Dear Pastor
December 2, 2005
Leaving a baby inside a house

Pastor Mr. Jackson

I have a question for you. Is it right to leave a baby inside a house with a 7-year-old and 3-year-old while the mother is outside or up the road and not doing anything but just limin’ outside while the father is not at home.{{more}}

Just wondering

Hello to you,

Now generally I will always say that parents should avoid taking any risk when it comes to the children’s safety. And a baby alone with two young children for an extended period of time is potentially risky. But then again I don’t know the situation of the house; was the baby asleep and in a crib? Did the kids have instructions to shout out to mummy if the baby woke up? But to walk up the road and leave the baby, to me that’s a no no. But the thing is, that is done so often; many mothers take the chance while babies are asleep and run to the shop and things like that. Most of the time nothing happens but on the occasion that something does happen then there is a heightened awareness of the potential for danger leaving children unattended.

I can tell you that it is sickening to hear of mothers leaving their one and two-year-old children with a seven or eight-year-old at night in a house while they go to a party and so forth. That in my mind is downright neglect and even abuse.

I guess most if not all of us have taken chances in the past with our children, like leaving the baby on a high bed while we run to the other room to get the pampers and baby powder. Most times we make it out and back in time but on that occasion that the baby rolls over and falls our hearts are broken. Then of course we say angels brace their falls…well, let’s don’t give the angels extra work!

So the advice must be that whatever it takes we must always seek to protect our children, and for the parents who take risk-taking to the level of stupidity, don’t wait until a fire or bleach swallowing incident for you to learn. There is hardly a parent who will deliberately put their child at risk, everyone in their own way does his or her assessments to ensure safety but those assessments sometimes fail….and can be a costly failure.

I recently heard of a mother who left her three-year-old sleeping to run to town for an hour because she knows “how long he sleeps” only to come back within the hour and find the child crying and wandering aimlessly in the house. Just think what calamity if there were a box of matches, a half closed bottle of medicine or something like that. Let’s be careful with those precious gems placed in our care.