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Should you leave a child alone in the car while paying for petrol and is it legal?

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Is it OK to leave a child alone in the car while paying for petrol?

Your child is in the back of the car but you need to fill up.

The question keeps running through your mind and you don’t know what to do.

What does the law say?

Do you leave them alone in the car, or take them with you while you juggle the pump, fill the tank and head inside to pay?

The debate

One Mumsnet user sparked massive debate on the issue, the Derby Telegraph reported, after she discovered her husband leaves their 20-month-old toddler in the car while he goes into the kiosk to pay.

The original poster wrote: “Please settle this disagreement for me and my DH [dear husband]!

“Leaving toddler (20 months) in the car while you go and pay for petrol. Would you do it? I would not (unless I was using pay at the pump, then I wouldn’t get her out as I’d be stood right next to the car) but DH says he would and has.

“I’m horrified that he left her and have said I really don’t want him to do that again, he thinks I am ridiculous and ‘it’s only for two minutes’.”

The debate seems to have divided opinion, with some berating the mum for being “overprotective” and “over the top”, while others agree with her, Somerset Live reports.

‘They’ll be fine’

“I leave mine. What is going to happen to them? I have my car keys with me so the car itself could not be stolen (the door is probably open though) and I can see the car through the petrol station window so would notice if someone tried to kidnap them,” wrote one user.

‘Accidents can happen’

Others agreed with original poster, writing: “I would never leave my child in the car! I agree with you.”

And: “I would definitely take my toddler with me to pay. Every time.”

Another wrote: “I work in a petrol station and a mum left her four year old child in the car while she came into the shop to pay. The child got out of her seat and released the hand brake, the car then rolled forward into the electricity box.

“The child was unhurt but the car was damaged and so was the electricity box. Other customers have also left hand brakes off and cars have rolled into each other. So accidents can happen, I wouldn’t leave a child in a car.”

But what does the law say?

According to gov.uk, it is illegal to leave a child alone if it places them at risk.

Parents are urged to use their judgement on how mature the child is before they decide to leave them alone – whether that be in a car or at home.

It warns that parents can be prosecuted if they leave their child unsupervised ‘in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health’.

Chris Cloke, head of safeguarding in the communities at the NSPCC, told the Hull Daily Mail : “When left alone in a vehicle, young children can very quickly start to get anxious and distressed.

“Even if they’re sleeping peacefully when you leave they could well wake up and get very upset when you’re not there to look after them.

“They would not be able to protect themselves in an emergency and may even try to leave the vehicle to find you.

“As children become older parents need to exercise their own judgement. if they can see the car the whole time it may be sensible depending on your child’s maturity.”Every child is different and every parent knows their child’s readiness to be left in this scenario.

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Military patrols Ecuador’s capital as clashes resume and many defy curfew

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Armored military vehicles patrolled the streets of Ecuador’s capital, Quito, on Sunday after police and protesters clashed and many residents defied a curfew imposed by President Lenin Moreno in a bid to quell unrest triggered by fuel subsidy cuts.

Ecuadoreans posted videos on social media of burning road blockades and standoffs between crowds and security forces in downtown Quito ahead of the first round of talks aimed at ending 11 days of unrest.

The interior minister said a group of vandals had again set fire to the comptroller’s office and that some 500 people had defied police barriers in the city.

The unrest was the worst in the small South American country in more than a decade and the latest flashpoint of opposition to the International Monetary Fund in Latin America. Moreno has cast the dispute as a battle between Venezuela and other left-leaning forces and more market-friendly ideologies.

Nearly 60 roads in the city were closed, the municipal government said, without elaborating.

“Blocking roads is punishable by law and even more so during a curfew,” said councilman Bernardo Abad.

Indigenous protesters vowed to continue protests across the country until Moreno reinstates fuel subsidies, a sign that a potential breakthrough in the dispute announced on Saturday might fade under the government crackdown.

The first round of talks between indigenous leaders and the government was set to begin at 3 p.m. (2000 GMT) in Quito, although no announcement had been made yet on who would take part or where exactly it would be held.

Moreno signed a $4.2 billion deal with the IMF earlier this year, angering many of his former supporters who voted for him as the left-leaning successor of his former ally, Rafael Correa.

Moreno has defended his decision last week to slash fuel subsidies as a key part of his bid to clean up the country’s finances, and denies it was required by the IMF.

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Algerians protest against proposed energy law

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Hundreds of Algerians protested in front of parliament on Sunday against proposed changes to the energy law that they say the caretaker government has no right to pass.

The draft law was agreed by the cabinet on Sunday, interim president Abdelkader Bensalah was quoted by state media as saying. It must still be approved by parliament.

Protesters said the law was draw up by the caretaker government to secure support of Western countries in a standoff over mass protests that have rocked Algeria for months. The government did not immediately comment.

“The draft will allow us to start deep reforms in the energy sector and implement a development plan for Sonatrach,” Bensalah said, referring to Algeria’s national energy company.

The law is aimed at attracting foreign investors to help Algeria strengthen its energy output and improve revenues using their superior technology, but would maintain a 49% limit on foreign ownership if passed into law by parliament.

Sonatrach has met several major international oil companies in recent months, including Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

“The current tax system does not allow Sonatrach to make new discoveries,” Mustapha Hanifi, the hydrocarbons director at the energy ministry, said at a conference on Sunday.

“We need to discover more oil and gas to ensure the country’s energy security and its revenues,” he added.

Algeria’s economy and state revenues are highly dependent on the energy sector, and foreign currency reserves have more than halved since oil prices began to drop in 2014.

The weekly mass protests since February have toppled veteran leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika and forced the authorities to detain many senior officials on corruption charges.

The army, which has emerged as the strongest power in Algeria since Bouteflika stepped down in April, hopes a presidential election panned for Dec. 12 will help quell the protests.

But demonstrators have said the vote cannot be free or fair if the military and senior officials tied to Bouteflika retain political power.

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