Kaitlyn’s Law, signed by Gov. Gray Davis in 2001, makes it illegal to leave a child unattended in a motor vehicle. The law was named for Kaitlyn Russell, a 6-month-old who died in Riverside County in 2000 after a caregiver left her alone in a car for more than two hours on a 100-degree day.

Two hours in 100 degrees is a lot different from a brief errand on a day that was not 100 degrees.

I wish the mom well, even as she is raked over the coals for doing something so innocuous. – L

Letting a baby wait in the car for a short errand, where you can even SEE him, is not negligent.

Letting a baby wait in the car for a short errand, close enough to even SEE him, is not negligent.


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283 Responses to Viral Video: Man Shames Mom for Leaving Baby in Car During Errand, Right in Front of Store

  1. Andrea August 5, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    This is the problem — our society has come to believe that moms don’t love or care about their kids as much as random strangers do. And I think that’s why parents, and especially mothers, go so far out of their way to PROVE that they do love their kids and want the best for them. I suspect there are more than a few “helicopter” or “over-involved” parents who do so not because they are actually concerned about their kids safety, but because they want to APPEAR concerned about their kids safety, lest people think they don’t care or love them.

  2. Andrea August 5, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

    What’s worse is the comments to the post. They all think they are better parents than she is and that they love her child more than she does. With people like that in the world, FRK are doomed.

  3. CJ August 5, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    Can’t hear the video, so I only know what is mentioned in the article. I’m more concerned about the fact it was 82 degrees outside. The inside of the car had to be warmer than that with no shade, A/C…and I can’t tell if the windows were down or not. Seems risky to leave a baby in the car in that scenario.

  4. Mommala August 5, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    I’m all for free range, but leaving my young kids in the car alone is one thing I just won’t do.

  5. A reader August 5, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    Admittedly, I don’t think this mom made a wise decision. You’d be surprised how quickly a car can heat up in 80 degree weather. I went into Dunkin Donuts this morning for a coffee and it took about 15 minutes as there was a line. I couldn’t touch the steering wheel when I got back into my car, that’s how hot it was. It was low 80s this morning. That could be dangerous for a baby or toddler waiting in there for 15 minutes. You have to leave a window open in that situation, or if there’s a possibility you’re going to be more than 10 minutes, you probably should just take the kid with you. That said, I’m relieved to hear the guy didn’t call the police. If you’re concerned about a child in the car, what does it kill you to wait and keep an eye for 10 or 15 minutes, by which point the parent will almost certainly return if it’s just a quick errand? And if they don’t return, and it’s warm out (or you see the child is crying and sweating), then go into the store and attempt to find the parent. Failing that, you really do need to call for help and get the kid out of there, but really, there is NEVER a reason to go for the nuclear option first!

  6. Doug August 5, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    Can we shame Carl Paz for being an insipid twit? This almost makes me want to make a facebook account . . . .

  7. SKL August 5, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    Wow, some people have way too much time on their hands. Does that guy have a job?

    Wasn’t he trespassing when he refused to leave the store after being asked? I really wish someone would charge him with a crime and see how he likes it.

    Another case for the annals of “bad things that DID NOT happen.”

  8. SKL August 5, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

    I’m pretty sure zero children have ever died of heatstroke while the mother was standing right there watching.

  9. Steve August 5, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    She should look into pursuing this guy for malicious slander and/or libel. Confronting her with his concerns is one thing. But posting her image and personal information on Facebook and then encouraging everyone to take it “viral” could probably be viewed as malicious harassment or malicious slander. Libel would be a pretty high hurdle but with the right attorney, who knows.

    Personally, I don’t believe the guy making/posting the video ever had the child’s welfare as his primary motive. I think he saw a “viral video” opportunity and jumped on it in hopes of getting his 15-minutes of fame. This is evidenced by his request for everyone to take his little busy-body video viral. What a loser.

  10. Juluho August 5, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

    82 degrees is too hot for any living thing to be in a car with the windows rolled up. However this phenomenon of people posting private information online of strangers HAS TO STOP. I’m a libertarian but I would get behind some kind of legislation that made this illegal. That goes for the ‘people of Walmart’ photos too.
    I don’t see a difference between calling the cops or putting it online, both are equally horrible and both likely lead to the same conclusion.

  11. SanityAnyone? August 5, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    The Mom might have made a mistake in this case, but I don’t like the trajectory. If it’s hot and your child is too young to walk out of the car, don’t leave. This kind of errand isn’t typically equivalent to 3 minutes paying for gas or running big sister into preschool. It could easily turn into a half hour, which is dangerous on a hot day.

    Still, Paz could have handled it more discreetly (asking individuals, not posting a video) giving the benefit of the doubt. At least he had a sense of the damage he could cause to the family.

    Did you read the comments to his post? What really bothers me is the lynch-mob mentality among his friends. This is the way of the world now, and it’s all too easy to raise up an angry army against anyone for almost any reason. There is no value placed on pursuing peaceful, constructive options first that acknowledge we are all liable to make mistakes, make different choices, or have our actions misunderstood. People fail to recognize they are supporting a cultural mindset that can easily target their own family next.

  12. Christopher Byrne August 5, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    As long as Tossed Salad (or whatever his name is) is getting play on national TV for his concocted “research” videos, you’re going to see people trying to create a name for themselves by being safety vigilantes. Depressing. Since it’s all about how the story plays and the shock and fear that makes “good TV” rather than boring facts.

  13. Ernie Judd August 5, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    California’s law is not draconian. It only applies to children six years of age or younger not with someone 12 years of age or older AND either the engine is running or “there are conditions that present a significant risk to the child’s health or safety”

    So roll down the windows and take the keys. In all these stories we should emphasize that it’s OK to roll down the windows because there aren’t kiddy snatchers hiding in the shadows just waiting for someone to leave their car windows open more than a “crack.”

  14. Concerned Parent August 5, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    A car in 82 degree weather with the windows cracked can reach 102 degrees within ten minutes and 120 within 30 minutes. Who cares if they parent was just going in for a little bit, you don’t leave your child in the car unattended. People here are talking about how calling the cops would traumatize the family. Leaving your child in a hot car, screaming and crying, could very well traumatize the child. This isn’t a case of the kid being left in their room to cry it out…they are practically in a box, in the sun. People think leaving their child in the car unattended for even a moment is okay but it isn’t. What if you car had a malfunction and rolled away? or what if there were faulty wiring and the car caught on fire while you walked into the house to grab your sunglasses? If you have a child that is unable to exit the car on it’s own then you take that fucking kid with you. If that makes me an overprotective parent, then I’ll wear that shit, but seriously people?

    Was Paz in the right for posting her personal information online? (ex. License plate #) Of course not, because that could put her child and the rest of her family in danger. But sticking up for the parent in this case is ridiculous…so many things could have happened here.

  15. Nicole August 5, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    When did “say something” include posting a video online? That goes way beyond saying something.

  16. E August 5, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    Agree with those that are rejecting the response to the Mom.

    If it’s hot, just take your kid with you. I was in a car at a gas station when my husband went in to get something. Even in the few short moments he went in to go to the bathroom, I chose to open the door to get some air flow. He thought I was getting out to go into the store when he returned and seemed surprised that I said I was hot in such a short time (this was a bit hotter day, but we were under the shade of the station awning). There’s no way a phone store transaction was shorter than his trip to the bathroom.

    In other words, 82 is a warm day, and if you aren’t IN the car with your kid, you really don’t know how hot it gets.

    Do I support the video taping and desire to make it “viral”? No. Absolutely not.

  17. E August 5, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    Ok I’ve watched the video (wasn’t sure I could since I don’t have FB). The person behind the camera is rude and out of line.

    I realize it’s probably irrelevant, but I’m no fan of the Mom choosing to be “safe” by parking her car in what is clearly not a parking spot. Pet peeve of mine when people use that “me first” mentality in public places.

    Kudos to the store clerk who remained calm despite having to ask him to leave numerous times.

  18. MI Dawn August 5, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    Heaven knows, I’m far from an overprotective mom. But yes, in this case, I think the mom was wrong IF the car was closed up (I can’t find any information that the windows were cracked open for airflow or not). Like others, I’ve sat in a car on a hot day with the windows closed and after only a few minutes, I was too hot. Like it or not, babies aren’t totally efficient at body temperature regulation, and rarely sweat.

    We also don’t know how long she’d been in the store – had she just walked in to drop off something, or was she in a line waiting? Many times a short errand becomes far longer or more complicated than you thought, especially where cell phones are concerned!

    So, in this case, the mom was wrong. But Carl was far worse, with the public shaming. This should be totally illegal.

  19. Eric S August 5, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    The new generation are just sheeple. It’s a psychological thing. This generation has been conditioned to believe anything and everything online. Exactly like “trending”. Here’s an example of the power of trends and suggestions. If more and more people started wearing the “poo hats”, including celebrities. Almost everyone will end up following the trend. Because that is in our nature, to follow the crowd, because we are genetically predisposed to stay in groups for safety and survival. Of course this isn’t the stone age anymore, where being in groups was essential. But the same imperatives (just like fight or flight response) are still within us. Closed minded, insecure, and ignorant people are more susceptible to this. Much like parents who are paranoid about their kids. That no matter what facts you provide them, they will not believe you. The “flying pink elephant syndrome”. lol

    This kid is complete idiot. Is the child in distress, is the child crying, is it really that “hot” or that’s just an excuse you’re using. I’m guessing the latter, because he replies back after the mother said it’s not that hot out there, “…it doesn’t matter”. Of course it does you twit. It’s the difference between dangerously hot for the child to be in a car, or it’s not that hot that child is comfortable sitting in the car. Which the mother can see right outside the store.

    Telling you technology and social media are making people more stupid and ignorant. They fail to use common sense, and reason, in place of what they are conditioned to believe. Not FACTS, what THEY believe. And some people believe in Big Foot and the Lochness monster. There are also those that literally wear tinfoil hats because they think the government is probing everyone. lol Beliefs can be manipulated. Facts are facts.

    Fact: We see the colour of the sky because of light refraction off molecules in the atmoshpere.

    Manipulated: The sky is blue because the blue oceans are reflected into the sky. You’d be surprised how many people believe this, and spout it off like it’s 100% true. And they can’t wait for everyone to know how smart they are.

    Here’s a tip for everyone like this moron, unless the kid is in actual danger, mind your own f’n business. Give facts, not conjectures. Be smart, don’t be a sheeple.

  20. Susan August 5, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    I disagree with you on this one. It could have been 100 degrees in the car. You also have no idea how long the baby was in the car already. No one should leave a baby, toddler or young child alone in a hot car. This woman did this on purpose, on a hot day. Should the woman be investigated by child services? I would say “yes” but I’m not as free-range as most people on your site.

  21. b August 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    Yesterday, I carefully unloaded my small children (ages 1 and 4) out of the car during a thunderstorm (complete with hail) and brought them across the parking lot so that I could sign my 8 year old off the camp bus (by showing my photo ID). According to the laws of my state, my children were safer crossing the crowded parking lot and getting bonked on the head with hail stones then they would have been sitting in the car, within my view for 2 minutes. I disagree, but I fear DCF more than I fear hailstones.

  22. E August 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    @Susan, if you watch the video, when he first confronts the woman, even the sales person said she just walked in (of course, I’m presuming that’s true).

    They (the Mom and the kid) both seem like jerks. She parked right at the curb in a place that is NOT a parking spot. I’m sure according to her, not removing her kid from the car, yet being visible from the store justified it, but thankfully most people don’t do that.

    The kid, is a cocky kid. Misguided and rude. There might be a smidge of actual concern, but the desire to record the confrontation pretty much negates all that for the sake of hoping something goes “viral”.

    This video is a great example of jerks, imo. The salesman comes off as the most reasonable of all.

  23. Buffy August 5, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    And you Susan, have no idea of anything either. Mom could have been in the store 2 minutes. (But sure, let’s assume it was HOURS) She might be the one in eleventy-nine-billion (apparently) who would abort the errand if it was going to take too long. The car could have been plenty comfortable because the air had been running on the way there. The mom (let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and say she loves her child more than you do) may just have been watching through that window in order to observe signs of distress.

    She could even have been T-boned on the way there at a high rate of speed, both of them ending up dead. And I’m betting you would NOT say “Why on earth was she driving her child?”

  24. SKL August 5, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    OK I’ve sat in a car on a much hotter sunny day to see what would happen, and it never got that much hotter.

    The mom pulled right up to the door. She was right on the other side of the door.

    We don’t know how long she was in there or how cool the car was when she got out of it. We also don’t know if the driver’s side window was down. What we do know is that the baby was fine.

    The argument that “she could have been in there longer than she intended” is, I’m sorry, ridiculous. If her errand took longer than expected, she could easily go out and get the baby and carry on. It is completely illogical to think a mother, who cared enough to pull up to the door so she could watch the baby, would just leave him in there to bake in order to continue her transaction without interruption.

    I’ve had that argument used on me before. Someone went so far as to say, what if someone kidnapped *me* and dragged me out the back door of the store? Come on.

  25. Eric S August 5, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    @E: That’s the thing, everyone has different tolerance to temps. Some people find 73 too hot. I’ve sat in my car with the window down for 20 minutes or so waiting for friends, with the window down at 82, and I was completely fine. Granted if the windows were rolled all the way up, yes, it would become pretty hot in the car, especially if it wasn’t in the shade. You also have to take into account humidity. 82 on a humid day feels much hotter than 82 on a not humid day.

    So never go by with what YOU feel. Go by with what is actually going on. Is the kid in distress? If they are they will clearly show signs of it. In that situation, than do something about it. If the kid looks fine sitting in the car, what’s the problem? Why make something out of nothing. Sure, people say “anything can happen”. Yes, ANYTHING can happen. That also includes a meteor falling from the sky and smashing in to your house while your kids sleeps “safely” in his/her room. Will you know make sure they sleep in a bunker?

    Here’s a little bit more realistic fact, as Lenore mentions, more children die or get injured in cars every year than anything else, yet, not one person ever thinks twice about strapping them in and driving? How is this any different to ANYTHING situation that people bitch about? People need to understand probables vs possibles. Anything and everything is possible. Not everything is probable. Common sense and reason. That’s all it takes. It’s the difference between a happy family and a family who’s been put through the ringer because of sanctimonious fools like this Paz kid. I understand he means well, but deep down, it’s more for the LIKES on Facebook. Because it’s now trendy to be paranoid and criticize other people’s parenting styles. And many of these numbnuts aren’t even parents. lol

  26. Beth August 5, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    “102 degrees within ten minutes and 120 within 30 minutes”
    ” Leaving your child in a hot car, screaming and crying, could very well traumatize the child”

    Do you have some outside knowledge that any of this happened, that the rest of us are not privy to?

    I’m thinking that since the mom parked her car, illegally, where she could see the kid, she might, just might, have been away of screaming and crying.

    But that’s just me.

  27. SKL August 5, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

    Oh, and why do we believe the guy when he says it’s 86 degrees? The mom invited him to call the cops and/or get some sort of an official reading to prove how hot it isn’t. But I guess since someone said it on the internet, it must be true.

  28. SKL August 5, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    Excuse me, 82 degrees, not 86.

    Some people live in places where it’s about 110 degrees with no air conditioning for a month. Their kids don’t die.

  29. John August 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    Talking about Gray Davis signing such a generic law making it against the law to leave a child (who is legally defined as anybody under the age of 18) alone in a car even with the data that Lenore sites, I was reading where Pepsi is now manufacturing diet Pepsi WITHOUT aspartame. THINK they’re now using sucralose. This is in response to an overwhelming amount of consumers who believe that aspartame is a dangerous substance that causes cancer. The problem is, there is not one shred of scientific evidence that supports the belief that aspartame causes cancer and all of the scientific data we do have on aspartame indicates that it is very safe. Supposedly a 150 lb. person would need to drink 18 cans of diet Pepsi per day and everyday for at least 10 years to even have the slightest chance that aspartame would cause any type of harm. But yet Pepsi is going against the data to appease the incorrect thinking of the consumer. Many say this is a very dangerous precedent.

    I think politicians and the general American public do the same thing when it involves children. It’s typical American over reaction to rare unrelated events. Let’s just make more laws that will cause more collateral damage than they’re worth. After all, it is all for the protection of children……sigh.

  30. kate August 5, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

    Concerned Parent: “What if you car had a malfunction and rolled away?” What if you stopped a yellow light and the driver behind you didn’t?
    “what if there were faulty wiring and the car caught on fire while you walked into the house to grab your sunglasses?” What if you unbuckled your child to bring her into the house with you and you didn’t realize that faulty wiring in the walls had started a fire??

  31. Roger the Shrubber August 5, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
    ― C.S. Lewis

  32. SKL August 5, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    He claims he can hear the baby crying. If this is true, it’s likely the windows are down. He doesn’t ever say the windows are up.

    Assuming he isn’t just a big fat liar all around.

  33. E August 5, 2015 at 2:21 pm #


    You make good points. My point is that it can be unpleasant to be stuck in a hot car and generally I don’t inflict that on people, even if they can cry to tell me that it’s reached a particularly uncomfortable point.

    Since I don’t know either of these people it’s kind of stupid to draw too many conclusions, but since parking like that is a personal pet peeve (my 86 yo mother with 2 replaced knees has never parked like that), I think they are probably both a little more self-centered than I prefer.

    I don’t think leaving your kid in a car (even safely) is an excuse to park in a no parking zone (except for emergencies). Park your car like everyone else and go inside.

    I sincerely hope that the identifying information is taken down and that people leave her alone. It would be a complete waste of time to “investigate” anything based on this video.

    (I just wish the store person would have said “that’s a fire lane, you have to move your car” LOL)

  34. SKL August 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    The fact that she parked in an odd place suggests to me that she intended to run in & out very quickly. Maybe to ask a quick question. The store worker also said she just walked in that minute.

    I can’t be the only person who has ever very briefly stopped in a non-parking spot, when going only a few feet away for a very short time period.

  35. SKL August 5, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    And by the way, what a poor quality video. I’d be embarrassed to post that.

  36. Jens W. August 5, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    @Concerned Parent:

    How many cars start rolling on a flat parking lot? Pretty much none, and at most some scratched paint is the result, no threat people in the car.

    How many parked cars spontaneously bust in flames?

    But if one plays the “what if” game, what if the mother with child on her arm gets run over by a car in the parking lot?
    What if the mother with child on her arm walks right into an ongoing armed robbery in the store?

  37. SKL August 5, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

    Wish I could leave a comment on his page. :/

  38. E August 5, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    @SKL, I don’t park like that — ever. Not even to shove a red box dvd back in the slot.

    If everyone chose to do that, the curb would be littered with cars all the time. A LOT of people ARE just walking in for a few moments. A LOT of people run errands with their kids.

    Even if I’m with my husband and one of us runs in and the other stays in the car, we move the car out of the curb (usually a fire lane anyway) and return when they emerge.

    And yes, clearly this is a pet peeve of mine, but it is what it is. Aside from an emergency, I can think of no reason not to park your car unless you just value your time over everyone else’s or you are lazy. Like I said, a pet peeve.

  39. Dora Zamora August 5, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    It’s sad that just about every day , we see a child lose there life because a parent leaves the child in a hot car , while she shops , I don’t understand , why is it so hard to keep your baby’s next to you at all times , come on woman get it together

  40. Joy N August 5, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

    Lenore, why do you constantly support parents leaving infants and/or young children in cars alone just so a parent can run an errand? IMHO, this is pure laziness on the parent’s part. In this case, I don’t care that the mom could, “see her baby!” Heatstroke would look like the baby was SLEEPING! i was severely abused as a child, yet my mother would never have left an infant in a vehicle alone! Again, pure laziness and I am sick and tired of parents being held up as great parents “just running a ten minute errand while leaving their baby/very young child in a car”, especially in the heat. No, they are not horrible parents. They are, however, parents who aren’t making good parenting decisions!

  41. SKL August 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    What makes you guys so sure that the woman is parked illegally? Where I live, in most places it is perfectly legal to park curbside in front of a business.

  42. SKL August 5, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    Dora Zamora, what you said is completely untrue. It is extreeemely rare for a child to die in a hot car when his mother knows he is in there. I’m not sure it has *ever* happened. Nearly all cases involve kids who were not believed to be in the car at all. And the ones that were intentionally left so long that they died, were usually left by someone other than the mom – I’ve seen babysitters and dads do it, but I haven’t seen a case of a mom doing it. So stop saying it happens “every day.” That is frankly a lie. Laws and social rules must not be based on lies.

  43. Beth August 5, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    I hate myself for responding to trolls but I can’t help it.

    Dora and Joy,did either of you two READ the post? Do either of you two ever drive your kids anywhere in the car?

    And no, kids don’t lose their lives every day in parked cars, unless the year has gone down from 365 days to 30-40 without me knowing.

  44. WJI August 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

    just got back from vacation, picked up the dog just before the kennel closed. Needed to stop for milk. Air conditioner had been running in car-car was chilly. I cracked windows open but not so much as to let cool air escape. Insane, screaming woman followed me into store calling me a dog killer-mob ensued. Entire errand took under 3 minutes. I’m sure I am on you tube scared to death and telling her off. I did not come off as sane-I was petrified and panicked. Crazy lady that traumatized my child and dog gets off scott-free. My car, license plate, name and video are likely lighting up you tube. What makes people think that it is ok to do this? they are not heros, they are sanctimonious vigilantes. Clearly, if a dog, child, elderly person – whoever, was in distress then by all means, do something. But if they are fine – mind your own business. Or wait and watch. Your jumping to conclusions and posting your version of the truth only wreaks havoc and unfairly punishes someone who is not guilty of a crime but could still suffer consequences thanks to the horde mentality that you have stirred up. I’m still shaken up – she has probably moved on to someone else by now.

  45. Bonni August 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

    Oh hey, this is local for me! I’m surprised it was only 82 degrees that day … it has been STINKIN’ hot lately, with a “feels like” temperature much higher than the actual, and with temperatures rapidly increasing on a minute-by-minute basis at certain times of the day.

    Agree with the the others that 1) I’m glad he didn’t call the cops, 2) shaming is the wrong way to go, and 3) it was probably a poor choice by the mom. The situation could have been worse, and it could have been better. *shrugs*

  46. SKL August 5, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    Come on, people. The store employee said 2x that the mom had “just now” come into the store. The video maker claimed the temperature outside was 82. The car looks modern enough to have air conditioning, so probably it was a comfortable temperature when the mom left the car. There is no way that car is dangerously hot. No way. You people are harping about something that is NOT POSSIBLY HAPPENING HERE.

    I’m sure you all have taken your kids shopping on a hot day, and brought your kid into the store because you were going to be in there more than a minute. When you went back outside, your car was probably oven hot. Yet you put your kids and yourself in there and they sweated for a couple of minutes while the A/C fought back the heat. The baby in this video suffered less heat than your kids suffer when you put them in a hot car before driving them somewhere.

    Get off your high horses.

  47. Emily Morris August 5, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

    This kid cared more about a video and getting hero-fied on the internet. Let the appropriate behavior or not of the mom be another topic.

    If the baby had been truly forgotten and was dying in the car, would the kid have still wasted time on a video? If you are that concerned, do something. Do not make a video.

  48. craig August 5, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

    Do we know if she left the car running with the a/c on and locked?

  49. SKL August 5, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

    I know, the guy went on and on and on even after the mom went and got the baby. Then he says all he cares about is that the child is safe. Oh sure. Then he shows the mom’s license plate to the whole world, AFTER the kid is “safe” (by his standard). Sure, all he cares about is that poor little baby not baking to death. I’m convinced.

  50. Michelle August 5, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

    Yes, Dora. 10 children a year is very close to “just about every day.”

  51. WJI August 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

    It’s been a LONG time since driver’s ed — but I’m pretty sure that it is against the law to leave your car running unattended. So for everyone who thinks the woman should have left the car running with the AC on — I believe that would have been an actual crime whereas leaving the baby in the car might be a gray area.

  52. SKL August 5, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    WJI, so is remote start illegal?

    Does it count if you’re just on the other side of a door just yards away from the car?

  53. CJW August 5, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    Not to nit-pick, but…

    20,800,000,000 is 20 billion…, not “20 trillion”.

    Your point is no less valid, mind you. 🙂

  54. WJI August 5, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

    I had never heard of remote car starters when I got my license — wish I had, it’s cold here!!! I believe that you can leave your car running on your own (ie. private) property. But I don’t think it is legal to leave it running in a public space.
    looks like the law in CA is sketchy–the child alone in the car may have been ok if not in danger however, leaving child in car with engine running (there’s a law for everything) is wrong!

  55. Jenny Islander August 5, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

    @Emily Morris: That’s what stuck out at me. “Oh, baby in danger! I know, I will make a video showing how heroic I am being about it.”

  56. E August 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

    @SKL, I cannot say with certainty that the lady was parked illegally, but I can say this: there is not a single car, other than hers, that is parked along the store/mall fronts. There are a number of cars parked in the lots. So either everyone visiting that shopping center likes to get more exercise, or she was parked illegally.

    In the strip mall shopping centers that I visit, they do not allow parking right in front of the stores.

    I don’t think her kid was in any danger and I think the video maker was looking from the get go to create something viral, especially since he started his video before he even entered the store. I think he’s a punk.

    I’m not especially impressed with the Mom, but I don’t think she deserves the attention that she’s getting at all — in any way shape or form.

  57. hineata August 5, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

    @EricS – people have always been susceptible to nonsense. ..hardly a new thing. Just look at the First World War, basically a fight between cousins, and its resultant creation, Nazi Germany. Or the peasant uprisings over the Gregorian calendar.

    @SKL – agree all the way on this. And maybe I just can’t see the video properly (very poor quality ) but yes, how is it possible to see that she was parked illegally? Issaquah was rife with curbside parking.

    Leave the poor woman alone. Personally I took one child with me on errands, my choice, but after 2 I left them as I the parent deemed safe and necessary. Would have done exactly what this woman did and not worried at ALL. Thanks to ‘heroic’ morons like this, though, parents are getting a bum rap.

    Time for another good war, eh what? Give these heroes a place to play, tallyho and all that!

  58. pentamom August 5, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    There are two issues here that have to be separated.

    1. Was it a good decision to leave a child in a closed car on a summer day?

    I don’t believe so.

    2. Was this guy’s response anywhere in the same galaxy as a decent response by a concerned, reasonable individual?

    No way in heck.

  59. Trisha August 5, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

    I usually do agree with your viewpoints but you are 100% wrong about this. 82 degrees is too hot to leave anyone (child, pet, really anyone at all) in a car without a/c. The risk of heat stroke is real and I’m disappointing in you for condoning this. I dont think her personal information should be posted and I don’t think she should be shamed. It’s not as though the fear of public shaming or cps involvement or jail time are what stop a parent from doing this – this is just unsafe.

  60. WJI August 5, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

    some people aren’t impressed by the mom. 1) by her choice – that’s fair, we all make different choices and 2) by her reaction. That’s why I posted my off-topic account of leaving the dog — She was much calmer than I was — in a panic, I lost it. You can’t judge by the videos. You don’t know the circumstance, you don’t know what is going on, you don’t know the temperature in the car, what is happening outside of the camera view or how fast the accosted person’s heart is racing.

  61. Julie August 5, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

    In my opinion the child’s mother behaved foolishly. I would not shame or ridicule her but would make sure that she received information about common safety concerns that those with infants and toddlers have. This is an opportunity to teach and help not blame and shame.

  62. anonymous mom August 5, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    I get that people are concerned about kids in hot cars. However, are there cases of a child dying in a hot car when the mother was literally right on the other side of a door, able to see the baby? Nearly every case I’m aware of where a child died in a hot car happened when the parent forgot the child was in the car and went to work.

    I do think we need to use a little bit of commonsense. 82 degrees is not a particularly unusual summer temperature here. My car is often sitting, with the windows completely closed, in 82 degree weather for many, many hours on end before I enter it, parked in front of my house. I have never, in that weather, entered the car and had the car be anywhere near 120 degrees. If my car is parked in the shade, it’s often quite comfortable when I enter it, even when it’s been sitting closed up in 85 degree weather for six or seven hours.

    Or, take this weekend. We went to a local strip mall. It was extremely hot, probably 95 degrees or so, and humid. While we were in the store–all of us, including the kids–the car was sitting in the hot sun for probably an hour or so. Was it hot when we got into the car? Yes. Were we at immediate risk of heat stroke? No. In fact, we were driving to another part of the complex, and I don’t think we bothered to either open the windows or turn on the a/c, because we were only going to be in the car for a few minutes and just getting into the car had let in enough air to make it bearable.

    I remember, growing up, going out to the car when we’d visit my grandparents, waiting to go to the beach. And often my sister and I would be super eager to get going, and we’d run out to the car (which was usually unlocked but with the windows up) and wait in there until the grown ups came out. Sometimes we’d end up opening a door because we got too hot, but we were never in danger of death.

    There is a vast difference between 82 degree summer weather and the kind of 110+ desert weather that some parts of the country get. I mean, if you can die in just moments in a car that’s heated to 100 or 110 degrees, how is like everybody in Arizona who needs to walk any real distance during the day not simply dropping dead? We just got a/c on the first floor of our house this year; before that, the house got HOT. We had days a few years ago where the downstairs temps in the house were near 100. It was incredibly miserable and uncomfortable. It was not, however, dangerous. If we were being super active and not drinking water, yes, we would have been in danger, but sitting around in that weather and staying hydrated for 10-20 minutes is perfectly safe for nearly everybody.

    I think we’ve confused temperatures that are uncomfortable or that would become dangerous if stayed in for truly long periods without hydration and temperatures that cause imminent danger. I mean, there are parts of the world where temps routinely get to 115 or 120 degrees, people don’t have air conditioning, and people aren’t dying of heat stroke after 10 or 15 minutes. In places like AZ, of course, we’re talking about cars heating to 150-160 or more degrees when the outside temps are 110 or 115 degrees, and obviously that’s different. But even temperatures of 110 degrees or so, while uncomfortable, are not going to cause a resting, hydrated person to die within minutes or even hours. And certain a car that might have heated to 95 or 100 degrees is not going to cause that.

    It’s good to be aware of the danger hot cars can cause, but it’s not helpful to be hysterical about it. I guess I don’t understand why, if having a kid in a car that might potentially have heated to 100 degrees is so dangerous, then so is allowing a child to play outside for 10-15 minutes on a 100 degree day. But my kids have played outside for short periods during heat waves, with breaks for shade and drinks, and they are no worse for the wear.

  63. anonymous mom August 5, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    TL;DR: Let’s say the worst happened and she was in there long enough for the car to heat to 100 or 110 degrees. So what? People live in areas with those temps and don’t drop dead. Assuming the child was hydrated and not left in the car for hours, the temps would be uncomfortable but not deadly. There’s a world of difference between a car that might hit 105 degrees and a car left in the desert heat that gets to 160 degrees within a few minutes. The human body is adapted to deal with pretty high temps (like 110 degrees, as miserable as it might be) but not with temps of 150 or 160.

    And, SKL apparently already said it. So I was just repeating. 😉

  64. Donald August 5, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

    This is the same as compulsive hand washing. Some people will see perilous danger no matter what just like they will see germs on their hands even if they have been washing them for five minutes!

  65. anonymous mom August 5, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

    I love air-conditioning as much as anybody, and I hate the heat more than anybody I know, but this discussion really makes me think that air-conditioning has turned us into wusses and confused us about the difference between discomfort and danger. 100-110 degrees, especially if there’s any humidity, is massively unpleasant. It is also, for most healthy people, not at all dangerous as long as they stay hydrated and limit extreme activity, and even for the elderly and sick and newborn, those temps won’t cause danger if they stay hydrated and aren’t in them all day.

    I have to think that people in most of the world, as well as most of our ancestors, would laugh at our new belief that sitting in a car that *might* be 100 or 110 so degrees for ten or fifteen or twenty minutes is deadly. It’s not. It would likely be miserable, and for that reason I think it’s probably a good idea to not leave a child in the car if it will get that hot (but in 82 degree weather, unless you are in the hot sun for a long time, it won’t get that hot), but the child is not in any actual danger.

  66. CSO August 5, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

    This is what I’ve learned from the stories I read about on Free Range Kids. Never, ever leave your children in a car no matter what the temperature is or how long you’ll be in the store. Otherwise, you’ll end up on You Tube, your kids will be taken away, or you’ll end up in jail. I’ve left my kids for a few minutes on a 65 degree day in the past with the windows cracked, but not since I’ve been following Free Range Kids. Too many crazy people out there ready to pounce on you for your “bad parenting” decisions. Now you can’t even leave your kids in your own driveway while you run in and get something??!

  67. Warren August 5, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

    Damn near every strip mall here has store front parking. You should get out more.

    naaa, not even worth it.

    I have no problem with mom’s choice.

    Had I been in the store, I would definitely had a problem with the punk with the camera. And he would have had a problem with me.

  68. E August 5, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    I think it’s just a matter of if you want to roll out all the factoids about how hot is too hot, how long is too long, how uncomfortable is too uncomfortable, etc — when it’s a warm day and your car is sitting in the full sun on pavement (or concrete, whatever it was).

    Do you have the right to plant your flag there and defend it? Of course. Is it worthwhile and would most people do it? Debatable.

    I think most people (maybe for a variety of reasons) don’t leave kids in their cars on 80-something days in full sun. In these days (hell, he could have live streamed it if he wanted), you may come across someone like this kid (or one who WOULD call CPS).

  69. E August 5, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    @Warren — you are always good for a chuckle.

    I get out a lot. I live in the suburbs of a medium sized city. The ‘burbs are full of these types of strip malls. Most of them have scads of parking, but not in front of the stores.

    If you watch the video, you can observe she is the ONLY one parked directly in front of the storefronts.

    It doesn’t matter, I think the kid is the villain in this dealio, not her.

  70. Gina August 5, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    Sorry..I disagree on this one. Summer in Southern California is too hot for a baby to be left in a car. 82 degrees is too hot. In a closed car that could be 109 degrees, so in one with a window slightly down, it would still be close to 100. It’s just too hot.
    Not saying the woman should NEVER leave the baby in the car and I’m glad she could see the car. This is ONLY about the temperature.

  71. anonymous mom August 5, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    @E, again, though, it depends. If the mother had been driving with the a/c on up until the time she parked, the car might have actually been considerable cooler than 82 degrees inside, and it could very well have stayed pretty comfortable for the 10 minutes her errand was likely to have taken.

    I can just think of many times when we’ve sat in parked, closed cars. Sometimes, on very hot days, we pick my husband up from work so he doesn’t have to walk. I’ll usually run the a/c as we drive over, but I don’t like to leave the a/c on when we’re parked and waiting, but I also don’t want to open the windows, because at that point we’re just letting much hotter air in. We’ve sat quite comfortably, at the hottest part of the hottest days, in a closed car that had previously had the a/c cooling it down for 10 minutes or so.

    This just seems like a slippery slope we should be wary of. If we’re going to say that it’s okay to condemn this woman for leaving a child in a car for a few minutes on an 82 degree day because it might have gotten to 100 or 105 degrees inside the car, then we have to accept people condemning the person who allows their child to play outside or go for a bike ride on a 103 degree day. Unless we’re talking about temperatures that are truly dangerous in the short term (less than 30-60 minutes) to the human body–and even like 110 or 115 is not at that level, but more like 140-160 degrees or so–then I think we do need to allow other people to exercise their own judgement even if we’d make different choices.

  72. anonymous mom August 5, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

    @Gina, if close to 100 is “too hot” for a baby, then what should we do with families who do not have air-conditioning in their homes during heat waves? Remove their children? Arrest them? 100 degrees is not fun, but it’s not “too hot” in any real sense. The risk is dehydration, and staying adequately hydrated on a 100 degree day is not particularly difficult, as long as you aren’t engaged in lots of physical activity in the direct sun. Even then, there’s plenty of people who do outdoor labor on days that hot, and they don’t die, and certainly not after 10 minutes.

    And, snarkily, I want to note that the womb is about 98 degrees. We should not allow small babies to be in there alone, I suppose. 😉

  73. judy August 5, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

    I’m sure this mom loves her child, but in 82 degree heat, a car can become dangerously hot in 5 minutes. It’s never wise to leave a young child in a car, particularly in summer heat.

  74. Papilio August 5, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

    @Anonymous mom: Yes, but a womb is also very well hydrated 😛

  75. E August 5, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

    @anon mom, my point is that you are just inviting scrutiny if you decide to leave a kid in a car (let alone a baby strapped in) on a warm day. I’ve said numerous times that I think the kid is a punk and was out for being viral or whatever.

    But if you leave your kid in the car on a day that would quickly get hot, you are tempting fate that someone is going to stop and say something (or worse, call CPS). I’m not saying it’s right or fair, I’m just saying it is.

    As for people that live in 100 degree weather w/o A/C, I think you are comparing apples/oranges. Living in a home (with fans and window shades etc) is different than being strapped in a car. Being acclimated is also different than being exposed suddenly. I mean, it’s kind of silly to justify her choice because we *could* all survive being in a 100 degree car. That’s a defense that I think wouldn’t fly much with anyone evaluating good judgement.

    (And for anyone who doubted my interpretation of the parking situation, since I live in a different part of the country, I decided to check. The place she parked is not a parking area — though other parts of the shopping center allow for store front parking, this one does not.)

  76. SKL August 5, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    Ha ha, good point about the womb.

    I adopted my kids from a tropical country. In that country, where it is NEVER cold, people layer their babies in 3 or more outfits to keep them warm. They think we are terrible for letting our tots play in 80 degree weather with just one layer of light clothes on. 😉

  77. E August 5, 2015 at 6:02 pm #

    I will say, that if this lady could get in/out of a phone store in a short amount of time, I’m jealous. That is something that is just not possible here, no matter what your issue/question is, lol.

  78. Erika Helt August 5, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    Thank you for writing an article about children in cars. I’m 58 and all 3 of my now grown children sat in a car and waited for brief, in front of store errands, on days in which I deemed were not to hot or cold.
    Shouldn’t each case be judged on its merits? Aren’t we still innocent until proven guilty? And do we all suffer for the less than one percent (Unfortunately yes )who use poor judgement.
    Yes, a child’s death that seems preventable is tragic. Is every child left in the car in danger? No, I trust what you researched.
    Again, thank you for some sane, fact based info.
    Erika Helt, Nebraska

  79. Donald August 5, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    I’m not convinced that this has much to do with temperature. I think it’s more of, “I see a child unattended. I can feel superior and self righteous if I reprimand someone!” This is the main issue.

  80. Andre L. August 5, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

    I think I need to call many commentators and Lenore on this issue, in the name of Physics.

    Heat can be transferred by 3 basic process: convection, radiation and conduction. Misunderstanding about these process lead to very wrong assumptions regarding the danger or lack thereof of immobile (= too young) kids kept locked in cars.

    Cars with locked windows get very hot very quickly if exposed to enough sun radiation, even if the external (to the car) air temperature is on a comfortable 70s-80s range. Protection from direct exposure to the sun quickly change that equation. Ventilation (windows opened) makes it far more difficult for air to become unbearably hot inside, because then conduction will somehow help reduce the indoor car temperature compared to the surrounding environment. That process (conduction) also operates by contact between external air masses and what is inside the car.

    So, yes, it is generally dangerous to left kids inside cars exposed to the sun and with locked windows. It also dangerous to leave, with any weather, a car with engine on and air conditioning or heating running, cars are powerful machines.

    Now I think kids could be left alone in cars as long as doors are unlocked and the kid(s) can be reasonable trusted to get out of the car on their own. If there is a baby or toddler involved, then kid could be only left alone for a few minutes, always with windows opened (this is essential).

  81. Warren August 5, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

    Andre L,

    You are making the assumptions that the interior of the car didn’t start off cooler than outside.

    You are also making the assumption that it was at the worst time of day for sun exposure.

    You are also assuming that the child was in direct sunlight.

    None of which is evident.

    In my truck I can bring the interior temperature as low as 50 should I want it that low.
    I can park so that the passenger side is not in direct sunlight.
    I can also go to stores first thing in the morning, or last thing in the evening.

    All of these will direct affect how the child is.

    And to everyone here, let’s not forget that mom didn’t break the law.

  82. Warren August 5, 2015 at 6:47 pm #


    Other than on extreme weather days, why in you opinion is it not okay to let the kids wait in the car? You bitch and whine, but offer no reasons. Please educate and entertain us.

  83. SKL August 5, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

    Based on the shadows in the video, it did seem like the car was in direct sunlight.

    But it also seemed like the windows were down.

    And the store employee, who has no dog in the fight, volunteered that the mom had “just now” walked into the store.

    The factual evidence that Lenore linked shows that in all the cases where a child has died in a car when the outside temperature was in the low 80s (or less), the child was in the car a very long time.

    The conditions this child was in were simply not dangerous. Period. Screw the “what ifs.” Screw the theories that have never ever played out in real life.

    If anyone can link one case where a child suffered heatstroke from being in a car in 82 degree temperatures for less than 30 minutes, please do.

  84. SKL August 5, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

    Anyway, even if there really was danger, the guy failed to do the thing that would help: explain the supposed danger.

    He could have come in and politely said something like, “I don’t mean to interfere, but did you know that the inside temperature of your car can increase very fast in sun like this? It makes me worry about your baby.” No video necessary. Chances are the mom would say “thanks” and surreptitiously roll her eyes, but if she found her errand was going to take more than a few minutes, she’d probably go get the kid.

  85. anonymous mom August 5, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

    I would also love to see some actual examples of times when a child was left in the car for under 30 minutes–or even under an hour–on a day that was in the 70-85 degree range and died of heat stroke. Because if cars got dangerously hot that fast on days in that temperature range, we’d be seeing kids dying in cars on a very regular basis.

  86. anonymous mom August 5, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    I mean, seriously, I get that cars get hot. But, we all have actual, real-world experience with cars. We have all, on an 80 degree day, walked into a car that had been parked in the sun for many hours. And I honestly doubt that many of us, when that happened, entered a car that was so hot that dehydration and death would be imminent in under 30 minutes if we didn’t open a window or turn on the a/c. As noted, I hate the heat more than anybody I know, and I have never gotten into a car parked in the sun on an 82 degree and felt it was utterly unbearable or even massively uncomfortable.

  87. James Pollock August 5, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

    “She should look into pursuing this guy for malicious slander and/or libel.”

    Truth is an absolute defense to slander and libel. He’d win.

  88. James Pollock August 5, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

    “I mean, seriously, I get that cars get hot. But, we all have actual, real-world experience with cars.”

    And that experience misleads us. The smaller the body mass, the harder it is to regulate body heat. Small dogs and infants are affected by heat that large dogs and adult people can just shake off.

  89. James Pollock August 5, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

    “people have always been susceptible to nonsense. ..hardly a new thing. Just look at the First World War, basically a fight between cousins, and its resultant creation, Nazi Germany. Or the peasant uprisings over the Gregorian calendar.”

    The peasant uprisings over the Gregarian calendar arose because people were being charged for 15 days rent even though only 4 days had passed. (or variations of this) Not really “nonsense”.

  90. Richard August 5, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    Kaitlyn’s law, as written, isn’t that bad. It forbids leaving a child under 12 “where there are conditions that present a significant risk to the child’s health or safety.” An alternative section also forbids leaving a child if the keys are in the car or it is running. The problem is that many people simply ignore the “significant risk” language as if it didn’t exist.

  91. Donna August 5, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

    Anon mom and others comparing this to getting into a car – there is a huge difference between getting into an already hot car when you are at room temperature and sitting in a car while it heats up. The two things are not remotely comparable. If you are sitting in the car, as the car heats, your body does too.

    I will leave alone whether THIS car was too hot as I wasn’t there. That said, I do find it bothersome that so many here constantly take the stance that no mother anywhere could ever possibly have a lapse of judgment. Every mother is ALWAYS making a good, well-thoughtout choice and everyone else is ALWAYS wrong. It gives Free Range Kids a bad look as we all known there are actually plenty of parents who make bad decisions occasionally (all of them in fact) and others who just suck. Heck, I can think of hundreds of decisions that I’ve made on the fly in just the last couple years as a parent that were neither well-thoughtout nor positive. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love my child, just that I’m a typical human being.

    Again, I don’t know if THIS was a good decision or not as I wasn’t there, but I don’t discount that maybe the mother went from her air conditioned house to her garaged car where she quickly turned on the a/c without really acknowledging the temperature outside. The child was never going to be in the car long enough to die, but I know that I would be unpleasantly uncomfortable sitting in an enclosed car at 82 degrees for more than a minute or two.

    Also, I lived in So. Cal for 9 years – in a few different towns – and NEVER encountered a single strip mall that allowed legal parking where this woman is parking. I suppose Torrance could be the one city in So. Cal to allow this, but the lack of other cars parked there indicates not.

  92. Bollyjon August 5, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    I turned off my car but didn’t open the door or window or get out bc I got busy reading something for about 10 minutes. It was over 100 degrees out here in Dallas. I was in the direct sun in the middle of the afternoon. Yes it was stuffy, but I wasn’t even sweating after 10 minutes. 82 degrees would be an absolutely beautiful day and perfect for allowing a pleasantly sleeping baby to stay asleep while you run in and tackle a quick errand. There was no purpose here but to shame a parent and to act self-righteous. I hope in 10 years when he has children we get to read his heartfelt open letter apology to all the parents he judged before he had kids.

  93. coasterfreak August 5, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

    Against my better judgement, I went ahead and watched the video (which infuriated me) and then read as many comments as I could before I got so angry that I wanted to punch something. I can’t say whether I feel the mother made a bad decision or not because I don’t know how hot it really was, and I don’t know if she would have gone out to the car to get the kid if she wasn’t done in the store within a few minutes, but I can say that Mr. Paz was WAY out of line turning his camera on and going into the store to confront her like that. And even if I could get behind his actions, he would have lost all of my respect when he couldn’t control his language after being asked repeatedly to stop swearing and to leave the store. I don’t have a problem with profanity, but I do have a problem with not being able to control your language (or refusing to) when you need to.

    He went in there with no intention other than to cause a scene.

    The hatred and venom in the comments from other people on the Facebook page made me sick. I had to stop reading when one nasty person commented “This woman who obviously has no love for her child…” and went on to say how unjust it was that she was able to have kids while other, more loving people, could not.

    When I started envisioning a Homer & Bart choking scenario starring me and the people commenting on the video, I decided it was time to leave that page.

  94. Beth August 5, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

    “Sorry..I disagree on this one. Summer in Southern California is too hot for a baby to be left in a car. 82 degrees is too hot. In a closed car that could be 109 degrees, so in one with a window slightly down, it would still be close to 100. It’s just too hot.
    Not saying the woman should NEVER leave the baby in the car and I’m glad she could see the car. This is ONLY about the temperature”

    Did you read and possibly think about any of, say, anonymous mom’s posts, or did you just rush over and post your words of wisdom and ignore any thoughts anyone else might have had?

    82 is too hot? 82 is gorgeous. It’s going to be 82 where I live tomorrow, I’m going to turn off the air conditioning, I may or may not open windows, and I guess I’ll be preparing my final instructions since it will be the day I die. Although, as has been pointed out repeatedly, people LIVE, without air, every single day, in much higher temperatures than 82 and they are not dropping dead.

  95. anonymous mom August 5, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

    @James, again, show me some evidence that children have died or been harmed from being in a car with the windows up (or at least some of the windows up) for less than 30-60 minutes on an 82 degree day, within sight of their mother.

    Discomfort is not danger. I’m not going to judge this mom even if she didn’t make the wisest choice, as I see no evidence her child was in actual danger.

    On Monday, I was grocery shopping in the morning at Aldi. It was maybe 80 or 82 degrees. While I loaded the groceries into the car, I left the two kids I had with me in the minivan with the sliding door open. But, when I went to return the cart, I closed the door. So, for maybe 2-3 minutes, they were in a closed-up car, which I deemed safer than dragging them through the parking lot. I could have been hit by a car, shot, had a stroke, or been abducted by aliens in those minutes and they could have been trapped in the car forever. However, shockingly none of that happened, I returned to the car unharmed, and it was still–after about 40 minutes of us shopping–cooler than it was outside thanks to the a/c we’d had running on the way there.

    Let’s not imagine danger when there was no danger. Smart or not, ideal or not, a child will not die or be harmed from 10 or so minutes in a car in an 82 degree day within the sight of their mother. We can save our judgment and outrage for genuinely dangerous situations. If it were 105 outside, then that would have been cause for “Even five minutes is too long!” hand-wringing.

  96. anonymous mom August 5, 2015 at 10:38 pm #

    @Beth, we’ve had a few days in the low 80s here and it’s been gorgeous. I had on corduroy pants today and was still chilly outside in the shade, and it was lovely in the sun. I guarantee you that nobody would die from even 30 minutes in a closed up car in this weather.

    My last two kids were July babies. I carried them around in slings a lot, right up against my 98.6 degree body. It had to have been hot, especially on warm days. They loved it. I was the one who’d get uncomfortably hot and put them down, but I also failed to die.

  97. James Pollock August 5, 2015 at 11:18 pm #

    “@James, again, show me some evidence that children have died or been harmed from being in a car with the windows up (or at least some of the windows up) for less than 30-60 minutes on an 82 degree day, within sight of their mother.”

    Why exactly should I undertake this task? I made no claims about windows up, 30-60 minutes, 82-degree days, or being in sight of their mother.

    “I’m not going to judge this mom even if she didn’t make the wisest choice”
    You’re being more critical of her than I have been.

    “Let’s not imagine danger when there was no danger. Smart or not, ideal or not, a child will not die or be harmed from 10 or so minutes in a car in an 82 degree day within the sight of their mother.”
    You’re very likely correct… and that still has nothing to do with what I said.

  98. Warren August 5, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

    Let’s get something straight that nobody can argue.

    There is absolutely no proof of temperature inside the car. No temperature was taken. Therefore you either give the mother the benefit of the doubt that she knew what she was doing, or you are going to assume she is a monster and abusing her child.

    If you are not going to give her the benefit of the doubt, then I hope to hell one day you are on the receiving end of this type of shaming, for something no one believes you about.

  99. hineata August 5, 2015 at 11:39 pm #

    @James – actually it turns out that the GregOrian riots may just have been urban myths, misinterpretation of some painting that I won’t bother boring everyone else with…am that bored today cleaning out a cupboard that I looked it up following your comment. Nothing at all to do with rents. Never heard of Gregar’s calendar, but he might be around somewhere.

  100. Kimberly August 5, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

    @ Warren — Totally agree with your last statement.

    I also want to add, after reading the comments on his video in which everyone is up in arms because the police are simply investigating whether a crime has been committed because “DUH, it’s on camera, there’s your proof!”

    He never actually shows the baby. And, despite his claims to the contrary, even when he was standing next to the car, I couldn’t hear a baby crying. Despite the argument with the mother, he could’ve been filming an empty car, so yeah, the police are going to investigate rather than arrest.

    Also, I’m super curious about the age of the baby. My initial reaction is a baby “baby”. But then I remember that me (and a lot of people) will refer to even toddlers as babies.

    All I know is that when my daughter turned 6 and I could legally leave her in the car, I was SUPER excited. That was they day I stopped dragging her and her (then) 3 year old brother into places with me when all I wanted to do was run a quick errand.

    No one ever said “boo” to me about it.

  101. Kimberly August 5, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

    An added thought:

    Like others, I’m more than a little disturbed that he was “so upset” by this situation that he chose to film a video that he asked his Facebook followers to make viral instead of calling the cops. Now, if you look at his page, there’s a half dozen posts all about his segment on the nightly news complete with links “in case you missed it”!

    I’ve got no problem with a person calling the cops if they honestly feel that a child is in distress (mainly because I believe that police should be able to evaluate each situation individually — just like they do with adults). However, his apparent hypocrisy is mind-blowing and really just serves to support the idea that he’s more concerned with becoming the next Jack SepticEye or PewDiePie (yes, I have kids and access to YouTube) than anything else.

  102. James Pollock August 6, 2015 at 12:02 am #

    “Never heard of Gregar’s calendar, but he might be around somewhere.”

    What? He was a happy, joyful sort who greatly enjoyed the festivals and holiday gatherings of that period. To this day, people who enjoy gathering together in large groups are called “Gregarious” in his honor.

  103. Donna August 6, 2015 at 12:12 am #

    Warren – Life is not that black and white. I’ve made countless decisions concerning my child that were not well-thoughtout and many that were and were still not the best. I am not an abusive parent who means my child harm, but I am also not a model of perfection who never acts without thinking something through completely or makes a mistake.

    I consider myself a good mother and yet my child got burnt because I held her too close to the stove while cooking. We both ended up with bad sunburns because I forgot we still needed sunscreen at Disneyland in December. My mother’s dog got lost and ended up in the pound because I wrongly thought the child could control him on a solo walk. My child fell off a bike I put together wrong and was injured and afraid to ride her bike for weeks. I am definitely rethinking my decision to take her to see Jaws since she is now deathly afraid of the ocean.

    I don’t see why some view it as such a threat to say “I think the mom made a less than stellar decision, but this guy was over-the-top.”

  104. Kimberly August 6, 2015 at 12:28 am #

    @Donna —

    “I am definitely rethinking my decision to take her to see Jaws since she is now deathly afraid of the ocean.”

    LOL!!! Don’t know how old your kid is or how long ago she watched the movie, but I’m pretty sure that 99% of the people who’ve seen Jaws reacted/react the same way. I STILL look at the ocean suspiciously if a viewing of the movie has been recent and my heart rate goes through the roof if I wade in past my knees. My sister (as a child) was convinced that Jaws could come up through the shower drain.

  105. Warren August 6, 2015 at 12:32 am #


    Sorry but your examples, other than the dog are not the same.
    This mom made a choice. Other than the dog, your’s were accidents, nothing more. Even the bike and sunscreen were accidents. You didn’t intentionally choose to not use sunscreen, you did not choose to hold her that close to the stove, and you mistakenly overestimated your ability to assemble a bike. None of these were the same.

    This mom made a choice, so yes it is black and white. You either give her the benefit of the doubt or condemn her. Like I said for all anyone knows she air conditioned the interior down to levels that would keep my beer cold. You don’t know. She could have had the heat on to intentionally fry her kid. You don’t know.

    So you either give her the benefit of the doubt, or you condemn her. It is that simple.

  106. hineata August 6, 2015 at 12:37 am #

    Huh? Must have been around and been a mate of the Wherethewhakawe tribe. Little fellas about 11 inches high, who spent their time running through long grass screaming “Where the….?”!

  107. Ben August 6, 2015 at 1:17 am #

    The similar happened a number of times in my hot climate country where the kids were left in closed windows cars in the middle of the day while the parent went shopping. It became a national issue for a while more so when the results were fatal. Poor kids, dumb parents

  108. sexhysteria August 6, 2015 at 2:24 am #

    Typical ignorance: Some idiot doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but he’s quick to judge and condemn others who know a lot more than he does! Statistics are irrelevant: everybody “knows” that parked cars are more dangerous than moving ones, strangers are more dangerous than adults the child knows, and nudity/sex is more dangerous than violence in photography, TV, video games, etc.

  109. Diana Green August 6, 2015 at 2:31 am #

    In a perfect world, every store will have a drive-thru window, and we’ll never have to get out of our SUVs.

  110. Suzanne August 6, 2015 at 3:45 am #

    I used to leave my baby in the car all the time when I ran into the dry cleaners. I parked directly in front of the dry cleaners, I could see her from the window, and carrying a baby and the dry cleaning was hard.

    Of course, most times, the dry cleaning lady would come out to my car with me to see “her” baby.

    Now, I don’t own a car because I live in Europe and it’s not necessary. We had a horrible heat wave. A week of temperatures between 97 and 102. No air conditioning. No one has it. My kids are still alive. Yep. We ate a lot of ice cream and drank a lot of water, but we didn’t die. And the baby in this story wouldn’t have died either, even if the car temperature climbed to 102 in the 5 minutes his mother was gone.

  111. Julia August 6, 2015 at 5:14 am #

    Enough people have made the points on why you cannot leave an infant alone in a car on a day when it’s in the mid-90s here in SoCal–besides the fact that it’s illegal. The only thing wrong this young man did was that he DIDN’T call the cops! I hope he’s learned to let CPS intervene and protect this baby from its inept mother. “It takes a village.”

    I know plenty of parents who are not helicopter parents, but geez, you don’t need to go to the other extreme–where do you draw the line? “Free range kids”? What, like they’re chickens?

  112. Jens W. August 6, 2015 at 5:40 am #


    “Enough people have made the points on why you cannot leave an infant alone in a car on a day when it’s in the mid-90s here in SoCal–besides the fact that it’s illegal. The only thing wrong this young man did was that he DIDN’T call the cops! I hope he’s learned to let CPS intervene and protect this baby from its inept mother. ”

    Actually it was legal. Below is the relevant law. Note the two conditions (1) and (2) which are described under which leaving a child in the car is illegal. Neither of these conditions was met and thus it was perfectly legal to leave the child in the car for those two minutes.

    CAL. VEH. CODE §15620 (2013). Leaving a child unsupervised inside a motor vehicle; violations and punishment
    (a) A parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for a child who is 6 years of age or younger may not leave that child inside a motor vehicle without being subject to the supervision of a person who is 12 years of age or older, under either of the following circumstances:
    (1) Where there are conditions that present a significant risk to the child’s health or safety.
    (2) When the vehicle’s engine is running or the vehicle’s keys are in the ignition, or both.

  113. Warren August 6, 2015 at 6:10 am #


    I don’t care about mid 90s. As reported in all articles it was 82 degrees. Huge difference. Nice try, please play again.

  114. Diana Green August 6, 2015 at 6:56 am #

    Vehicles equipped with darker rear windows stay much cooler when the sun is out without effecting the visibility from in to out. They are also a security feature, since mean people are unable to see in. These windows deter thieves, snoops, and the one in fourteen million random child abductor lurking outside the store where the hurried and harried young mom is doing a few minutes’ worth of necessary business. A nice option.

  115. E August 6, 2015 at 8:46 am #

    @Donna sums it up nicely for me:

    “I don’t see why some view it as such a threat to say “I think the mom made a less than stellar decision, but this guy was over-the-top.””

    The guy was confrontational from the get-go and any actual concern for the kid (if there was any) was certainly not of higher importance than the prospect of recording something that might turn into something to share online.

    I will say, that if a young person expressed concern inside the store about the kid in a nice, polite manner, I would actually be encouraged that the kid was aware enough to notice and think about it. A polite exchange between the two of them (off camera) would be a great community interaction. But that’s not what happened.

  116. E August 6, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    I figured the video was on youtube by now (It is) and rewatched it on a pc (as opposed to my phone).

    You can clearly hear the kid crying as he walks past the car as he enters the store.

  117. Donna August 6, 2015 at 9:37 am #

    Warren – Outside of the bike, you are wrong. An accident is a lack of decision – forgetting your child is even in the car, bumping into someone, tripping and spilling water on someone – or a decision that results in an outcome that is completely unforeseeable – allowing your child to walk home alone and she gets hit by a car on the sidewalk.

    Outside of the bike, I made fully conscious bad decisions that led to foreseeable negative outcomes. I made a conscious decision not to wear sunscreen, forgetting how easily you can burn in the So. Cal. sun even on a cool winter day (something I knew perfectly well considering I had lived there for years not too long prior). I made a conscious decision to hold my toddler over a pot to allow her to stir it without even considering that she may reach out to touch the hot pot. I didn’t intend for the outcome, but I fully intended to do the action that led to the outcome generally without thinking of the very foreseeable possibility of the outcome.

    I am not sure why so many here are threatened to say “yes I occasionally make mistakes as a parent.” It doesn’t bother me in the least. I am not remotely bothered by the notion that I am not perfect and I will never be perfect. I am not remotely bothered by the notion that I don’t have all the answers. I am not remotely bothered by the notion that I occasionally make bad decisions. I am not remotely bothered by the notion that I occasionally act without thinking through eveything completely.

    I am bothered by your insistence that doing any of these things means you are a child abuser. THAT is the exact attitude that got us where we are today – the idea that we have to be perfect as parents or we deserve to go to jail and have CPS take our children. THAT is the exact attitude reflected in the comments following the article. You are absolutely no different from those people except that you agree with her choice.

    As for this mother, I don’t believe she is a bad mother at all. I don’t know enough about her to make any sort of judgment as to her parenting skills. I do think she underestimated how uncomfortable an enclosed car can get on a sunny So. Cal day. I do think she should have rolled down the windows. I don’t think this decision indicates anything about her other than she is a human being.

  118. Donna August 6, 2015 at 9:54 am #

    This thread alone indicates how loving parents can easily wrongly evaluate a risk. We have people judging whether it is safe to leave a child in a car based on the fact that they don’t die getting into hot car with no consideration that sitting in a car while it heats is a completely different animal. We have people comparing being in enclosed cars parked in the sun to being in houses with fans and open windows with no apparent understanding how direct sunlight can increase the temperature in a car – or apparently the number of people that DO die of heat stroke in unairconditioned homes each year, usually due to lack ventiliation such as you would have in an enclosed car. We have people comparing being confined in a car to being outside in the heat with much of the same problem as the example before.

  119. SKL August 6, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    Yes, you can clearly hear the baby on the Youtube video. To me that proves that the front windows are all the way down.

  120. SKL August 6, 2015 at 10:13 am #

    Donna, it’s not that parents never make mistakes, of course.

    The issue is that on this and many other parenting decisions, there is no “all or nothing” “right or wrong.” Above you see otherwise rational people arguing that there is no way it’s ever OK to leave a baby in a car for a few minutes in 82 degree weather. Yet we know that not only have millions and millions of kids survived exactly that, but not one child has ever died from it. Kids have died from eating hotdogs, fishing in the toilet, playing under trees. Kids die every day in moving vehicle accidents. But never has a kid died in the situation described here. Why do people keep insisting it’s patently unsafe to ever leave an infant in the car, no matter how closely you watch him? It’s completely irrational.

  121. Donna August 6, 2015 at 10:14 am #

    SKL – It proves no such thing. The baby is crying, not babbling happily. I could hear my baby cry while standing in the parking lot while she was in a second story apartment with all the windows closed.

  122. SKL August 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Donna, surely you know that not everyone in hot climates has electricity, let alone fans. In fact, most people don’t.

    I would agree with “maybe I wouldn’t have done the same thing but I don’t know the exact circumstances.” But you are making all kinds of assumptions based on some black and white analysis. The fact is that you have no idea whether or not that car was going to get “too hot” before the mom returned to it. The person in the best position to know is the mom herself.

  123. SKL August 6, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    Donna, listen to the baby. He is not screaming, just mildly crying and you can’t hear that through car windows.

    I thought it looked like the front windows were down anyway, so this confirms it for me. It they were up, I’m sure the harasser would have made a point to say that on his video. :/

  124. Andy August 6, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    The most fascinating are people who latch on bad parking and conclude all kinds of unrelated things from that. What does that have to do with anything?

    That being said, baby cry is clearly heard at the beginning of the youtube video version, so the windows were down. Windows down means that car wont get nearly as hot as people predict and that there is going to be less hot air moving from outside to inside.

    This video seem to have more to do with punishment fetish some seem to suffer from and knee jerking then with any concern for babys well being. It was power trip and nothing else.

  125. E August 6, 2015 at 10:24 am #

    @SKL, actually the only person who knows the comfort of being strapped in a car in the sun, is the person in it.

    As far as the windows being shut/open, the news article I read said they were shut (clearly from the opinion of the video maker). I did not take the video as proof of it being open, because I would have though the kid would be louder. But clearly none of us were there.

    It seems like you are arguing with people who agree that that the woman doesn’t need the grief (or certainly CPS after her). We’re also allowing that this *could* have been a poor decision, just like Donna has listed examples of her own.

    Like I said, if a parent wants to leave her crying kid in a car on a warm day, in the sun, in a parking lot, then they should NOT be surprised if people question that decision. If the kid was crying and she’d been in the store even a few minutes, there is literally no way for her to know why the kid is crying, until she goes to see for herself.

  126. E August 6, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    @Andy, we’re all judging and event where we were not in attendance. We’re concluding that the kid was a punk (that’s my conclusion), and that it was or was not appropriate to leave the kid there, even though we have no idea how it felt to be sitting in that car at that time.

    As far as how she parked? I’m the one that’s mentioned it multiple times, AND said that, admittedly it’s my pet peeve. Because, there is NO reason to park like that unless you value your time over everyone else’s or are lazy. So sure, I can draw that conclusion, just like we’ve drawn a dozen others.

    I mean, if you are parking there because you are concerned about the heat and want to keep an eye on the kid, then it probably means you shouldn’t leave the kid in the car at all. But I’m, again, just guessing. I don’t know if her motivation was heat concern, child-napping concern, time savings or what.

  127. SKL August 6, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    But she CAN see the kid from where she is standing.

    Kids cry, so what? Lots of kids cry for no reason. If this kid is like mine, he’s crying because he wants to be closer to Mom. The cry I hear is certainly not a distress cry.

    I didn’t leave my kids in the car when they were babies because they would scream cry. They were very afraid of that for some reason. But I don’t assume everyone else’s kid is the same.

  128. Donna August 6, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    SKL – I don’t think the baby was in danger of death unless left there for hours. That said, I don’t think the hallmark of a good decision is nobody died (or conversely that death is the hallmark of a bad decision).

    I have a problem with attitudes frequently given on the blog of: (a) every decision a parent makes is well-thoughtout and correct; (b) that any difference of opinion is condemning a parent as a child abuser; (c) that as long as nobody died, it was a good decision; (d) that kids should be expected to do things we would find unpleasant and would never choose to do because they are kids. All of which can be found in this one thread.

    I don’t know if the car was uncomfortably hot or not. It easily could have been on a sunny, hot for So. Cal day. I do know that the baby was unhappy about something as s/he was crying. I don’t see any indication that the man was harassing the child in anyway (eg he was not banging on the window) that would cause the child to be upset (and if the baby is so sensitive to someone being near it talking on a cellphone, it probably should not be left in a car).

  129. SKL August 6, 2015 at 10:37 am #

    As for the parking, maybe she had 20 things to do that day and it wasn’t going to get done if she had to drag the kid into that phone store. If she was only going to be there a brief time, I don’t see how there is a problem. Let the “what ifs” begin! The store people didn’t seem to have a problem with her parking there.

    I wonder if this would have been viewed differently if she were stopping for baby formula or some other obvious necessity vs. a luxury phone.

  130. SKL August 6, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    Donna, I’m arguing against a blanket rule that some posters here are insisting upon. That’s all.

    Sometimes parents have to decide between their kids absolute perfect comfort and getting stuff done. When my kids were tots, sometimes they both wanted me to hold them while I cooked. It was unpleasant, but I had to let kids cry many times because the alternatives were worse. Kids cry. It’s not a tragedy.

  131. Andy August 6, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    @E So what that something is lazy or rather effort/time effective smart solution? My pet peeve is people labeling all kinds of things lazy just because someone does not like them. If people do not have argument, then they label something lazy. Lazy and smart solution are usually pretty much the same. I might be open to “follow road rules” argument, but the “lazy” argument is just … incredibly lazy.

    As for the rest, I think that right standard to use is whether it was dangerous, not whether it was “appropriate”. Acting strongly when there is real danger present is a ok thing. Overreacting when something was merely “inappropriate” by local habits that randomly emerged for no good reason is bad thing.

    Baby wont be harmed by few minutes of mild cry, so I do not care that mother could not hear it for those few minutes. That mild cry does not sound to be muffled by closed windows which is what is important for the safety question.

  132. Donna August 6, 2015 at 10:47 am #

    SKL – No the person in the ONLY person in a position to know if the car was uncomfortably hot is the person in car. The mother in the store has no idea how hot it is in the car.

    And yes people live in hot climates without electricity. I know some as electricity is not universal in A. Samoa. I don’t know of a single population of hot climate dewellers who live in metal boxes surrounded by glass windows that allow no ventilation. In fact, the Samoans largely live in houses without walls (fales) for that very reason. That said the people posting HERE and comparing their own experiences in houses without air conditioning to being in a car clearly DO have electricity. I am assuming that they are smart enough to buy a $5 fan though.

    As foe the window, again, hearinf the child cry says nothing. It is lightly crying becausw it is muffled by the window or is it actually lightly crying? Who knows. We weren’t there.

  133. Donna August 6, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    And I clearly can not type on my phone today.

  134. E August 6, 2015 at 10:53 am #

    @SKL, I think the difference here is that the Mom wasn’t with the kid and a passerby simply sees a kid in distress, strapped in a car, on a warm day, in a sunny, paved parking lot. I think most people would hesitate before just continuing to walk by (I’ve done it myself).

    Since anyone with a tv or newspaper (or smart phone) has likely seen the headlines about kids harmed in a hot car, they must know that this could be construed as risky behavior.

    You could be 100% right about everything, and this Mom had been there for 30 seconds, the kid could be crying about something completely unrelated to discomfort, the temp was 70 degrees in the car, whatever. But no one should be surprised that someone passing would pause/wonder.

    Again, if she wants to plant her flag here and defend, that’s certainly up to her.

  135. Donna August 6, 2015 at 10:54 am #

    I’m sorry but the “I have a million things to do so I can illegally park in the fire lane” is the most ridiculous argument I have ever heard. It smacks of demanding privilege and believing that you are better than everyone else. I can’t say that I’ve never parked there, but I acknowledge that it was improper and didn’t try to justify it with my own self-importance.

    And the shop individual shop owners of a strip mall don’t control the actual legality of parking anywhere in the strip mall.

  136. E August 6, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    @Andy — I’m not sure I’m following. If you take a short cut, park in a place that is not designated to park, because it makes YOUR life easier, then that’s lazy. I thought FR was about NOT presuming you are a special snowflake that needs special accommodations?

    There are usually reasons that a specific parking layout is used. Traffic flow, pedestrian safety, etc. If everyone took the “effort/time effective smart solution” (HA!) then parking would be completely random and disorderly. I mean, c’mon. I ADMITTED it was a a pet peeve (“something that a particular person finds especially annoying”). I’m 100% qualifying my reaction to her.

    I mean, if we’re going to use the “so what” approach, we could also say “so what” to the guy being a total prick to her. Maybe he was just having a bad day too.

  137. Donna August 6, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    E, exactly. The guy was way out of line, but I don’t think that thinking “huh, maybe the child is too hot” is necessarily uncalled for when seeing a distressed child in a car on a hot day.

    And “hot” is largely based on perspective. An 82 degree day in August would be considered cold in Georgia (not sure it has ever happened). In So. Cal where the average August temp is 76 or so, 82 is hot. I can remember everyone in San Diego complaining about the heat as soon as it hit 80 and there are only a handful of days that hot all year. Torrance is not much warmer. It may not be completely rational as 82 is 82, but “hot” really isn’t defined the same everywhere.

  138. Kymra August 6, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    I’m sorry, this is a blog post DEFENDING that woman and what she did? Unbelievable…. Free range is one thing. Leaving a child in a car in direct sunlight is another. How many videos have we watched on how quickly the temperature escalates? How important is the lady’s cell phone vs. her CHILD?! What if someone hopped in and stole her car? Not worth it. Not even for a minute!

  139. Andy August 6, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    @E So it is lazy and? Lazy is bad when stuff that needs to be done is not done which is not relevant here. Not sure why taking short cut would be a bad thing? Going longer route is stupid thing not hard working.

    “I thought FR was about NOT presuming you are a special snowflake that needs special accommodations?”

    FR is about giving kids freedom and not freaking out every single time something slightly scary goes around. It does not make us to be anyplace specific on the arrogance, moral or parking rules following scales.

    “I mean, c’mon. I ADMITTED it was a a pet peeve (“something that a particular person finds especially annoying”). I’m 100% qualifying my reaction to her.”

    And I admitted that “lazy” and other rhetorical non-arguments are my pet peeve. So you have label that barely applies … and? I have seen that too much of it lately. So, pretty much the same thing both of us?

    “I mean, if we’re going to use the “so what” approach, we could also say “so what” to the guy being a total prick to her. Maybe he was just having a bad day too.”

    Sure, but then again, her parking was unlikely to inconvenience anybody in that place at that moment while he was colossal jerk with putting it on the internet thing. So, her rule breaking is minor thing while his one is more major. In my eyes anyway.

  140. E August 6, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    @Andy – ok?

    My point is that we’re all using our own cues and experiences to judge a situation where we were not present.

    It’s not the least bit shocking someone called her on the situation as it presented itself.

    The end.

  141. Warren August 6, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    I have look at some of the other articles, and certain things come to light.

    He didn’t happen on the baby in the car. He watched the mother get out. Waited a few seconds and started taping.
    The store employee confirmed that the mother had just entered but seconds before this lunatic came in.

    There is no way to know the internal temp of the car, at the time mom got out. Therefore there is absolutely no way anyone can predict or calculate the internal temp of the car after two mins had gone by. At the time he was harassing this mother, the internal temp of the car could very well have been below the outside temp.

    We have no idea of what the mother was doing in the store. For all we know her errand was a very quick in and out. For all we know she could have been done and gone had this idiot not stopped her.

    I just find it very disturbing the number of people in here that are not willing to give the parent the benefit of the doubt that she knew what she was doing. It is rather shameful.

  142. SKL August 6, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    E, I was the person who said it would have been fine if he politely approached her and mentioned, in case she didn’t know, that temperatures in cars in the sun can rise quickly and it made him concerned about her baby’s safety.

    In fact, that may be happening all around the USA today. Nice people intervening in a kind, productive way that promotes both child safety and the integrity of parental rights.

    Some people are reacting here as if she had thrown her baby in a fire.

  143. SKL August 6, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    Donna, how can you say she has no idea how hot the car is? She has been in and out of that car in that climate lots of times. How do you know the car might get hot? Just because you read it on the internet? Or because you have the experience of getting (or sitting) in a hot car on a sunny day? Well, that lady looks intelligent enough to also be aware that cars gradually get hot on sunny days. And that it takes more than a few minutes.

  144. SKL August 6, 2015 at 11:55 am #

    We need a name for the new sport of “viral video” harassing and shaming. That way we can do our own shaming of these jerks.

  145. MichaelF August 6, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    Didn’t read all of this and only watched about 2 minutes of the video, without making it viral or sharing it or whatever. Not sure why he would do this but the guy comes across as a real D-bag, pardon my language. This is borderline harassment, and while he films her, getting her face in the camera he never showed himself..far as I could see. The profanity alone made it look more like he was trying to be a hero of some kind and got pissy when it didn’t go his way.

    Save the babies! Keep them free.

  146. E August 6, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    @SKL cars don’t gradually get hot on bright sunny days in the 80s on pavement. They rapidly get hot. The NWS/NOAA indicates they rise 19 degrees by 10 minutes when it is 80 degrees outside.

    The fact remains, the woman cannot know what is going on in a parked car, unless she’s in the parked car. Those are facts.

    I’m not sure why you are responding so harshly to Donna, she’s not advocating anything about this mother other than entertaining the possibility that her decision was not a good one. She’s clearly not condemning this woman, but she’s also not rubber stamping the choice given the info we have.

  147. Donna August 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    SKL – The only one actially sitting in the car and feeling the temperature is the baby so he is clearly the one in the best position to know whether he is hot, not the mother. He is crying. Could be from the heat. Could be from something else. Who knows.

    But again, getting in and out of the car in any temperature is not indicative to knowing how hot you feel sitting in a car. Unless this mother has SAT IN A CAR in the same conditions, she has no idea what it feels like to do it. She may have done that and made an educated decision or she may, like you and several others here, think thay getting in and out of a car equals sitting in a car when it doesn’t. I have no reason to base a conjecture either way so I don’t assume either one is true. I am just opposed to the belief that I always must assume that the mother made an educated decision rather than a spur-of-the-moment decision.

    Yes, I have sat in a car in the same general area in the same general temperature and it was hot. I rolled down the window within a couple minutes. And I am not a hot-natured person at all. I am far more likely to complain of being cold than being hot.

  148. SKL August 6, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    Yes, I think it’s right to give parents the benefit of the doubt when there is in fact doubt. In this case there is no evidence that the car was hotter than a baby should reasonably be expected to bear. 99+% of the time, a mother will protect her kid from real danger. We have no reason to believe this mother was the exception. So yes, I believe the presumption should be on the side of the parent in cases like this, and the burden is on the accusers to prove the danger to the child.

  149. Kimberly August 6, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    This discussion has clearly gone off point of the purpose of free range and maybe it’s time it was brought back to point. The only thing in that video that matters,and the only thing that we all know for fact was that this guy came into the store and attacked the mother verbally while filming it. The rest of it doesn’t matter.

    He jumped the the immediate conclusion that a child was left alone and felt that many the child was in immediate distress. The purpose of this site is to change people’s minds about what it means to be a safe and well adjusted child as well as what good parenting can and does look like.

    The appropriate response, just as we advocate in all situations where you feel a child may become distressed is to watch and listen and ask questions is it applies. He jumped to the same conclusion that people watching a kid alone at a park jumps to. The parent(s) are bad/wrong.

    We need to be discussing that instead of arguing and debating facts that aren’t in evidence. No one knows the facts except for the mother and maybe not even her. That’s why the police are investigating the situation rather than relying on the video.

  150. SKL August 6, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    The police shouldn’t be investigating it. If this jerk had not acted inappropriately then there would have been no police investigation.

  151. Tuela August 6, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    The most important factor that a parent should be very very concerned at all times is the safety of their kids. How can she leave her when the possibility of her being kidnapped is so apparent. It’s a very dangerous world now.

  152. Donna August 6, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    Actually, I have the right to believe that 82 is too hot to leave an infant in the car in direct sunlight. I don’t have to give the mother the benefit of the doubt that this was a good decision. I can believe it was an ill-informed or bad decision. We don’t all have to agree all the time. Refusing to accept that some are always going to disagree with you makes you every bit the Snowflake that we all mock here.

    I do need to give her the benefit of the doubt that she is a loving mother who is doing the best she can. She did no harm. Even if she had, it would have been completely unintentional and just a result of not being fully informed. She doesn’t deserve to be shamed on the Internet, arrested or have CPS involved. If she were my friend, I would say nothing more than “are you sure that is a good idea as it seems a little hot to me” and let it drop.

  153. Doug August 6, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

    Tulea, welcome to the site.

    You must be new here.

    Because the world is, in fact, safer than it has been for many years. There’s links above to prove that fact.

    Please, don’t succumb to hysteria and panic. Hysterical parents are bad parents.

  154. Warren August 6, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    Again for all those talking about it being too hot, about the math of rising temps inside a car, and the like………….you cannot possibly make a sound conclusion. You are missing one very important factor. The initial temperature inside the car, when the mom exited the vehicle.

    Yes it could have been the exact same as the outside temp. But their is just as good a chance that it was much cooler than the outside temp.

    Hell I can get my GMC down to near 55 degrees on the hottest day with its air cond. cranked. I have gone into stores and come out fifteen minutes later to the inside of my truck still cool and refreshing.

    Not every car is a hot car.

  155. SOA August 6, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

    In our area in summer even a few minutes does get too hot. I tell my kids to leave the doors open while I return the cart and unload the groceries into the car because even that 4 minutes or so is awful when the car has been sitting out in the sun. Its really bad.

    So I don’t know if it is okay to shut a baby up in the car in that kind of heat even for less than 10 minutes. They may not die, but its not comfortable either. I have seen my kids sweating just the few minutes I have to turn the car off to fill up the tank of gas. I try to prop the doors open for them. Its gets super hot and humid here.

    Now fall or winter, probably a completely different story.

  156. Beth August 6, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

    I don’t think the “lazy” argument has to do with the parking. We’ve all heard it – if you don’t play with your kids at the park, or don’t go with them to the park, you’re “lazy” and should never have had kids. If you leave your kid in the car while running in for the dry cleaning, you’re lazy and should never have had kids. If you can’t be outside with your kid while he plays in the back yard, you’re lazy and should never have had kids.

    And so on.

  157. anonymous mom August 6, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    @Donna–I think you misunderstood my point. It was not that, because it’s comfortable outside on an 82 degree day, it must be equally comfortable inside a car on an 82 degree day.

    No. My point was that people were arguing that it could–gasp!–get to be 95 or even 100 degrees inside the car if she parked in the sun for a period of time.

    I’ll concede that. Perhaps it could have–although, if she’d been driving with the a/c on, as many people do, I’m willing to bet it was considerably cooler than 82 degrees inside the car when she left it, and so it would take a while for the car to even heat to 82 degrees, much less 100. (And we all know this. How many of us have driving maybe 15 or 20 minutes to a store with the air conditioning on, parked in the sun, spent a half hour or an hour shopping, then returned to our car to find that it was actually still considerably cooler than the outside temp? That happens to me all the time. Unless my car has been sitting in the hot sun for hours, it takes a while to even get back up to the air temperature if I’ve been running the a/c.)

    But, let’s concede that it might have gotten up to 100 or even 105 degrees inside the car. My point was that people do not die in those temperatures, not just sitting still for 10 or 15 or 30 minutes. They just don’t. Those are not lethal temperatures, even for babies. Yes, a child left in those temperatures ALL DAY would likely dehydrate, but a child left in a home that was 100 degrees–and, on hot days, with windows open and fans on, un-air-conditioned homes can hit that temperature–would also dehydrate if just left without water all day. Acting as if being in a car that could theoretically–if she hadn’t been running the a/c and it started at the outside temperature–have heated to maybe 100 or 105 degrees if left in the sun for 20-30 minutes (when the mom sounds like she was running a 10 minute errand) and that in all likelihood was significantly cooler than that (because the child was only in the car for a few minutes and the car likely started out at a lower temp) is fatal is just being a little ridiculous.

    Temperatures of that level are uncomfortable but NOT dangerous. Not in this context. Yes, people do die when it’s 105 degrees out, but not because they were sitting still for 20 minutes. They die because they were like out running in the sun without drinking enough water. Dehydration is the risk, and it was not a genuine risk in this scenario. Are there temperatures genuinely dangerous to the human body? Of course. If it starts out at 105 degrees, then absolutely a car could heat to a temperature that is in and of itself dangerous to the human body in a short period of time. But not starting at–at a maximum–82 degrees.

    Potential discomfort is not a reason to call the police or publicly humiliate a person. As I said, I hate the heat. When it’s 95 degrees here, my kids are allowed to stay inside all day if they want, and just sit in front of an a/c or fan and relax. But, I know people who still shoo their kids outside on 95 degree days–with water, light clothing, and other appropriate precautions. Their kids very well may be uncomfortably hot, but as long as the kids are well-hydrated, it is not my business if another parent allows their child to play outside in temperatures I feel are uncomfortable but not truly dangerous. I’d also extend that to parents who leave their child in a car that I might think is uncomfortably hot but not dangerously hot.

  158. anonymous mom August 6, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    @SOA, so now uncomfortable or sweating kids are a sign of bad parenting? Well, I suppose you should have called CPS on me the last two summers, when we were without a/c in most of the house, on hot days the temps inside would rise to the high 90s, and my kids–and me–spent much of the day sweating and uncomfortable. When I was a kid, my grandparents used to park like 10 blocks from the beach and we’d all have to trudge for like 20 minutes to get to the beach, while loaded down with beach gear, sometimes on days that were near 100 degrees, in the blazing hot sun. We’d be whining, sweaty messes by the time we hit the beach. That wasn’t abuse or bad parenting.

    I spent a summer in Costa Rica in the early 2000s. I was sweating and uncomfortable the entire freaking time. It was miserable. But, not dangerous. I refuse to say that parents have a duty to keep their children from ever sweating or being uncomfortably warm.

  159. SKL August 6, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    My kids and I visited the Taj Mahal a couple years ago in July, when it was about 110F. Now that was freakin’ hot. And no, there is no AC and no fans there. On top of the heat, my kid was suffering from swollen bug bites to which she is allergic. And we weren’t sitting quietly for a few minutes, we were walking and climbing stairs for at least an hour. Were we comfortable, heck no. Were we anywhere close to dying, no, of course not. We went to our hotel and my kids had the most refreshing swim of their lives.

  160. anonymous mom August 6, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

    I think we’re really conflating a number of issues. Yes, a child left in a car on an 82 degree day could die, if they were left in the car for hours. There have been cases of that happening, where parents forgot a child was in the car while they went to work or a case where a day spent 7 hours watching horse races while his child died in the car.

    And, a child left in a car for a few minutes on a 110 degree day could die. I’m not aware of cases of that happening, because I think most parents are sensible enough to realize when a car is so hot that even a few minutes in a car is going to be dangerous, but I’m sure it’s happened.

    But no child has ever died after 10 or 20 minutes in the car on an 82 degree day. No child ever will. The car will not get hot enough to cause death, and they aren’t in there long enough to dehydrate.

    Yes, people die during heatwaves, but from dehydration. We are always reminded, during heat waves, to periodically check on elderly neighbors, the most prone to dehydration. We are not reminded to check on them every 20 minutes, though. Heat deaths usually occur in those who go long periods of time without sufficient water, not those who are sitting in a hot room for short periods.

    So you can die if you are in a car or room that’s 90 or 100 degrees for hours without drinking water. And you can die if you are in an extremely hot (like 140, 150 degree) car or room for a much shorter period of time. But you will not die from being in a room that’s 100 degrees for 15 minutes.

    You all know about hot yoga, right? They keep the studio around 105 degrees and humid. Classes typically run 60-120 minutes. I personally think it sounds like voluntarily entering the inner circle of hell, and you could not pay me enough money to do it. But, people pay money to do it! Like they pay money to enter saunas. They don’t die. They certainly wouldn’t die after 10 minutes in those temperatures.

  161. Jason August 6, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

    “I’ve been running the A/C, so my car will stay nice and cool after I shut off the engine.”

    Have you ever tried this out? And I mean in the real world, not some sort of imaginary thought experiment.

    Go sit in a greenhouse in a warm climate, and think good thoughts about the people all over the world who are subjected to a constant 110° for a month.

    Some of the comments I read here remind me that some people will say absolutely anything if they think it will help them “win” an argument or debate.

  162. Donna August 6, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

    Anon mom – I think EVERYONE (or at least the usual readers) agrees that the mother should not be humiliated on the internet or be arrested. I still don’t have to think it was a good decision. I can still believe that it is bad parenting to leave a child who can’t help himself (roll down windows or get out) in a car parked in direct sunlight in 82 degrees. I don’t actually use “my kid did not die today” as a baseline for good parenting.

    I also think many people here need to go sit in a hot car for awhile. It isn’t fun. It isn’t something I subject my child to forcibly, although she can choose to stay if she wants now that she is old enough to get out. It is not a good parenting decision in my opinion.

  163. SKL August 6, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    Jason, yes, I have tried that out. I needed to wait for my kids and decided to work in the car on a hot, sunny day. The temperature did rise some, but not to any dangerous level. It was at least 10 minutes before I decided to crack the windows and get a cross breeze. I proceeded to work for about a half hour and was comfortable enough with the windows cracked.

    So based on my own experience, I am skeptical about all the scare tactics. People report “facts” that support their agenda.

    People should go read the stories behind all the heatstroke deaths in the page linked by Lenore. There is a huge, huge gap between what happened to all of those kids and what this cell phone lady was trying to do.

    When someone sees a mom run into a storefront for a few minutes, they shouldn’t be conditioned to think a kid is about to die if they don’t make a big stink. Whether it’s harassing the mom, calling the cops, breaking the window, whatever.

  164. James Pollock August 6, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

    A few thoughts:

    1. Just because when you get out the car you only intend to be gone for (say) 10 minutes, doesn’t mean you’ll actually be back in 10 minutes.

    2. “Nobody died from…”, isn’t, and shouldn’t be, the standard for good parenting. It isn’t even the standard for whether or not children should be removed from the home.

    3. Just because one side is wrong, doesn’t mean the other side, isn’t, also.

    And a story.
    Once upon a time, I went to basic training, in San Antonio, in July and August. I can’t recommend this; as far as I am concerned, Texas is uninhabitable during the summer time. How is this relevant? Well, our military services do, in fact, operated in all kinds of environments, including the last several wars which have been conducted in some very hot places. But during training, you don’t accomplish anything by putting your guys into sick call because they have heatstroke. So, they have a policy that says once the temperature reaches a certain point, physical activity is curtailed. (Of course, this just means that Physical Training is scheduled for 5:00am, also known as “just before dawn”, when it’s only 85 degrees outside. We had people get woozy, even pass out, from heat. I don’t think it ever got to be more than 95 degrees, but it also never got below 85. That’s full-grown men and women; children are more affected by the heat, particularly so the smaller they are. If you base your opinion of how hot is “too hot” on your own capacity to withstand it, you are probably underestimating the risk for your infants (or, for the pet-lovers, for small dogs and cats) waiting in your car.

  165. SKL August 6, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

    James, your story about the military is completely irrelevant unless the training involved sitting still the entire time.

    As for your first comment, humans do have the ability to adapt their plans as circumstances change. Do you really think the average parent is going to say “oh well, I’m 2nd in line, so my kid can just die of heatstroke because I’m not going to lose my turn”? Or “darn, too bad my kid had to die because they took so long to fill my order.” Really? Here we go with the “what ifs” again.

  166. Warren August 6, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

    The “lazy” accusations are made by the martyr moms and dads. They do this to make themselves feel superior because they put in suuuuch an effort to do everything for their little snowflakes.

  167. Warren August 6, 2015 at 10:30 pm #


    I have returned to my truck after ten to fifteen minutes, and my truck is still cool enough to immediately notice the difference when I get in. It happens all the time. That is real world. Any other questions?

  168. Warren August 6, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    Then your training was for wimps.

    During the summer we are constantly on the go, as it is our busy time. No matter how hot and humid it is. Try being on an asphalt surface in 100 plus weather, for two or three hours straight. We do it all the time. And that is not just sitting there, that is humping our butts off to get the work done. We then get in our truck, and go to the next service call, and do it all over again.
    Same in the winter. There is no its too cold, too wet or whatever. You get the job done.
    We don’t get the work done, the truck doesn’t move, the product doesn’t get delivered, and in some cases the cargo dies because the truck doesn’t move. There is no, “Oh it is too hot.”. You work through it.

    I always knew that tireguys are a tougher breed than most.

  169. James Pollock August 6, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

    “James, your story about the military is completely irrelevant unless the training involved sitting still the entire time.”

    It involved a lot of sitting still. Once the temperature hit whatever the limit was for “red flag” (and it did every day) we didn’t have any more outdoor physical activities. This meant that we pretty much spent every afternoon sitting in a classroom.

    I’m not sure on why you think sitting still somehow makes the air cooler.

    “Do you really think the average parent is going to say “oh well, I’m 2nd in line, so my kid can just die of heatstroke because I’m not going to lose my turn”?”
    Yes, although, of course, the parent will rationalize that it’s not really that hot out, or that it’ll just be a few more minutes. Or they just lose track of time. Or, they’ll be halfway through a transaction when they find out their 10 minute errand is going to take 30-45 minutes to complete.
    You DO know that actual children HAVE died actual deaths because the parents literally forgot that they (the kids) were in the car, right? When you say “I would never be that stupid”, well, that’s what they thought, too. Sleep deprivation, a common-side effect of allowing infants into your home, causes poor concentration, forgetfulness, and poor decision-making. You increase the odds of injury caused by heat when you leave your kid in the car, even if you only MEAN to be gone a short time, even if it’s not that hot inside the car when you leave. How much risk you’re willing to take on will vary from parent to parent.


    “Here we go with the “what ifs” again”
    Yes. It’s part of parenting. Or you can go all fancy, and call it “risk mitigation”. What are the risks, what is the possible severity, what are the costs of reducing or eliminating the risk.. I wouldn’t leave my child in the car. I won’t condemn somebody who did (even the guy who forgot he was supposed to drop his kid off at daycare, drove straight to work, and left him in the car all day. He’ll punish himself.). But even the thoroughly noncommittal can point out that specific risks are higher in one case than another. Pretending a risk isn’t there doesn’t make it go away.

  170. anonymous mom August 7, 2015 at 12:31 am #

    I agree that whether or not a child could die (notice, not didn’t die but could not die) isn’t the only standard for a good parenting decision. But, either is whether something is fun, comfortable, or carries no potential to make a child sweaty. Waiting on line in a store with your mom is also not high on most kids’ lists of fun, enjoyable, and comfortable activities.

  171. James Pollock August 7, 2015 at 12:35 am #

    “either is whether something is fun, comfortable, or carries no potential to make a child sweaty.”

    I disagree, as “fun” and “making children sweaty periodically” would be factors in good parenting.

  172. Janette August 7, 2015 at 12:37 am #

    Well I’m a grandmother and we went to eat at a place that didn’t have air conditioning but they had fans, nevertheless my 2 yr old grandson got really hot,was perspiring and got short of breath we had to find some kind of shade …we weren’t even there that long…..ITS NEVER OK TO LEAVE A CHILD ALONE IN A CAR,ESPECIALLY IN THE HEAT!!!!!!!

  173. Alexis August 7, 2015 at 12:45 am #

    Any person who can condone this woman’s actions and even TRY to justify the fact that there’s nothing wrong with leaving a SMALL child UNATTENDED is a shit person. Never mind the fact that the child was in a heated car, NO child should be left unsupervised, PERIOD. this article is a joke

  174. gurrr August 7, 2015 at 1:45 am #

    Bull shit I don’t see how anyone thinks it’s ok to leave a child that is not 12 years of age alone In the car IT’S AGAINST THE LAW!!!!!!! to leave a child under 12 alone and still I wouldn’t leave her in a car without the window down which brings me to the following not leaving her alone at all bc there are fucked up people in the world and even doing so who knows what can happen you people stating that ohh us mom’s have to do errands fast and it’s ok HELL NO it isn’t how many of us have had to blink and BAM! Something were not expecting happens in a blink of an eye be realistic people IT’S NOT OK!!!!!!!

  175. hineata August 7, 2015 at 1:49 am #

    Alexis – thank goodness, a sane person on this site! I too never leave my children unsupervised. I haven’t slept in 18 years, and my nearly 19 year old son is having some adjustment issues with having to go to the big boys bathroom by himself, but my sacrifice has been worth it. I can rest assured that I haven’t been a shit person.

    Have to go now, my 14 year old needs feeding. …

  176. Katie Michelle August 7, 2015 at 2:12 am #

    This article only acknowledges maternal instinct and says nothing about the laws that are being broken here or the behavior of the woman and the sales associate at Sprint.
    In Ohio, it is not legal to park like that in front of a store. It is a fire safety issue in addition to obstructing vision into the parking lot and causing customers including handicapped to go around the car to go to the store.
    The real concern however is the 82 degree car and the baby inside the car. Perhaps if the windows were down or the AC was on, this would be another story completely. We have been told over and over again if you see a baby or a dog in a car, the heat rises faster then you may think and that it’s not safe.
    Add the pompous attitude of a mother that could have just as easily put the child on her hip and the sales associate that was yelling at someone who was just trying to ask a mom to go get her baby, and this is a sad sad sad story.
    I am a mother of three little boys. I would never leave them in a parking lot with the doors and windows shut sitting in front of a store in hot temperatures. First of all, it isn’t safe. Second of all, I am asking to be judged and ridiculed, and lastly, I will end up with a broken window and a child endangerment violation. That is common sense.

  177. Kassiee' August 7, 2015 at 2:20 am #

    This article is shit. Your thinking is shit. And your justifying this woman is shit. I’ve seen 3-4 videos of challenges given to parents and even some famous guy, I can’t quite remember his name but I bieve he’s an athlete, sitting in a car on an 80 or so degree day for like 10-20min with the windows rolled up or slightly cracked open and it’s hot as fuck inside the car and they’re literally dripping sweat. Now PLEASE tell me a baby would be nice and fresh simply because the “mothers” car is parked in front of the store she is in. Oh lol sorry, I guess because my generation is “sheeple” I wouldn’t know about raising kids. Lol. No. Fuck off with that sheeple bullshit, my mom and dad IF they ever left us in the car they left ALL the windows rolled ALL THE WAY DOWN and even then they still came and checked on us every like 2min even if they were 10ft from the car. And if anything we would open the door too. This is not ok. It’s a fucking baby! come on now. And it’s not about being over protective that some people WOULD NOT leave their child in a car with the windows closed or slightly cracked open, it’s called common sense and knowing that is not ok and it’s STILL ILLEGAL EVEN IF YOUR 5ft FROM THE FUCKING CAR! Get your heads out of your fucking asses. This article is the biggest piece of shit and waste of my time reading. and please don’t come at me with any of your bullshit telling me I’m wrong and I’m just a sheeple cuz I quite frankly have no interest in your responses to MY opinion and won’t be here to read them. Said what I had to say so bye.

  178. Apple August 7, 2015 at 3:00 am #

    Two reason why I would not leave my child in the car.
    First reason – It’s too damn hot.
    Second – There are sick people out there. Perfect example the man who kidnapped a two year old girl from a car wash in Garden (not too far from Torrance).

  179. Kim Ahrens August 7, 2015 at 3:08 am #

    Besides that it’s hot as hell, I CAN’T understand why people think it’s okay to leave their kid’s alone!!! The idiot salesmen was more worried about curse word’s than a baby being left alone, okay!! I’m still trying to comprehend that!! MORONS!! Thank you, you just may have saved that baby’s life!! <3

  180. Jens W. August 7, 2015 at 3:12 am #

    Even sources such as who campaign against leaving children in a car state that within five minutes the temperature will rise by only about 10°F.

    As far as we know the woman was inside the store for less than five minutes. Someone inside said that she had “just arrived”, and the man who confronted her said that he waited at the car for about two minutes.

    In terms of laws, the Californian law is clear that leaving a child in the car is legal if there is no significant risk.
    It certainly would have been illegal to leave the child in the car for 15 minutes and longer. But five minutes were perfectly legal.

  181. Jens W. August 7, 2015 at 3:19 am #


    The article doesn’t say anything about the girl being abducted from a locked car. Just that it was kidnapped from the mother’s immediate vicinity. Having her locked in the car might actually have saved her, as the kidnapper would first have to break into the car.

    The article also states that cases like this are extremely rare:

    ““I haven’t seen a crime like this in the 20 years I’ve been in Gardena,” Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast said a day after the girl was found.”

    Furthermore, if one is scared of such things one also should be scared of running right into an ongoing armed robbery in the store. Then the child would be better off being left in the car as well. Just google “child killed in robbery” if you want to scare yourself.
    Robbers usually don’t target children as they carry little valuables, so any children killed in robberies are usually coincidential victims which happened to have been at the wrong place at the wrong time. Staying in the car would have saved them.

  182. Chris August 7, 2015 at 5:09 am #

    This article is so poorly written and completely twisted that the author didn’t even have the courage to give themselves credit and leave their full name. Yikes. Wether you agree with Paz or not, you have to give him credit for at least standing by what he believes in and not posting the video anonymously on YouTube.

  183. Wendy Furilla August 7, 2015 at 5:35 am #

    Regardless of personal opinion without proper knowledge, it is illegal to leave a child under 6 years of age in a unsupervised vehicle ( posted this law That’s the law, not an opinion. Also, facts/statistics prove that a child left in a vehicle, even when the windows are open, can still be effected by the extreme increase of temperature inside. This would be catergorized as child endangerment/neglect.

    “3.4°F per 5 minutes; opened: 3.1°F per 5 minutes or the final maximum internal temperature.
    Conclusions. Even at relatively cool ambient temperatures, the temperature rise in vehicles is significant on clear, sunny days and puts infants at risk for hyperthermia. Vehicles heat up rapidly, with the majority of the temperature rise occurring within the first 15 to 30 minutes. Leaving the windows opened slightly does not significantly slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature attained.” Source – Stress From Enclosed Vehicles Moderate Ambient Temperatures Cause Significant Temperature Rise in Enclosed Vehicles, Published online July 1, 2005
    PEDIATRICS Vol. 116 No. 1 July 2005, pp. e109-e112 (doi:10.1542/peds.2004-2368) Catherine McLaren, MD*, Jan Null, CCM , James Quinn, MD*
    Division of Emergency Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
    Department of Geoscience, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California

    California Law:
    Unattended Child in Motor Vehicle Act “Kaitlyn’s Law”
    California Vehicle Code Sections 15620, 15630, 1563215620.
    (a) A parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for a child who is 6 years of age or younger may not leave that child inside a motor vehicle without being subject to the supervision of a person who is 12 years of age or older, under either of the following circumstances:
    (1) Where there are conditions that present a significant risk to the child’s health or safety.
    (2) When the vehicle’s engine is running or the vehicle’s keys are in the ignition, or both.

  184. Jens W. August 7, 2015 at 6:35 am #

    @Wendy Furilla

    Please note that the law specifies two conditions which must be met in order for leaving a child under 6 in the car alone would be illegal.
    It does not generally forbid it under any circumstances, but mentions that it’s illegal only if the engine is running or the keys in the ignition, or if there is significant risk to the health of the child.

    Thus it’s perfectly legal to leave child in the car if the engine is off, the keys removed from the ignition and the child’s health is not in “significant risk”.

    It’s certainly true that the temperatures in the car can rise quickly. But after five minutes they will not have reached a point at which there is “significant risk” yet. And thus it’s legal to leave a child in the car for five minutes, if one takes the keys with one.

  185. Ciara August 7, 2015 at 6:39 am #

    I have no issues leaving a baby in a running vehicle with the ac on and doors locked. However, this woman left her son in the car not only with the windows up, but the car off as well. The baby was crying. The mother did NOT know this until the gentleman filming told her.

    It is disgusting anyone would condone this.

  186. Andre L. August 7, 2015 at 7:54 am #

    Just because we are questioning the wisdom and safety of leaving a small child (incapable or extricating him/herself from the car) in a car, locked and exposed, doesn’t mean we are validating this sort of “holier than thou” online vigilantism like the guy did in the original video. I haven’t read anyone here suggesting what the guy did was okay, or that the mother deserves a full-blown CPS investigation and a criminal record for that.

    I’ll just add to other facts to the discussion:

    – small children are much more susceptible to heat stroke than adults, and heatstroke, alone, can severely damage or even kill a human even in absence of dehydration

    – babies have a significantly larger ratio of exposed skin area / weight than adults, and they have bigger heads compared to the body than adults, with all the thermal regulation implications it has

    Thinking of it all, wouldn’t it be great if some malls or big stores offered covered supervised parking so that parents could leave their cars turned off, in the shadow, windows down, with a watchful adult monitoring things there?

  187. Andre L. August 7, 2015 at 7:56 am #

    @Ciara: I think it is dangerous to leave a car turned on and a kid locked inside. Standard cars shouldn’t be left on like that with an incapacitated (as babies effectively are) person locked inside unsupervised. That is basic safety for any human-operated machinery, actually.

  188. E August 7, 2015 at 8:48 am #

    @AndreL, the idea that a mall would provide a section parking (covered) with a supervisor is laughable. Some malls offer drop in child care inside their buildings.

    I can just imagine a mall with a special section only for people who want to leave their kids in the car, constructed with a shelter and with supervision. How they’d know who belongs to whom, how to reach parents if the child was in distress, what to do if a kid leaves the car, lol. No way.

    Honestly, if that ever happened I’d be depressed. Some of us managed to raise kids, get our errands run, without such a ridiculous service.

  189. lollipoplover August 7, 2015 at 8:57 am #

    “Thinking of it all, wouldn’t it be great if some malls or big stores offered covered supervised parking so that parents could leave their cars turned off, in the shadow, windows down, with a watchful adult monitoring things there?”

    Great suggestion!

    Why can’t *concerned* citizens keep an eye on someone’s car, show some chivalry and look out for one another, instead of whipping out a phone to feel superior? That’s what I just don’t get. If I came upon this scene with a baby crying and I felt genuine concern for a baby, I would stay by the car! How hard is it to say: “Cute baby! I was walking by when I heard her and wanted to make sure all was good…and I see it is. Have a great day and enjoy that beautiful baby..the days are long but the years or short!”

    But instead we get this story, because feeling superior on social media and flipping out a phone and shaming a mom who probably hasn’t slept well in months is how you decide to approach social interactions. Again, if there was genuine concern, take action and WAIT, have civil conversation and empathy, don’t film and berate people!

    And when did EVERY car in EVERY temperature turn into Easy Bake Death Chambers?
    If cars are so dangerous to leave a person or dog unattended, you’d think car manufacturers would be required to install cooling or fanning systems when they detect occupants within the car without temperature regulation, similar to the requirement to have airbags.

  190. Mary LaMata August 7, 2015 at 9:03 am #

    Well said, i would hate to add to those factual statists….. Meaning the death of my child…. For something frivolous let a phone issue,… Good subject .. Close to my heart, i have seen first han)d what it looks like losing a child left in a car… That mother and father are still haunted by senseless act….. Your a hero…. Thank.

  191. E August 7, 2015 at 9:04 am #

    @lollipoplover, I think the suggestion about automakers taking on this issue has been brought up before, and iirc, the auto industry wants no part in taking on that safety issue. It has nothing to do with the purpose of their autos and it shift the liability to them if there was something to go wrong with this kind of technology. And clearly, the idea that a car was keeping an unattended child cool would have dire results if it failed and the parent falsely believed that had lots of time to return.

    I agree that concerned communication is the goal, and it probably does happen (as I mentioned, I stood near a car on a hot day with a kid strapped in because it gave me pause for concern, and as I did, the car owner came out so I just moved on with my day).

    As in SO many things, the absurd (but recorded) event gets coverage.

    I will say, that I haven’t seen this clip anywhere else but here and when I searched it on google news. It hasn’t been so viral that it made its way into my regular media consumption. I guess it’s a FB “hit” mostly? Perhaps that’s a good sign.

  192. Doug August 7, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    Basic training in San Antonio is for the Air Force. I would expect Airmen to pass out in 85 degrees.
    The other branches consider Air Force BMT to be Club Med.

  193. Sasha August 7, 2015 at 9:56 am #

    Your article is stupid. You don’t leave kids in a hot car with the window hardly cracked even if it’s in front of the store. You had the baby now be a parent and bring the kid in with you.

  194. ChicagoDad August 7, 2015 at 10:00 am #

    It is never OK to leave a kid alone in a car, not even if it is cold and rainy outside, your kid has pneumonia and you need to pick up life-saving antibiotics from the pharmacy counter.

    Not even if it is a snowy Friday afternoon, the parking lot is covered in black ice, you need to pick up an older sibling from school and all the other parents are driving around the lot like maniacs because they want a jump-start on their weekend.

    Not even if your kid sighs, rolls her eyes and says, “Mom, I’ll be fine, I can wait in the car for 10 minutes reading The Hunger Games while you pick up our chinese food order”.

    Not even if the baby hasn’t slept for days from teething, and finally naps on the way home from the grocery store, and you park your car in the garage and let him sleep while you unload groceries.

    Not even if it is Memorial day weekend and the gas station is packed with impatient weekenders, and the card reader at the pump fails, and you have to dodge cars, boats and motorcycles to pay inside.

    Not even if you are fleeing a hurricane, get a flat and have to change the tire on the side of the highway.

    Not even if there is a torrential downpour of toxic acid rain and you need to run into the store to buy acid-proof umbrellas.

    Geez, don’t you people know anything?! Parked cars are lethal death traps! Anyone who leaves their kids in the car in these circumstances should be put in the pillory in the town square and have tomatoes thrown at them until they smell like marinara.


  195. Warren August 7, 2015 at 10:04 am #

    Lenore was bragging, and rightfully so, that her/this site was reaching a milestone for views/hits. That is awesome, but the unfortunate side effect is it seems to be popping up on people’s news feeds. I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

    For all you soapbox preachers, I challenge you to cite just one case of a hot car child fatality caused by a parent running a quick errand.

  196. CrazyCatLady August 7, 2015 at 10:16 am #

    Yesterday it was 82 degrees where I live. Uncommonly cool for this time of year…but it was 82. I went to the store, could not find a place in the shade. My 13 year old came in with me, and my 15 and 10 year old stayed in the car. (They have instructions that if anyone starts to question them that they are to leave the car and come inside and find me.) Anyhow, I was gone about 20 minutes.

    During that time my kids listened to the radio and did not open the windows. I don’t know why, but they certainly know how to rotate that little knob around the central point. I got back and opened the back doors of the van to put in the groceries and my 10 year old remarked “Wow, it is cooler outside.” Yup. But….it wasn’t more than 90 or so inside.

    So, this mom, who was inside for a minute or so according to the clerk…it probably hadn’t risen much at all….even assuming she left the windows up. And…if she had had on the AC before she went in, it may not have been outside temperature yet.

    If he REALLY wanted to help, he could have asked if he could have brought in the baby, or opened the doors or something useful. Instead of shaming. I have seen this happen before on FB and it really irks me, and I tend to call people out on it. I DO NOT CARE what they call me….leave this hard working mom alone or give her help and try to understand.

  197. anonymous mom August 7, 2015 at 10:19 am #

    @James, you just like to be contrary.

    Obviously a good parent will make sure their child sometimes has fun. But, not everything your child does will be fun. I make my kids do not-fun things all the time–making beds, brushing teeth, eating brussel sprouts, long division–in an effort to parent them well.

    My point was simply that, yes, “They can’t die if I do that” is of course not in and of itself a benchmark for whether something is a good parenting practice or not. But, the alternative I’m hearing proposed is, “The child would have been hot and uncomfortable” and “Being in a hot car is not fun.” I’m saying that I don’t think “It didn’t make them hot and uncomfortable” or “It was not unfun” are good guidelines for whether a parenting choice is good or not, either.

  198. SKL August 7, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    Looks like someone linked Lenore’s article to a loon site. There goes any chance at rational discussion.

    My last comment to the regulars – yes I do know that babies are occasionally (very rarely) forgotten in cars and die. But not ever when a mom is *right there watching*. This case isn’t even on the same planet as those tragic forgotten baby heatstroke deaths.

  199. James Pollock August 7, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    “@James, you just like to be contrary.
    Obviously a good parent will make sure their child sometimes has fun.”
    So… you agree with me.

    “My point was simply that, yes, “They can’t die if I do that” is of course not in and of itself a benchmark for whether something is a good parenting practice or not.”
    So, you agree with me on that, too. What am I being contrary to?

    “But, the alternative I’m hearing proposed is, “The child would have been hot and uncomfortable” and “Being in a hot car is not fun.” ”
    You’re apparently not hearing that “cars can become dangerous, even deadly, for infants and small children in much less time than many people estimate.

  200. anonymous mom August 7, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    @James, no, I’m hearing that, and I’m not denying that. But, what I’m saying is that that doesn’t mean that every car can ALWAYS become deadly for an infant in a very short period of time, and in fact the vast majority of the time–including on 82 degree days–a car will not and cannot become hot enough to cause actual harm to a child in the time it would take a parent to run an errand even quite a bit longer than what this mother was doing. When we consider that it’s very likely the mother had been running the a/c before she got out and the car may very well have been 65 or 70 degrees inside, it’s highly likely the child was cooler inside the car than it would have been outside, and would have remained that way throughout the whole short errand.

    Conflating an 82 degree day with a 98 degree day, and a 10 or 15 minute errand with a seven hours at the horse races, is not particularly helpful.

  201. Warren August 7, 2015 at 11:36 am #

    For all those who are praising the self made hero……….check out his FB page. He is not a concerned citizen. He is out for the attention, and his 15 mins of fame.

  202. lollipoplover August 7, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    @E- “The auto industry wants no part in taking on that safety issue.”

    Probably because statistically there isn’t one.

    Airbags are required safety features in cars, yet last year airbags made by the Japanese company Takata have been found to explode and send shrapnel into the face and body, mainly in the event of an accident. So far, authorities have linked the airbags to seven deaths in the U.S. and one in Malaysia
    So 8 deaths from a SAFETY feature in a car vs. 10 accidental deaths of children left in a car because of human error. I wish every death were preventable, but escalating cars to death chambers for EVERY child is hysteria.

  203. Jen August 7, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    Perhaps I’m lazy, perhaps I’m a bad parent, or perhaps I am one of the few willing to actually admit it, , ,
    but some days, I do look around and think, “no one died today — it was crazy and hectic but we have made it through the day and it WAS a good one.” And then I tuck everyone in, kiss them goodnight and close my eyes and sleep soundly.

  204. SKL August 7, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    Yes, I agree, some days are good if nobody died. 😉 I often conclude a real-life anecdote with “nobody died.” Or described a day as, “I haven’t killed any of my kids … yet.”

    I don’t claim to be a super mom, just a human one. We all make mistakes, but thankfully most of us are equipped with strong instincts to keep our kids alive. Not coddled and 100% comfortable, but alive. If we can.

    When people insist on looking at parenting as black or white, they seem to discount this instinct. Granted, there are some few parents who seem to have lost that instinct due to drug abuse or mental illness or whatever, but with those parents, you will see a whole pattern of abuse/neglect. Leaving kids in the car for a few minutes won’t even hit the radar compared to the other problems those families have.

  205. SKL August 7, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    And I’ve done the supermom thing. And I’ve done the lazy mom thing. I feel my kids are better off when I’m slightly on the lazy side of the continuum. If only I could let go some more. Too bad I’m a bit of a control freak.

  206. Jen August 7, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    @skl — agreed. And, to put things in perspective, my nieces mom suffered from severe mental illness. Their lives were far from ideal despite how hard she tried. She still had the maternal instinct – just the execution was off a bit — sometimes to a hilarious (in retrospect) degree. Guess what. The kids turned out great in spite of it all. One has a successful military career, one works in the medical field and the other is a teacher and coach–they have families of their own. Humans are resilient and we can’t always accurately predict how things will turn out.

  207. Papilio August 7, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

    @Chris: “This article is so poorly written and completely twisted that the author didn’t even have the courage to give themselves credit and leave their full name.”

    LOL. What, you mean you haven’t heard the Legend of the Mysterious L? Heard none of the campfire horror stories about L? No one in your family ever whispered about that time L supposedly put its 9yo offspring on a NYC subway, or that rumor has it that *starts whispering* said offspring actually lived to tell the tale??!

  208. Jennifer August 7, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    Are some of you people serious?? Dont leve a child in a hot car PERIOD. Sick twisted people.

  209. Warren August 7, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

    The thing I love most about all this is nobody anywhere can prove it was a HOT CAR. There is no proof. There are assumptions, accusations, and a lot of guessing, but no actual proof.

  210. jeff August 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    YOU are ignorant. No way in hell was that mother watching that car for every second she was in the store. It’s not only wrong to leave the kid in the car for heat issues but also kidnapping, auto theft, and how about a car coming and hitting her car because she parked on the curb and not in a spot. YOU are as much an idiot as this mother!

  211. SKL August 7, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

    I hate to feed the trolls, but that last commenter just listed the reasons not to drive our kid in a car, especially not in a rear-facing car seat, where we can’t watch our kid EVERY SECOND.

    When your kid is in a rear-facing car seat, you may drive for hours without ever seeing the actual kid back there. So much for watching them EVERY SECOND. And how do you know the kid isn’t hot in the seat in whatever clothes she has on? Or cold for that matter. You can’t actually check EVERY SECOND so you don’t know, do you?

    And what if you’re rear-ended because you’re out on the street, where other people DRIVE!? How stupid can you be, driving your kid around on a public road where other cars go. And those other cars go FAST! I have personally been rear-ended with my kids in the car. I had made the dumb mistake of stopping at a red light when there was an idiot driving behind me. What kind of parent drives around without an idiot meter to test all the people driving behind us? STUPID shouldn’t have had kids dumb lazy fool.

    We could also do an analysis of how unsafe it is to take kids across a parking lot. Many children die being run over by cars in parking lots or driveways. Far more than kids who are left in stationary cars. But I think maybe I’ll stop now.

  212. SKL August 7, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

    You know what would be fun? Doing a shaming video of a superparent putting a kid in a car and driving her. Telling them off for putting their kid in harm’s way. After all, look at the high # of kids who die in moving vehicle accidents every year. Kids literally die that way every day. We could use all the fun irrational buzz words. We could even include kidnapping, because surely the parent is going to take the kid out of the car and into the store or gym at the end of the drive, and you know someone could snatch them! IT HAS HAPPENED! And at the end we can shame them for putting their kid to bed, because children HAVE BEEN SNATCHED out of their beds.

    Do you think anyone would consider that video to be over the top?

  213. Erin August 7, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    One of the dumbest articles I have ever read . . .

  214. Mimi August 7, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

    This is ridiculous. Anything could happen to the mom in the two minutes she’s away from the car, and then what? Or some idiot could hit the car (because it’s illegally parked) and the baby is inside alone. I just think your article and thought process needs to be adjusted.

  215. Warren August 7, 2015 at 5:41 pm #


    You are so right. I would never leave my child in the car in California. Far too many fools out there to bother me about doing it.

  216. Buffy August 7, 2015 at 7:16 pm #

    Janette = Alexis = gurrr

  217. Buffy August 7, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

    Hey Mimi? Someone could hold up the store and the mom and child could be shot. Mom could trip on something in the store while holding the baby, who could end up with a serious concussion or an unconscious mother. There could be a kidnapper IN the store, just waiting for a chance to grab someone’s baby and run!

    Isn’t “what if” fun?

  218. Warren August 7, 2015 at 9:48 pm #


    I know it is horrible. When we were out in Banff, Alberta I wouldn’t let my wife walk anywhere alone. What if Bigfoot needed a new bride, like all those stories in the tabloids.

    Okay your turn for a what if

  219. Donna August 8, 2015 at 1:33 am #

    Anon mom – Being comfortable is certainly not expected all the time, but I believe that children are people who have the same right to not be forced into physical discomfort as adults for things that are not for their own benefit or desire. In general, I have no problem with doing things solely for my own convenience, but not to the extent that my convenience mandates forcing a child to do something that I would not personally do in their position. Adult are not forced to sit in uncomfortably hot cars while other people run errands (although they can certainly make that choice). Even if the errand takes twice as long with grandma tagging along, you don’t force her to stay in a closed car with no means of escape. So I don’t believe that children should be forced to do so either (although again they can choose to do so). It is just basic common courtesy to me.

  220. SKL August 8, 2015 at 2:28 am #

    You can’t tell that the mom was making the baby less or more comfortable by her actions. Maybe the kid was uncomfortably hot, maybe not. Maybe it was almost time for the baby to eat and the mom was trying to get her errand done ASAP so she could feed the baby so he wouldn’t be uncomfortable. She knows better than you do about what makes her baby comfortable and uncomfortable.

    As for people making kids deal with stuff we wouldn’t deal with, that sounds nice. So no baby should ever have to relieve himself in a diaper, because we adults wouldn’t want to do that. Babies shouldn’t be required to sleep in cribs, because adults would never choose to sleep in a cage they couldn’t get out of, at hours when they didn’t choose to take a nap. Applying the “I wouldn’t want to do that” standard to baby care would be rather impractical all around.

  221. lollipoplover August 8, 2015 at 9:40 am #

    @Buffy and Warren-
    I want to play “What if”!

    What if an angry mob of smartphone-filming *citizens* (because smartphones are the modern day pitchfork) descended upon the car and decides to exact justice on this terrible-no-good-mom with violence, leaving her hospitalized and unable to parent this baby?

    It’s not to far off either…Paz has linked this article on his FB page and comments range from wanting to punch Lenore and “please find the author of this article so i may personally deliver a slap to the fucking face”.
    I still don’t get how any of this will help the baby. It’s more about the judgement and the *likes* than actually being a good citizen and offering “Can I help you?” and waiting by the car, offering to help a mom out. Instead there are threats to punch and slap and videos.
    Facebook Court is now in session…

  222. SKL August 8, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    lollipoplover: “smartphones are the modern day pitchfork”

    So true!

  223. E August 8, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    @SKL — really? You are comparing either unavoidable (diaper) or not the least bit confining/uncomfortable (crib) to being restrained in a seat.

    Donna has made herself abundantly clear — she doesn’t believe this mother did anything to deserve a public shaming or any other ramifications from this event. She is ALSO entertaining the possibility of borderline/questionable decision to leave a crying kid in a car.

    When we stopped for gas last weekend, under the shade of a large gas station awning, I got uncomfortable enough to open my door in the amount of time it took my husband to go to the bathroom. This was after riding with A/C on for about 45 minutes. I’m not going to subject anyone I know to that discomfort because it’s not a necessity.

    Everyone saying we don’t know about the temp and/or comfort in the car is correct, but that includes the Mom. Period. She can’t possibly know for certain why a kid is crying unless she’s with the kid. I’d suggest she couldn’t even hear the kid crying from where she was, so she couldn’t even gauge the stress level at that moment.

    I guess my point is that this guy was a jackass, no question about that. But I’m not sure FR parenting should be endorsing her decisions simply because she’s the mom. This isn’t the 60 degree day with a 6 year old who is happily playing on his ipad.

    I’m fine with someone questioning her, even if they are a jackass. I’m not at all fine with it ending up on the internet.

  224. James Pollock August 8, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    Maybe the problem is that we’re confusing “whose decision was it to make?” and “was it a good decision?”

    The fact that it was the mother’s decision to make doesn’t mean that other people can’t criticize the choice. (For that matter, it doesn’t mean that other people can’t applaud it, either.)

    My own take: The fact that different people can come to such disparate answers rather strongly suggests that not enough facts are known.

  225. Keri August 8, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    Although you shame this man. I shame you. You think this mom was going to let her child walk around the parking lot when the baby probably can’t walk? No she cared more about her cell phone then her precious child. This man was bringing attention to a serious concern. And although you provided your facts I hope you sit in a car for several minutes in a tight harness and see how comfortable you are. I take my child into every store I go into even if I need a quick potty break.

  226. James Pollock August 8, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    “I want to play “What if”!”

    You people are amateurs at this.
    What if a dinosaur-killer asteroid slams into the Earth at planetary speeds, releasing enough energy in the impact to cause mass extinctions of any species larger than small insects, at exactly the same moment? This mother would spend her last femtoseconds (before she and her baby were vaporized) lamenting the fact that they were apart when it happened.

    Parenting involves the “what if” game, but it’s more complicated… what if X happens, what if Y happens… but you don’t assume all of these have equal likelihoods. Part of the analysis is “what if X happens”, but also “what can I do to prevent X” and “what do I have to trade off to reduce the possibility of X”.
    What if my baby drinks drain cleaner? Well, I can decide not to keep the drain cleaner in the house. The tradeoff is if the drain gets clogged, I’ll have to go to the store to get drain cleaner. That’s a tradeoff I can live with. But wait! What if my baby gets drain cleaner from somebody else’s house? Well, I can fix that by never letting my baby go to other people’s houses… they might have drain cleaner. I guess I’ll never take my baby to the store… they definitely have drain cleaner there. Hmmm. Maybe that tradeoff is too much. I can be vigilant when my baby is in other people’s houses… which means my baby is never in someone else’s house without me also being present… Hmmm. This might be workable, no, I’m definitely going to want some “time off” from baby sometimes before I can safely stop worrying about the drain cleaner menace. I guess I’m going to have to trust other people with my baby’s health and well-being sometimes.
    OK. What if my baby falls down some stairs?…

  227. James Pollock August 8, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    “Although you shame this man. I shame you.”
    Well, he was a dick. Note that HE left the child in the exact same hot car that she did. HE went into the store, same as she did.

    “No she cared more about her cell phone then her precious child.”
    Her cell-phone is a potentially life-saving tool, which can be used to summon aid in times of crisis. You absolutely, positively need this to be working if you’re caring for a child.

    “This man was bringing attention to a serious concern.”
    He was bring attention to himself. If bringing attention to the concern is your goal, you can raise the awareness of the concern without being confrontational and accusatory.

  228. Ana medina August 8, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    All those that are blaming the guy that confronted the mother are idiots. He could have saved that childs life, because she wanted to handle her business at the Att store without having to deal with the kid! Shame on you all!

  229. James Pollock August 8, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    “All those that are blaming the guy that confronted the mother are idiots.”
    Or you are. Have you considered this possibility?

    “He could have saved that childs life”
    Let’s see.
    Two possibilities:
    1) The child was in imminent danger
    But, the guy didn’t save the child. Instead, he went inside the store, because he wanted to make a video.

    2) The child was not in imminent danger
    In this case, the guy is just being an ass. But wait… he’s actually ensuring that THE MOTHER HAS TO SPEND MORE TIME INSIDE THE STORE, by delaying the transaction she was there to conduct.
    At BEST, he had no effect. At worst, he actually INCREASED THE DANGER TO THE CHILD.

    “because she wanted to handle her business at the Att store without having to deal with the kid!”
    Because he wanted to make a video!

  230. SKL August 8, 2015 at 11:24 am #

    “she can’t possibly know why her kid is crying ….” *You* can’t know, but the mom very likely knows with reasonable certainty whether the kid is in crisis or not. Moms know their kids. A mom who denies this makes me really wonder – were you not capable of that much communication with your own kids, or do you just like to assume moms you don’t know probably lack this ability?

    Maybe you haven’t had complete strangers come and tell you that you don’t know your kids’ needs as well as they [the strangers] do. Maybe when this happens to you you’ll realize how idiotic it is.

    As for diapers being a necessity, no they are not, especially past the age when a child can sit solidly. Anyone who says she *had* to make her tot wear a diaper and eliminate in it is lying to herself. I won’t call such moms lazy, but that is no less lazy than keeping a baby in a car for a few minutes instead of carrying him inside. People all around the world make the effort to help their tots eliminate in a cleaner, more comfortable way. Why do we pick and choose what parenting choices we call “lazy” etc.?

    As for “forcing him to sit tightly restrained in a seat,” that is what we do the whole time we are driving them, so how is it suddenly a terrible choice if we stop for a few minutes? Taking him out of the seat and then locking him back in is somehow so much more humane? It makes no sense. We keep small mobile babies/tots restrained for much of the time all day long, mostly for our own convenience, and that is a well-accepted parenting practice in the USA. In fact, not doing so is likely to attract judgment from “well-meaning” individuals.

    In the absence of clear evidence of danger/abuse, we need to apply our judgmental efforts toward our own households and be happy that other parents, and we, are allowed to make our own parenting decisions for our own kids.

    It’s fine to say “I wouldn’t have done it” and move on. I don’t think it’s right to go beyond that in a case like this where there is no evidence that the car was even warm.

  231. Jen August 8, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    What If. . .

    . . .The mom was leaving the parking lot with her infant when, as she was driving past the cell phone store, she saw someone who was leaving the store drop their phone/wallet? So, she pulled over to alert them. Since they had already jumped into their car and pulled out of the parking lot by the time she had caught up and pulled to the curb, she grabbed the phone/wallet and was taking it into the store so that the clerk could contact them. In fact, she was the hero!

  232. Beth August 8, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    ” You think this mom was going to let her child walk around the parking lot when the baby probably can’t walk?”

    @Keri, what are you even talking about?

  233. SKL August 8, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

    Jen, I know you’re being funny, but a lot of times when the world is judging a mom, she’s going above and beyond if only we knew. Not talking about this present case, but any case where people go “tsk tsk.” Maybe she’s a single working mom trying to fit in 4 things in the evening for her kids and her job. Maybe she’s working on discipline, something parents arguably need to do more of these days. Maybe she’s valiantly dealing with a list of special needs that prevent her kids from doing what people expect. Maybe she’s moving with no help to a new city and trying to get a job to feed her family. What ever happened to don’t judge before you’ve walked a mile in the other person’s moccasins?

  234. Jen August 8, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    Agreed. I haven’t been to church in 20 years (cue judgement) but remember we had an old Irish catholic priest who had an amazing skill for doing the ENTIRE long version mass in 30 minutes. What I remember most was the constant refrain…we are all trying to do our best. You don’t know the circumstance so don’t judge. Instead, see what you can do to help.

    Why are people these days so quick to judge, so quick to shame, so slow to be charitable with their opinions and offer real empathy or help?

    Or maybe those people are out their quietly doing good while the morons are clogging the airwaves.

  235. James Pollock August 8, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    “Or maybe those people are out their quietly doing good while the morons are clogging the airwaves.”

    Jesus offered up a parable about how to find His people. They weren’t the church leaders, or the rich, or even necessarily members of His church. They are the people who do the things that need to be done, quietly and with humility, because they need to be done. Finding a man beset by robbers, beaten and left on the side of the road… do you bind he wounds, take him to the inn, provide food shelter, clothing? Or do you pass by on the other side of the road?

  236. Papilio August 8, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

    @James: By which you mean, ‘do you call 911 for him or do you take a video of him to put on Facebook’?
    That stuff needs to be updated… 😛

  237. James Pollock August 8, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    Isaac Asimov wrote an essay, partly on the book of Ruth, and partly on the parable of the Good Samaritan, called “lost in non-translation”. With regards to the parable of the Good Samaritan, his point was that, to Jesus’ followers (that is, the people who were actually there to hear His parables), there was absolutely, positively, no such thing as a “good” Samaritan. The Jews and the Samaritans of Jesus’ time got along as well as the Arabs and Israelis do today, and for about the same reason(s). An audience today, however, has heard about “good Samaritans” so often, that this is the default assumption… of course the Samaritan helped the man beset by robbers… that’s what Samaritans DO. Over the intervening millennia, the meaning of the word “Samaritan” has changed. It once meant people that were vile and beneath contempt, and now it means people who do good things for charitable reasons… completely the opposite.
    Asimov suggested that this change contributed to modern-day Christians not getting the message of the parable as Jesus intended.

  238. Laura August 8, 2015 at 9:26 pm #

    I am amazed at the poor judgment of the woman in the video as well as of the outrageous comments most moms have posted here! I have one daughter & I never, ever left her alone in the car, regardless of how long or short my errand was. And, mind you, I have fibromyalgia, so getting her car seat in and out of the car to put it on the stroller was not easy for me, as it caused me more pain. The matter of the heat is serious enough, but the baby could have been abducted with or without the car while she was distracted. Carl Paz tried to do what he thought was right by talking to the parent of the baby left in the car instead of calling the cops. Even though I commend him for doing that, it’s my experience that a mother who does that is not a nice person to begin with, so now I don’t get into it, I just call the cops!

  239. Monica August 8, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

    I’m a mother of 2. I never left them alone in the car. For you to think it’s okay is irresponsible, to say the least. He should have called the cops. I would have!

  240. James Pollock August 8, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

    “I’m a mother of 2. I never left them alone in the car. For you to think it’s okay is irresponsible, to say the least. He should have called the cops. I would have!”

    And, when you called the cops, would you say “Hurry! Come quick! I see somebody not committing any sort of criminal act!”?

  241. Warren August 9, 2015 at 1:21 am #

    If you do not mind could I call on you for your opinion and or clarification.

    In California, the lawmakers wrote qualifying conditions into the law, including the must be significant risk to the child’s health or safety. Therefore the lawmakers recognize that the act of leaving a child to wait in a vehicle in and of itself is not a risk? Otherwise the law would have been written in the absolute that under no circumstances may you leave a child unattended in a vehicle?

    This has nothing to do with this moms choice or whether anyone believes it was a good or questionable choice. I am just asking about the law itself.

  242. Jen August 9, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    First, I am sorry that you have firbromyalgia — I can’t imagine how difficult things can be for you some days. Still, I wonder how often you are misjudged when you are trying to get through your days but suffering invisible symptoms. Perhaps this mom suffers from arthritis and is unable to unlatch or lift the baby seat without help. We don’t know. Regardless — the mom did not break the law. If Mr. Paz was doing the right thing and having a conversation with the mom, as you suggest, then he wouldn’t have been recording the “incident.” He is certainly more dangerous than the mom–inciting people to get all worked up and judge this woman when no law was broken is wrong. I am scared for all of us that so many people think that this is acceptable behavior. So any time that I see something that I don’t agree with, I can accost someone, video-tape them, intimidate them and potentially incite people who could cause them physical or emotional harm — when no law has been broken and law enforcement hasn’t even been consulted (not that this was even necessary) to determine if a crime was being committed. Must we live in fear of individuals who perceive themselves to be morally superior and of impeccable judgement simply because cowering and running away is preferable to harassment and potential harm?

  243. lollipoplover August 9, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    This whole story makes me think of this comic:

  244. Buffy August 9, 2015 at 10:00 am #

    @Laura, and you seriously can’t think of one single bad thing that could happen to you and your child while IN the store (or wherever)?

    Here’s one to get you started:

    From that article: “The 41-year-old Stockton mother was the only hostage to die in Wednesday’s bank heist involving a high-speed chase in Stockton. Police say she was used as a human shield by the suspects, who have gang connections. Holt-Singh’s relatives told NBC Bay Area that Misty left her 12-year-old daughter Mia in the car when she ran into the Bank of the West building for what she thought would only be a minute or so.”

    Summary: Mother died, child lived. Because she was waiting in the car during the errand.

  245. lollipoplover August 9, 2015 at 10:03 am #

    “.. it’s my experience that a mother who does that is not a nice person to begin with, so now I don’t get into it, I just call the cops!”

    Nice! Love the community spirit.

    I have one story to share:

    We went to a graduation party in June for the oldest daughter of a college friend. She had her daughter right after college and was a single mom at age 22. Things were extremely hard for her but got harder when her baby was 6 months and diagnosed with leukemia and was hospitalized for months. Her treatments left her immuno-compromised and she was NOT to be exposed to viruses and germs in public places. Her doctors told her for the sake of her health to not risk infections, to either leave her home with a relative or leave her in the car for very short errands. SHE WAS SAFER IN THE CAR. Doctor’s orders!
    (The *baby* is attending college in the fall on a full scholarship to play field hockey at a prestigious college. She has been in remission for 16 years.)

  246. Paula August 9, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    The mother only had one child, she deffinitly was not handicap, so why wouldn’t she take the child into the store with her. It doesn’t even appear that she could be legally parked. Mother should have went out to the car as soon as the gentleman told her , that her baby was crying. If you don’t have time for your children, then don’t have them!

  247. Jess August 9, 2015 at 11:07 am #

    I’m a mom. I have a 6 year old I would not leave in the car so I would def not leave a baby. Ya she was parked right outside the store but have you ever been in and out of a Sprint store in just a few minutes?!? Had this lady’s attitude been different I may be able to see her side but her bitchy attitude only tells me this isn’t the first time or the last time she will do this. Do the math all you want on how this wasn’t harmful to the baby. Why don’t you sit in a car with no AC and the windows up and see how you like it. The baby wasn’t crying because it was comfortable in the car.

  248. Sonia August 9, 2015 at 11:36 am #

    Thank u Carl for knowing right from wrong. The lady in ur video was a idiot. Also the Sprint Store u were in had no concern for the child just like the mom! This is inexcusable!!! Thank u for helping the child that was being abused by both parties!!!

  249. Beth August 9, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

    WHERE are you people all coming from?

  250. Warren August 9, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

    This idiot Carl has linked Lenore’s site on his Facebook. And the comments are horrible including wanting to physically assault Lenore.

  251. Warren August 9, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

    So babies ONLY cry when they are hot? Wow, what a fool I was. Raised three. I never knew. So they weren’t crying for attention? Not for something to eat? Drink? Diaper? Just because? Really only when they are hot.

    You need to write a paper and have it published in a pediatrics journal. So many parents don’t know that babies only cry when they are hot.

  252. some one who cares. August 9, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    We all have done this at sometime in our life,gas station,dropping off other was just a drop off nothing more she new it would only take a few seconds, and back to the car.this person is not a crack head she loves her children more then anything.and as for carl all he had to do is talk to her not film and show the world.when you leave them in Wal-Mart parking lot you can’t see anything,she was five feet away,next time I see a kid in the car at gastaion should I be as rude as carl or confront the person.he could wreck some ones life .get your fame somewhere other then what you did,you’ll never make it in this world this way.I hope she presses charges against you,to fuck your life up,and see how it feels.

  253. lollipoplover August 9, 2015 at 4:40 pm #


    They are coming from an online support group called “Sanctimommies Anonymous”.

  254. SBK August 9, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

    All these comments from people who haven’t watched the video, or for those that did and weren’t paying attention, are ridiculous. At the *very* beginning when the film begins you can clearly hear the child crying. So yes, that’s what caught his attention. He goes to look for the mom, assuming she might be in the store the car is illegally parked in front of is a safe bet. She obviously did not “just walk in” as the store clerk claims, otherwise we would have seen a video of a cat pulling up and a women walking in, not one of an already parked car with a crying baby inside. Being able to “see” your car through the window (that she had her back to) is the same as being able to feel how fast the temperature is rising in the closed car how? She obviously can’t hear through the stores plate windows. The kid was crying. Then wasting more time arguing with someone before getting the kid just for what, pride? As many have pointed out, 80s outside is a lot hotter in a car, in the sun, and just in the video alone we see a bit of time pass. A “quick errand” in your personal opinion is not a valid excuse to break two laws (illegal parking, and leaving a child in the car). What makes her more special than everyone else that the rules don’t apply to her? Also, from my experience in cell phone stores, it usually takes quite a bit longer than the “ten minutes” everyone is assuming was all she’d need. I’m sorry, well, not sorry, but I wouldn’t want to sit for ten minutes in a car with the windows rolled up in the sun on a day with temps in the 80s. Why not just bring your kid in with you? Too much of a hassle to take care of and hold your own baby? Too much trouble to park in a real spot and walk into the store? Why? If it was really gonna be so quick, why is it hard to hold them that amount of time? It’s this entitled, “I can do whatever I want,” kind oh asinine behavior that’s appalling, whether the kid was in danger or not. Play by the same rules as everyone else. Don’t have time to deal with your own kid in a store? You’re the parent, make time or maybe you shouldn’t have brought them out with you. Don’t have a sitter? Too bad. I have twin boys, and as much as its a pain in the neck to take them out of the car seats, across a parking lot, and into a store where they may or may not embarrass me, even if I’ll only be inside a few minutes, you bet I do it. They’re my kids, and if I don’t want to deal with that I save the trip to the store for some other time. I don’t assume I can park wherever I want and flout the law so I can keep an eye on my kids for the convenience of leaving them in a car. That’s stupid, and anyone defending this non-right is being ignorant and near-sighted at best.

  255. Jen August 9, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

    You ask a lot of questions. I think that’s the point. The regular posters on here will tell you. . .we don’t know. So why judge? We all have good days and bad days – we all make choices based on circumstances that you may not know. They may not be the same decisions that you would make–or maybe you would if you knew all the circumstances. But unless they are dangerous or illegal, they are simply that – choices.

  256. Warren August 9, 2015 at 9:15 pm #


    Get something straight. The only violation committed was a parking infraction.
    It is not illegal to let the child wait in the car. Before you accuse someone of a crime, know the law you are quoting.
    Next, you have absolutely no proof that it was hotter in the car than outside. It very well could have been cooler.
    Now, to support your irrational rant, you accuse the store clerk of lying about how long she had been in the store. How do you know this punk Carl didn’t see her pull, wait until she went in to start taping. Which if you visit his facebook page, seems very likely because he is all about being the center of attention.
    Now for all you know the child was crying when mom got out for a long list of usual reasons, hunger, tired, diaper and on and on. How do you know she wasn’t trying to get her errand done asap so she could find a suitable place to take care of the child’s needs instead of a parking lot?
    You also have no idea what the lady was doing in the store. So you cannot possibly know how long it would take. And yes she went and got her kid, because this psycho was intimidating her and now delaying her errand beyond what she expected.
    As I have said before, had I been there and seen him doing this to her, I would have tossed his ass out the door. He is nothing more than a punk looking for attention.

  257. ChicagoDad August 9, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

    @SBK, thank you for your thoughtful comment. The regulars here see a lot of knee-jerk, judgemental “sanctimommy” types of comments. Even though I disagree with you, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

    Sometimes kids are safer waiting in the car during an errand. Depending on the kid’s health, the weather conditions, the traffic conditions, and other circumstances. Icy parking lots, sick kids, hail storms, or heavy traffic etc, are all good reasons to let the kids wait in the car.

    Sometimes kids are less safe waiting in the car during an errand, depending on the particulars. Hot weather, long waits, really dangerous cities (Mosul, Juarez, etc), or suburbs with lots of busy-bodies who will seek to destroy your life for transgressing suburban parenting norms, are all good reasons to not let your kids wait in the car.

    Sometimes kids are essentially equally safe waiting in the car or leaving the car with the parent. So it should be a mundane decision and should be a non-issue.

    So, which scenario does this situation fit best?

    And, does this situation warrant the type of public shaming that (1) encourages violence against the mother (take a look at the facebook comments!), or (2) encourages others to engage in these types of confrontations?

  258. Buffy August 9, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

    “Don’t have time to deal with your own kid in a store? You’re the parent, make time or maybe you shouldn’t have brought them out with you. Don’t have a sitter? Too bad.

    I don’t find this statement particularly thoughtful. It’s as sanctimonious as anyone else. Because no one should ever run an errand or two if they can’t find or can’t afford a sitter.

  259. ChicagoDad August 9, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    @Buffy, you are right. That is a sanctimonious comment. But at least @SBK was willing to engage some of the particulars of the situation rather than make a general condemnation.

    According to the news reports, the car was registered to Enterprise Rent-a-car, which means to me that the mom was out of her comfort zone to some extent. If she was traveling, it is really hard to find a sitter, and routine errands take on added urgency. If her car broke down, or if she has no car, there is another reason why this is not a routine trip to the cell phone store. Maybe the baby was sleeping or sick when she parked the car, maybe she has no reliable support network, maybe there is a 5-minute parking zone in front of the store, I don’t know. I can give her the benefit of the doubt.

    But maybe @SBK is the kind of person who’s mind can be changed with some positive engagement. Worth a shot, right?

  260. Kity Capri August 10, 2015 at 1:36 am #

    I’m sorry it’s illegal to leave your child unattended in car. Regardless of how you see it. Whether it was a hot summer day or a freezing winter one its illegal! Anything could have happened and you are responsible. It’s not that hard to take your child with you, that’s part of being a parent! Park your car, unbuckle your child and take them with its literally that easy. 82 degrees outside is hot and no a/c no windows rolled down is child abuse.

  261. James Pollock August 10, 2015 at 1:53 am #

    “I’m sorry it’s illegal to leave your child unattended in car. Regardless of how you see it.”

    Unless you happen to be in California, in which case it is not, unless you leave the motor running, leave the keys in the ignition, or there is something that creates a significant danger to the child. (California Vehicle Code Section 15620(a).)

    “82 degrees outside is hot and no a/c no windows rolled down is child abuse.”
    Child abuse, for legal purposes in California, is legally defined by California Penal Code 11165.6. Which part are you claiming was violated?

  262. PG August 10, 2015 at 4:01 am #

    If you perceive a wrong in public, I caution against recording audio. Once you start recording audio, you’re subject to state and federal wiretapping laws. If you’re the victim of someone shoving their smartphone in your face, sue the living fuck out of them. In this video, the person was not a reporter and did not have the consent of the person they stalked. They are liable for harassment and violation for harassment. The person who made the video made money off of it by posting it to youtube. They are liable for all the money they made and all the damage they caused to the victims family. Shame on you.

  263. Buffy August 10, 2015 at 8:29 am #

    @ChicagoDad, agreed. And your posts = very thoughtful.

    The sad thing is, all these commenters coming here from the Paz’s site will never return after posting, thus never reading alternate opinions, facts, or learning a different way to think about this issue.

  264. JJ August 10, 2015 at 8:30 am #

    This woman’s guilt seems to revolve around one factor: that the incident was taped and shared. As others have said we have no way of knowing what the temperature was, how long she was in the store, if the driver side windows were up or down, etc. And so many rush to judgment based on nothing more than the incoherent rant and video of a complete stranger. If it shared in the court of Facebook then she must have down something wrong.

    And to those who cite the woman’s “arrogance” and “attitude” as further evidence of her being a bad mom, think for a minute how would you respond if a strange man spewing obscenities stuck a camera in your face and accused you of being a bad parent? A guy who proudly offers as his main bona fides as arbiter of “what ain’t right” as being one of six kids. A guy who is repeatedly asked to leave the store and does not. A guy whose camera skills border on the deranged.

  265. MADELYN August 10, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU ARE WRONG CARL WAS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!! EXCEPT I WOULD HAVE BROKEN THE FUCKIN WINDSHIELD… Good job Carl you are a hero for Makin her grab he fuckin kid that poor baby has to deal with a SENSELESS POS FOR A MOTHER

  266. Beth August 10, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    My gosh, it is not possible for those who disagree to speak respectfully and without obscentities?

  267. Alex August 10, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

    Wow. I scanned the comments section of that video, and people are way too irate with the mother over this.

    I don’t know all the details and can’t say whether or not I’d have made the same decision as the mother or whether or not she made the “best” decision, but I know she doesn’t deserve nearly as much hate as she’s getting.

  268. Warren August 10, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    You are absolutely on point. As one of the worst offenders, I want to offer a general apology to everyone, with a commitment to temper myself in the future.

  269. Papilio August 10, 2015 at 6:02 pm #

    @Warren: I’m sure we all appreciate that, but since you agree with the post, for once the complaint wasn’t about *your* language 😉

  270. WJI August 11, 2015 at 7:00 am #

    Having just been similarly accosted — see above, dog incident. I thought the mother acted just fine. I however, cornered and scared (as people around started to gather) unleashed a torrent of profanity that probably blistered the paint on her car. Not proud of it – and am sure it will be on youtube forever.. but my only goal in the panic was to get everyone away from my dog, my kid, my car and me. Hope a future employer or the grandchildren don’t see it. Good reminder for me anyway that we don’t always see people at their best–definitely a humbling experience.

    I tend to agree with other commenters here though. . .when you are taking time to “thoughtfully” post to a forum and hope to sway people towards your viewpoint — you have time to come up with better, more persuasive words that don’t make the reader feel attacked. Who knows, maybe Madelyn’s cap-lock key is stuck, she’s cursing because she has a personal experience that makes this an especially tough issue for her and most of the time she spends her days baking cookies for kids and visiting shut-ins. . . .maybe. . .

  271. Beth August 11, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    Papilio, it really doesn’t matter if someone agrees with the post or not. The point is that the “guests”, instead of arguing their viewpoint in a rational, calm, respectful way and joining the conversation, are spewing vitriol and using obscenities.

    We have been called sick, twisted, ignorant, idiots, and abusers, not to mention the classic “if you don’t have time for your kids you shouldn’t have had them.” I just believe there are much better ways to communicate an alternate opinion.

  272. (dora games) August 12, 2015 at 9:45 am #

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  273. Papilio August 12, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    @Beth: Um… I didn’t argue with that… ?

  274. Beth August 12, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    Sorry, then I misunderstood your post to Warren: ” I’m sure we all appreciate that, but since you agree with the post, for once the complaint wasn’t about *your* language ”

    I thought you were saying that inappropriate language, rudeness etc. were OK as long as the person agreed with the post.

  275. codyg1234 August 15, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

    I prefer the old lady shaming people especially when it is as funny as this.

  276. Mary SantoPietro August 16, 2015 at 7:26 am #

    Children and or babies do not belong in parked cars for any amount of time either in the Summer or Winter makes no difference there should be a law against it if you witness any child in a car break the window and call the police! END OF STORY!

  277. Papilio August 16, 2015 at 11:20 am #

    @Beth: I discovered your comment just now!

    No, I didn’t mean that! It’s just that when people complain about rude language, 99% of the time Warren is the culprit. In this case you berated the people who *didn’t* agree with the post for their rude language, yet *Warren* (who DID agree) was the (only) one who then apologized – almost like a Pavlov reaction. I thought that was funny, so I pointed it out to him.

  278. James Pollock August 16, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    “if you witness any child in a car break the window and call the police! END OF STORY!”

    The end of that story is you being arrested by the police.

  279. Olivia Sandavol August 17, 2015 at 11:57 pm #

    This article / post really irritates the hell out of me. Don’t just post your crap just to fill a page… Actually Carl Paz did a good thing. He should have gone all the way with it and called the police. This girl has 3 kids 2 which no longer live with her because she is a mess and CPS is already looking for her to take her 2 oldest children away. The school called CPS on her!!!
    She is often found drunk in the bars located in Wilmington or driving DRUNK with that same little boy in the car. Next time find something else to fill your blog with and stop wasting both your time and ours on bad mouthing someone for looking out for a helpless child. Who in their right mind would think it would be okay to leave a baby in the car… He even said the baby was crying!!! And you think this is okay? And you wrote about it, really??? Maybe you and this girl should run your errands together idiot!!!!

  280. ChicagoDad August 18, 2015 at 12:05 am #

    @ Olivia, are you related to Arturo Sandoval? Because that cat would get it, you should ask him.

  281. Olivia Sandavol August 18, 2015 at 12:53 am #

    No ChicagoDad, sorry I’m not related. I’m also sorry for lashing out like I did in my post. I’m still very upset as I know the background of the mother on the video and believe me I use the word mother very loosely. I feel so bad for the baby. I truly hope the police investigate her far enough to see that she already has an open CPS case for the baby’s sake. I know that a lot of you feel it’s okay to leave your child in the car but really it’s not. Summers are very hot in California and temperatures rise very quickly in cars. She continued leaving the baby in the car after this video went viral and thought it was funny saying the guy shooting the video made her famous. I understand you mean no harm with your article but this is so very far off the mark that it no longer registers. I hope the police catch up with this girl as this child has actually been in worse citations. I think to many people are afraid to step up and say something and I commend Carl Paz for doing the right thing…

  282. Olivia Sandavol August 18, 2015 at 12:56 am #

    *situations (OOPS)

  283. ChicagoDad August 18, 2015 at 1:15 am #

    @Olivia, I disagree with you, but that’s ok, I think your heart is in the right place.

    Last year my son had pneumonia and it was cold and rainy and I needed to pick up medicine for him. I left him in the car while i ran into the pharmacy because I didn’t want the pneumonia to get worse.

    During the last couple of years, the parking lot at my kids’ school has had days where it was covered by snow and ice. I’ve had to decide whether to leave my kids in the car while I pick up and older kid, or expose them all to the traffic, the ice and the snow banks. The youngsters stayed in the car because it was safer.