Parenting is a difficult task – everyone has different ideas and ways of doing it, and it can become confusing.
And one thing which has been causing debate within parenting, particularly on Mumsnet, is whether you should leave your children in the car while collecting fuel.
The questioning started when one mum said she discovered her husband leaves their 20-month-old toddler in the car while he goes to pay, reports the Derby Telegraph.
The mum wrote: “Please settle this disagreement for me and my DH [dear husband]!
“Leaving toddler (20 months) in the car while you go and pay for petrol. Would you do it? I would not (unless I was using pay at the pump, then I wouldn’t get her out as I’d be stood right next to the car) but DH says he would and has.
“I’m horrified that he’s left her and have said I really don’t want him to do that again, he thinks I am ridiculous and ‘it’s only for two minutes’.”
While some people agreed with the mum, others claimed she was being “overprotective” – but what does the law actually say?
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What the law says
According to gov.uk, it is illegal to leave a child alone if it places them at risk.
Parents are urged to use their judgement on how mature the child is before they decide to leave them alone – whether that be in a car or at home.
It warns that parents can be prosecuted if they leave their child unsupervised ‘in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health’.
Chris Cloke, head of safeguarding in the communities at the NSPCC, told Hull Live : “When left alone in a vehicle, young children can very quickly start to get anxious and distressed.
“Even if they’re sleeping peacefully when you leave they could well wake up and get very upset when you’re not there to look after them.
“They would not be able to protect themselves in an emergency and may even try to leave the vehicle to find you.
“As children become older, parents need to exercise their own judgement. If they can see the car the whole time it may be sensible depending on your child’s maturity.
“Every child is different and every parent knows their child’s readiness to be left in this scenario.”