On April 14, 2015 a Billings woman made a quick stop at a hardware store in the heights. She made a choice that many parents have made at some point. She chose to leave her child in the vehicle while she went in the store to grab something. When she returned to the parking lot the vehicle, and her child, were gone.

Thankfully, this story did not end tragically. The Honda minivan was recovered at Two Moon Park and the child was not injured. Jamie Odessa Roberts pleaded guilty Friday to the crimes which included misdemeanor negligent endangerment.

As we get into the colder months, it is not unusual for people to leave their cars running in the parking lot. When you have one or more kids in the backseat saying they don't want to get out in the cold, it's pretty tempting to say "I'll be right back". I'm a parent and I would be lying if I said I had never left my daughter in the car while I ran inside to pay for gas, get us a drink, etc. My rule was always been "As long as I can see the car, it's fine". I've stuck to that rule, but in this day an age it's certainly not a guarantee. This realization has lead to my new rule: "I don't care if you don't want to get out, you're going in with me."

For the record, I only have one child and tend to be on the overprotective side, so what do you think about your kids being unattended in a vehicle? At what age does it become okay?

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