How young is too young to leave a child in a vehicle?

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Most people agree that leaving a child alone in a hot car is not the smart thing to do, but that brings up the question, is it ever okay?

Along with 30 other states, there is no set law in Alabama that makes it illegal to leave a child in a car, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely legal. Police say that if a child is put at risk by being locked in a car, that it’s a different story.

Although there’s no law for parents, child care providers and babysitters in Alabama must be more careful. It is illegal in the state for a person hired to care for a child under the age of 7 to leave them unattended in a vehicle if it puts the child in danger. In many cases, leaving a child alone in a vehicle is considered abandonment, child neglect, or child endangerment.

Some people in Huntsville say that as long as a child is old enough to get out on their own, it would be okay.

“I think my mom started leaving me in the car by myself when I was like maybe 8, 9, 10, somewhere in there where like, I don’t know, I knew to just stay there with the doors locked,” said Sarah Hansen.

Tennessee and Florida do have laws that make it illegal to leave children under the ages 6 and 7 alone in a vehicle.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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