NJ Court Finds Leaving a Child Alone in a Car is Abuse
While working as a nanny I often see parents, nannies, and au pairs leaving sleeping kids in a warm car while running an older sibling into school. But, a NJ court found this to be criminal. Therefore, even when parents tell their nannies or au pairs it's okay to leave a youngster alone in a warm car just for a few minutes, I urge all caregivers not to do it.
But, I will admit I am confused about one part of this ruling by a NJ state appeals court. The court said that a parent invites substantial peril when leaving a young child alone in a motor vehicle, no matter how briefly, unless there is an extenuating circumstance such as going into a store to purchase medicine.
Is the child left alone in the car in any less danger if the adult is buying medicine rather than doing something else when leaving the kids alone?
Regardless, nannies must never leave a child unattended in a car. The dangers outweigh the discomfort of having to wake a sleeping child by bringing them with you.