Ask any parent if they would leave their 10-month old baby on their own and I am pretty certain there would be some Gary Barlow worthy eyebrow raising in your direction. I have spent days with Elijah glued to my side, making drinks, lunch and doing the washing etc. wishing I could leave him for a sec to go for a wee. Sometimes I have left him on the play matt or in his bouncy chair for 2 minutes when I have nipped upstairs to the toilet. We spend days assessing what is and isn’t safe for our children. So how on earth did ‘Daikin1’, come to the conclusion she was being a responsible parent when she made the decision to go to the shops and leave her child? Now, we have child proofed and installed stair gates I am happy to leave him in the living room watching Mr Tumble while I go for a wee in peace! Or make a coffee. Would I leave him to go to the shop? No. Would I leave him to nip to my neighbour’s house which might I add we are attached to. No. I wait until Greg gets home to put the bloody bin out! If he is napping I will wait for him to wake up to put the washing out!
Am I protective? Yes, I bloody am. I believe all parents should be but considering I am a NICU Mum maybe I am more so. Surely, it is our right that until our children are old enough to deem risk for themselves we have to protect them from it? If it means that Greg has to get my parcel or I wait until Elijah wakes up and have to make 5 trips up the stairs so be it. Or here is an idea why don’t you get someone to sit with your child? Or get your friend to pick the bloody thing up. Nothing is that important to put your child at risk.
The mum herself could fall down the stairs and knock herself out; who will know the baby is left locked in the house?
Gov.UK advises that the law doesn’t actually state an age when you can leave a child on their own. But it is an offence to leave a child if it places them at risk. It goes on to advise that babies, toddlers and young children should never be left on their own and parents can face prosecution for neglect if they do so. The CPS when charging parents look at a number of factors, the age of the child, the period of time they were left, the potential dangers and the environment they are left in. The case of Tim Haines the father who left his ill baby in the car outside the pharmacy he went into to get Caplol, was in fact charged but later won his appeal to have the charge overturned. You could also face prosecution if you leave a child in the car while you go and pay at a petrol station. Here is where the law needs further clarity and harsher punishments need to be enforced for those irresponsible parents leaving babies at home.
So the question is....
Would YOU leave your baby alone in the house?
I would love to know what you think!