Baby Hints & Tips

Leaving kids in the car at the petrol station

boy outside car at petrol stationWhen needing to put fuel in your car and you have your child with you what do you do when needing to pay. Take them in with you or leave them in the car. I’ve never been stuck in this situation before and wanting to go out today. 

  •  I take my son. This questions been asked here before and I’m a rarity most mothers prefer to locked their car and duck in. I read an watch too many horror stories and it makes me paranoid so he comes with me has ever since he was born he’s now 3.  Jessica
  •  take them with you, its against the law to leave them. i know in qld police are starting to book you for it, plus how bad would you feel if your car got stolen with your child in it?  Petra
  •  I always take my LO out of the car, even if its just a quick run in. I think legally you have to too(not 100% sure)  Tamara
  •  if you only have 1 child, yes I think you should. I have 5 children and don’t. Purely because I believe it’s more dangerous to take them all out and into the service area.  Simone
  •  I have 2 (17mths & almost 3yrs), I try to take them in with me if it’s busy. If it’s quiet or one is asleep I’ll park at the closest bowser to the door, and run in super fast. When I only had 1 he always went in with me.   Sharon
  •  I park my car up near the building, I lock the car doors and run in. I have an 8yr old and 2 yr old. I usually try to avoid doing it with them in the car but if I have to that’s what I do.  Kat
  •  I move my car from the pumps to just outside the door of the petrol station. Lock the car and leave them there. I have a 14 week old and an 18 month old. With cars zooming around it’s safer. When I just had one kid I took her in and if it’s too hot in the car I take them both in. But I’m terrified my 18 month will let go of my hand and holding a 14 week old I wouldn’t b able to catch her. If I can see it’s really busy or I’m going to be in there for longer than it takes to walk in and had money over I also take them in.  Carla
  •  I leave the windows down for air and run in quick if I have two or three with me. If I have only one child (rarely happens) then I’ll take them in with me unless they are asleep. I always lock the doors though and can see the car at all times, I do also wait until there isn’t a huge line up! Julie
  •  It’s safer to leave ur child in the car.  Kate
  •  before we moved, where I used to fill up the attendants came out and filled up your car for you! (talk about old school hey!) they stayed with the car, with my 2 LO still in it while I went in and payed. I did still lock the car. Pity I can’t find somewhere like that now.  Jessica
  •  call me a bad mum, but i do it. I try n avoid it but sometimes it just works out that way. I park near the door.  Jess
  •  i leave my kids in the car but i think it all comes down to common sense too. are they in the shade, it is too busy, how close is the car to the door, are the windows open enough to keep the car cool for those minutes without needing to keep them wide open…. there are a whole range of questions that need a big fat OK TICK before ill do it. use ur motherly instincts.  Lanie
  •  go to a servo where you can pay at the bowser.. Otherwise
  • I do the drive to the checkout where i can see Bub and sprint in, most of the time leaving cash on the counter.   Alexander
  •  if she is awake I take her in however if she is asleep I just leave her in the car and quickly run in. Jamii
  •  after working at a servo for years when i was young i leave mine in the car definitely safer in there! but its a personal choice, just be smart if leaving them in there go at the quietest time of the day use the bowser closest to the door then you can see them at all times, even use cash rather than card speeds things up, good luck with your decision neither choice is wrong and both options have safety reasons behind chosing them. Tara
  •  im in qld too, n I was there when a mum got booked for it. I guess it depends on the coppers thoughts on what is an unreasonable time :s. She was quicker than me I must add. For me I will take bub with me, for her safety and coz petrol is expensive as it is let alone having a fine to go with it lol. Tamara
  •  with one i took him in but with two I leave in the car it really is the safest option. Just wanted to note that i lock the door manually with the key unless I have a spare remote battery with me I would hate for it to choose that moment to run out and not be able to get the kids out I have heard it happens a lot and the NRMA have to be called to get the kids out  Emily
  •  for me it depends. If there’s no-one there and I know I won’t have to wait inside, I leave her in the car and keep an eye on her from the window. If it’s real busy and I have to wait I move my car and take her in. Alison
  •  I asked this same question a cpl weeks ago on here lol. I had quite a few nasty comments. I personally have been taking bubs in with me to pay but leave her in the car while I fill up. Even just leaving her in the car while filling up I get the most awful death stares! But I’d rather that than have my daughter smelling fumes!  Chantelle
  •  I always leave the kids in car while filling up so its less fumes they breath in but always take them in to pay even if there r people waiting n its difficult, id rather that than run the risk of them being taken with the car if someone steals it. We have had a few near baby snatches recently in our area.  Catherine
  •  leave my 6 month in the car as she is happy to play with her toys. she gets more upset taking her out the car for just a min. altough if the paystation is very busy I do take her in but I always try to get fuel when there is not more then 2 cars. I live in the country so most the time I get a fuel pump right infront of the paystation.  Chantelle
  •  I go to a petrol station where they serve you so you don’t have to leave the car at all.  Bree
  •  I haven’t had to make the choice my husband always makes sure there is petrol in the car so i don’t have to worry about it. If by chance i had to get petrol i would leave them in the car. My kids are 3 1/2, nearly 2 & 5 weeks. I think it would be alot safer for them in the car. Just imagine trying to struggle with them. Also my 3 1/2 year old is a runner. She would just run out into another car while i was trying to get the other two organised. Belinda
  •  I take my two yr old n 10week old in every single time  Simone
  •  I Leave kids in the car when filling n when u need to pay If u can move car to the front door n lock the doors or try n get the pump in front of door. It is safer to leave them in car with doors locked then juggling to carry them with the cars. When i had my first i always made sure someone was with me if I needed petrol but I now have a 5-3-1 year olds n ever since having my second always left them in car with doors locked. Vanessa
  •  please don’t leave ur babies in the car!! 1. It’s illegal 2. Nasty people and 3. I always am so paranoid if one of the bowsers blew up. I realise we’d all die anyway. But atleast my lil dude would be with me. Better to safe!!  Georgia
  •  i rarely take my daughter with me. Unless i go to a petrol station that is really busy she stays in the car. Im gone usually less than a minute and i feel she is safer in there. When i have two ill be doing the same.  Rebecca
  •  btw, ive never seen a mother take her kids out of the car just to pay for petrol?! in 4 years. haven’t seen it?  Lanie
  •  If it’s not a really hot day I usually leave both mine in the car at the servo. When it was just one baby, easy! Carry him in. But with a 2 and a 3 year old and all the cars, I think it’s safer to leave them in the car… GENERALLY.  Keri
  •  i take my baby in to the petrol station.  Janette
  •  I always get my DD out. not sure where u live but for us during summer there is no way I could leave her in anyway can’t leave the car running for air con AND lock the doors we have 40 degree days here in WA so u jst can’t the temps in locked cars can raise dramatically in minutes  Jos
  •  I leave my 3 (3 under 3 yrs old) in the car when I go to pay!! The law says you are not to leave them unattended but I think its safer for them in there then try to juggle them all in a place where there are cars everywhere!! Common sense tho – make sure the windows are open a little and YOU have the key with you and lock the car… that said, I don’t want to tell anyone else to break the law  Chantal
  •  my first baby isn’t due till January but I would probably fill up when the hubby is home in the evening so he can look after our son. I know it’s not always that easy tho.  Lushana
  •  I’m lucky here, we have a self serve pump. But most BPs (I think) have an option to pay at the pump if you have a BP card! Maybe look into getting one too?  Amy
  •  I leave my 4 when I go in to pay for fuel. My oldest is 9, so I start the car and as soon as I shut the door he locks it and then unlocks when I get back to my door.  Kerri
  •  I leave my 11.5mo and 2.4yr old in the car when I pay with windows down slightly and door locked. I live in a small country town and am usually the only person at the station anyway. It takes less than a minute to pay but at least 5 to get them out and back in. And I can’t safely get my youngest out while making sure my eldest doesn’t walk in front of a car etc. In my eyes it’s safest to leave them in. I never see anyone take their kids in with them but I have seen people leave them in their car!!  Jessica
  •  I found it safer for me to leave my twin girls in the car to pay for petrol rather than negotiate putting their 3 piece pram together, loading them into it, weaving through cars and then back again to unload them in the car. Of course, the doors are always locked and I can see them at all times from inside the servo. You do whatever works for YOU! Pretty hard to get a 20 month old to hold the car and wait for me while I unload the other one!  Elena
  •  For all those saying its illegal to leave your kids in the car.. We r all guilty of it and I personally believe like others they r safer in there then out with all the fumes and moron drivers who think speed limits don’t exist!! I have a 4 yr old, 2 yr old and 1 yr old and that would be an absolute nightmare getting all 3 out for a whole of 2 mins and it would waste more time getting all 3 in and out than what it would if I ran in.. My doors get locked and my eyes don’t get off the car.. I usually only need to fill up once a week maybe longer so thankfully doesn’t have to happen that often but couldn’t imagine anything worse than taking them in! Krysta
  •  i lock my car and go in and pay. its only a max of 30 seconds.  Kayla
  •  I take my dd in. I’m not risking a car accident in forecourt, fire or explosion were they don’t let u back into forecourt.  Laura
  •  I leave my 18 month old and my 2.5 year old in the car to fill and pay. It’s much safer to leave them in their car seats in a locked car than me taking two very active toddlers onto the servo where I would then have to let go of one of them to pay and I know they will run! Too many dangers outside of the car than in for me.  Danielle
  •  For those of you saying is illegal to leave your kids in the car while you pay for petrol, sorry, you’re wrong. As a current serving Qld police officer, I can tell you it is illegal to leave them in the car with the keys in the ignition, this is a Traffic Infringement Notice (ticket). The offence for leaving a child under 12 for an unreasonable time would not be used in this situation, running in to pay for petrol that takes a couple of minutes is not an unreasonable time, there is plenty of case law in relation to ‘reasonable time’. The offence is used against people who leave children at home for hours while they are at work, or leaving them in the car for hours while the play the pokies, like at Casino’s.
  • The mother charged for leaving their 10yr old in the car was not at a petrol station, she was at a shopping centre at The Gap, and the child was distressed, prompting concerned people nearby to call Police. I have always left my DS in the car, I either put the windows down or start the car, put the aircon on take the keys (keyless start etc) with me and lock it up.    Jodie
  •  The law is not black and white, just because there is an offence there, doesn’t mean it’s illegal. My hubby is a SGT in Brisbane, the situation with the kid in the car was at The Gap, the child was crying and hysterical and had been left there for an extended period of time. Leaving your child in the car to pay for petrol is not illegal, my sister is a defence solicitor and she laughed and said a person charged for leaving a child under 12 in a car would not even make it past the authority to prosecute. Jodie is right though, there is a ticket for leaving them in the car for any period of time with the keys in the ignition. People need to use their COMMON SENSE, obviously don’t leave your bub in the car with the windows up etc.  Melissa
  •  I leave my boys in the car provided its in the shade and not too busy. Most petrol stations have huge windows and you car see the car. My 3 year old loves waving to me! Also he is a runner, so walking through a busy petrol station with a baby and 3 year old is more dangerous for me. Lynette
  •  I have personally asked a police officer and their response was that it is NOT illegal to leave them in the car whilst you pay for petrol. I think common sense prevails in a situation like this! If I wanted to browse the station for a snack for example I would take them in, however just to pay is silly in my opinion. I agree it’s possibly more dangerous to take them in, particularly if wrangling more than 1 child. Again common sense, I’d never ever leave them in the car to grab a coffee of something like that.  Amanda
  •  I leave my ds un the car, windows down, car locked. I keep watching. If there is a lineup to pay, I wait at the car for the line to get shorter.  Alison
  •  I normally fill up when I don’t have the kids. If I just have one they come with me and if I have all 3 I have a spare key in my handbag all the time so I start my car put the air con on lock it with the spare key and run in, pay and run out. Lydia
  •  I always try and fill up on a weekend when out and about with hubby or when my son is in day care, but if i have to fill up alone with him, i will leave him in car with doors locked! If i can see a queue i generally wait before going in, but its not very often that happens! Claire

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