Mom charged with leaving 11-year-old in car

It’s dangerous to leave a baby or toddler locked in a hot car. They can’t get out.

A Connecticut mother is charged with leaving a child unsupervised in a car, reports Reason‘s Hit & Run. The child is 11 years old.

She’d asked to stay in the car while her mother went into a store, the girl told police. “When officers opened the car doors, they said the child was responsive and not in distress, and that the car was not ‘excessively hot’,” reports WFSB.

If an 11-year-old girl goes for a walk, can the parents be charged with lack of supervision?

A South Carolina mother faces cruelty charges for leaving her sleeping children in the car  — with the engine and air conditioning on — while she ran into a store to get ointment for her son’s injured hand. The woman’s sister-in-law parked behind the car to keep an eye on the children. (She had her own three kids in her car.)

Before the move to the suburbs, my mother would leave my sister in a baby carriage on a Chicago sidewalk while she shopped. It was common practice, she said. Strollers hadn’t been invented and stores were small. My sister would smile and charm passersby, but nobody kidnapped her.

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  1. Where I live, some kids already babysit for pay at age 11. Meanwhile, not so far from Connecticut, middle schools in Springfield, Massachusetts give out free condoms to kids as young as age 12.

    Aren’t we humans wonderfully (as in, it makes one wonder….) inconsistent when it comes to judging maturity?

  2. palisadesk says:

    On the surface, this sounds ridiculous. But it’s possible other factors are involved that make it much less so. What if the child is obviously disabled, cognitively or physically, or is a child with autism or another developmental disability who seemed to be “acting weird”) (stimming, head rolling, head banging, whatever)? It’s possible a passer-by observed the child, felt something was wrong, and called police.

    Some children with moderate to severe disabilities look much younger than they are.

    I’m not saying that was what happened in this case, as obviously we don’t know. But it is possible, and drawing too many conclusions from incomplete media reports is rarely justified (I always think of Michael Crichton’s “Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect” in this context — see

    Laws vary as to when and where minor children can be left alone unsupervised and at what age that supervision is not required. Last time I checked the age in my local area was 12, but it depends on the circumstances.