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what age for parent and child spaces

Just out of interest I wondered what your opinion was on the age limit for using parent and child spaces. I went to my local waitrose yesterday and a lady parked next to me where a child of about 6 got out in school uniform... my immediate reaction was thats ridiculous she can walk BUT the sign does say parent and child rather than parent and baby/toddler....

ITs a bain of my life as I have a 20 month old and 7 months pregnant so really really struggle if the spaces are filled, and people in my area seem to abuse the spaces!

what do you think??? x


  • i think thats a bit wrong to be honest if it wasnt busy i suppose she could have done it but its unfair and we should have a priority really i have a 3 year old and im 20 weeks pregnant so it does really annoy you as we are needing them more!!!

  • i always think if the child is in a buggy or car seat then you should still be able to use the spaces as the extra space to open doors wide to get easy access to car is what you need but as the get bigger and can get in/out of car themselves then no you shouldn't use the spaces.
  • The whole point of the space is too help those who would struggle if they were parked further away and / or need the extra space around the car to get a Baby/child in and out or to use a pram.

    I think the key is in the wording too!

    Parent not Parents, it winds me up when there are two adults with a child using these spaces. If there are two adults, where is the struggle?

    It is supposed help a parent who is juggling shopping and kids.

    My girls are 13 and 9 years old and the only time I use the spaces are if I'm popping in for 5 mins and one of them is asleep in the car. It rarely happens, maybe twice ever, but I feel that I have the right to keep my child close to the entrance in this situation.

    I am now expecting another baby and I will be using the P&C spaces when my bump gets huge. I'll need the extra space to negotiate my bump in and out the car :lol:
  • The ones at our local shop are parent and toddler spaces, but I have seen plenty of older (up to about eight) children getting in and out of cars in them. I can't say I mind too much. I can see why using a space near the entrance if you have an active child and your hands full of shopping would be useful, even if they can get in and out of the car themselves. It lowers the risk of them being hit by a car while walking across the car park (something that really does concern me given the way some people drive around the supermarket car park!)

    As for the two parent issue, the struggle (for us at any rate) is getting a child into a car seat without opening the door fully, an issue whether one or two parents is there. The extra space has been a godsend when having my husband there wouldn't have made a blind bit of difference! (Oh, and the pictogram on the signs at our shop shows two parents and one child.)
  • I use the spaces when I have my 2year old with me, but not if I just have older boys with me (5 & 8).

    My Asda has parent & child spaces - and it does say 'child' rather than just baby / toddler - so I guess I would be within my rights to use them with any of the children - just that with the older boys I don't really need to.

    In my Sainsbury's it specifies children under 12, but I've seen people using them with just teenagers in the car (unless they were v grown up looking 11 yr olds lol).

    I must admit I'd never thought of it being 'parent' rather than 'parents' - like THG the issue was with space around the car and getting a baby seat in and out - almost impossible in a normal parking space! Even now my dd is in a stage 2 car seat, it's v difficult to get her in and out without the door fully open.
  • I think Morrisons also specifies 12 as well for these spaces.
    I use them as I've got a toddler and need them for the extra space when getting her out of the car seat. Even if hubby and I are in the car we still use them as the positioning of the spaces is much safer if Skye tried to make a dash for it i.e. in Morrisons they are the only spaces in the car park where there is actually a safe walkway to the car away from traffic. There are no paths anywhere else in the entire car park so I would have to walk her with cars reversing and zooming in and out all around us, and this scares her.

    My sisters boy is just 5 and she hasn't been using them for years, as he can get in and out of the car seat unaided. SHe feels they are provided for users of buggies and people with todlers etc. That said, she would would be quite within her right to use them going by the age limit given of 12 years old!
  • I feel that it should be used for any children who are still in a car seat / bigger boaster seats and need assistance getting out of the car. The extra space is to allow for parents to get access to the child and assist them out which is not so easy in a normal parking space no matter how many parent there are with you.

    As for being close to the supermarket I admit this makes life a lot easier for me if I am shopping alone with ds, but I would not be bothered to parker further away as long as their is a path to allow you to get to the store. My local Asdas has p&c spaces next to the door and about 5 rows away. I generally use the 5 rows away as they normally have one available and have a clear run to the entrance.

    My real bain is seeing 2 seater sports cars with no car seats parked in the p&c who are they trying to kid!

    On another hate as people are got me ranting is my local leisure center and people using the group change and the baby change rooms when they do not need to. I recently came out of the pool with ds shivering (why are changing rooms so cold) to have to wait around as I needed the baby change. I did of course start undressing him to keep him warm as poss and eventually 2 girls came out of the baby change and the group change (i try not to use this although its got a baby change in it) had 1 lad come out. Really there are plently of changing rooms and some family ones where 2 people can change so why would people do this. I had a go at the girls (the lad escaped before I could get him) and told the staff whos solution was to put a poster up!

    Sorry will stop ranting now!

  • I've noticed that some supermarkets (I think Sainsburys) say up to age 12, which I do think is a bit much. Personally I think it should be until the child is old enough to get into and out of the car/seat themselves. I also disagree that it's easy enough in a normal space with two adults, as the main issue for me is getting the door open far enough, and having room to put the trolley or pushchair between the cars rather than behind the car where it might get hit by someone not paying enough attention. I do agree though that it is less of a problem if the parent and child spaces aren't available and there are two of you - as one of you can hold the child while the other backs the car out of the space to have enough room to get the door open, but it's still a performance.

    Apart from people with no or older children using these spaces, what really annoys me is when people park there and then don't even get the child out of the car, one parent waits in the car with the child! This really winds me up!
  • if you need a pushchair then use them if not don't abuse them. this drives me mad as so many people round here use them when their kids are not even with them! ARGH! i think people are just lazy and inconsiderate. as soon as DS doesn't need a pushchair then i will not use them to enable people that really do need them to have them. also they should let pregnant women use them. when i was 8 months gone i looked like HUGE and suffered with SPD but local supermarket said i couldn't use them as i was 'only' pregnant. sorry to g/c
  • I completely agree that the whole point is to give extra room for carrying a child out or getting a pushchair out. It infuriates me when I see 6 and 7 years olds alone with a parent in them, why do they need the space?!

    I use it regardless of whether hubby is with me or not, we still need the extra room to get DS out. We are also using a lightweight pushchair at the mo, that might be lightweight but it is also too long for fit in our boot! (Really should have realised that before we bought it!) So we need the extra space to get the pushchair out (we lie on the floor of the back of the car)
  • I think if your child is in a car seat you are within your rights to use the space as it is a nightmare trying to manouvre them in with ltd space (regardless of being alone or with another fault sorry!)
    I do agree it seems very mean to park when it's older children BUT there is always that chance the child has additional needs that means for their safety the parent has chosen to park close to the entrance.
    It does drive me mad when people park and have no children but I must admit I have sometimes parked there automatically out of habit and the realise - I then move but I'm sure sometimes people just don't think- agreed others are selfish . Late in pregnancy should be allowed in some form as big bump and tight spot don go either lol!
  • Don't you think some of the problems would be eliminated if supermarkets and shopping centres didn't make the normal parking spaces so bloomin narrow!!

    Even if I park correctly in the middle of the space and the cars either side have done the same, I often find them tight and have to watch my car doors hitting the other cars as the kids get out! It's ridiculous!

    And as for those with no kids - it's just pure lazy!

  • I agree with the majority with this one, in that if the child needs assistance getting in and out of the car, eg are in a carseat, then that is fine. Also can understand heavily pregnant ladies needing the extra space.

    lizsmith1982 - your post does suggest you think it's fine for pregnant ladies to use the spaces as they need extra room, but only a child - if it is in a pushchair!? I think this is rather unfair, I never take Evie's pushchair shopping with us, she has been sitting in the trolley seat for about a year now, I don't need space for a pushchair but I do need space at the side of the car to strap Evie in and out of her seat. Even if the car is originally parket with plenty of room either side, theres no garantee that whilst I shop somebody will some and park very close to our car.

    I also disagree that it's easier with 2parents. If parked in a normal space no matter how many people are there to help out, squeezing a child and your arms through the car door, whilst trying no to scratch the car next to you, to get them all safely strapped in is difficult!
  • As for the two parent issue, the struggle (for us at any rate) is getting a child into a car seat without opening the door fully, an issue whether one or two parents is there

    Yes, I agree that for this reason it's acceptable to park in these spaces when both parents are there.

    In my mind the other point of p&c spaces is so babies/toddlers don't have to cross a busy car park. I suppose you could argue that it's not ideal for a 6 year old to be doing so either, but at the same time a 6 year old ought to have enough sense to follow instructions and stay close to its parent whereas a toddler can't necessarily be expected to.
  • PT, I agree with you in theory about the sense of a six-year-old child. What I am less confident about is the sense of some of the drivers in our local supermarket car park. I nearly got hit on a pedestrian crosswalk by an elderly gent who apparently didn't see me - despite the fact that I was pushing a bright red pushchair! Scared the wits out of me and it was all I could do to keep from shouting vile and useless abuse at him!
  • Don't get me onto old people and driving!!

    I always think of the parent and child spaces as being when you need extra space on either side of the car for whatever reason. I used these spaces when 8+ months pregnant as I literally couldn't squeeze in and out of my car in the normal spaces. I now use them to be able to get Abby out of her car seat - so definitely not an issue of whether it is one or both of us. Our spaces at Sainsburys are not directly outside the store anyway so we have to cross part of the parking area - my main problem is that mad dash to return the trolley whilst leaving Abby in the car - I hate it!

    The age limit is 12, which I think is silly but struggling with a number of 6/7 year olds I could also imagine to be awkward. Really it should be down to the common dendency of people to think about whether they really need the space or not. One person with a good 4 year old might need it less than a person with an ADHD 10 year old. I know my sister (Aspergers) used to run out in front of cars until about 11.
    Unfortunately people are more concerned about what they consider to be their "rights" than what they actually need.

    H xx
  • I think the age 12 limit is ridiculous! My goddaughter is 12 now and has been perfectly capable of getting herself in and out of a car for years. Course now she's all attitude and probably doesn't want to be seen dead anywhere with her parents lol.

    Tescos seem to have the right idea imo having them up to age 5 - I think that by the time the child is at school they are generally out of the car seats and capable of getting in and out by themselves and fastening themselves in.

    As for having 2 parents therefore not needing the space.. um no. whether my husband and I are on our own or together one of us still needs to lean in and fasten our son in and it still takes up space to open the car door enough to lift a 2 year old in and fasten him in safely - one of you stopping the car out of a space so that the other can fasten in a child in the road/car park isn't safe. And again - why should it only be for a person putting a child in a buggy. My son much prefers to walk and so we don't always taket he buggy but that doesnt mean its any easier to get him out of the car! Plus.. buggy + shopping trolley .. um nope!

    One parent staying in the car with a sleeping child is taking the piss totally.. if you aren't getting the child out then you don't need the room. Although having said that - one time my son fell asleep in the trolley leaning onto my husband so my husband carried him out to the car while I finished up the shopping so it probably looked like we'd been lazy like that!!

    And one last little rant lol.. I've got on my soapbox now. I don't consider it acceptable for disabled people to be able to use the p&c spaces because they can't be bothered to go check the other section of the car park where there are yet more disabled spaces or cause the disabled spaces are full. Sure a lot of people will disagree with me but it drives me mad that there are generally twic eas many disabled spaces as p&c and the p&c spaces are open to abuse. I actually had some woman who had a disabled badge who parked in a p&c space and was in receipt of a filthy look from me try and tell me that it was 'ok to park there if disabled were full and that it was ok to park in disabled spaces if p&c were full' I wo uldn't have minded so much if she or her companion struggled into a wheelchair or something but they both wandered off into the shop without a problem.

    Honestly I think the p&c spaces ought to be more strictly policed with a sensible age restriction on use (12 is way too high) and permits ought to be issued and have to be used - with possible special extensions for special needs kids that aren't bad enough to actually get disability badges. At the moment I consider it abuse of the spaces to use them if you haven't got a small child with you..and yep that includes pregnant people using them - they aren't pregnant people spaces they are p&c spaces - so the sensible thing to do would be to issue permits at maybe 8 months pregnant that way its clear cut. Sure there will be lots of disagrees on that one but I would never have dreamed of parking in a p & c space when I was pregnant with my son

    Think blondefriend is right actually about people bothering about their rights rather than their needs
  • i complained about this issue to the "greeter" who stands at front of my local asda and was told they don't deal with the car park issues and i should write a letter to peole who do!! well excuse me but it says in BIG green letters ASDA on the signs so i think it is your problem!!!!
  • our asda says parent and child but one day a woman in front of me pulled into the last free p&c space and got out with her son who was wearing a sixth form uniform from our local comp. i told her that they are for children and her reply was 'he is my son' and walked off

    i never park in them if i am on my own but do even if dh is with me as no matter how many adults/parents there are it doesnt make the space between the cars any bigger which is the big problem.

    i really grates on me the people that park there with a carseat but no child or even without a car seat.
  • i complained about this issue to the "greeter" who stands at front of my local asda and was told they don't deal with the car park issues and i should write a letter to peole who do!! well excuse me but it says in BIG green letters ASDA on the signs so i think it is your problem!!!!

    Asda are pretty crap about the parking spaces really.. think they only do it to look good. i've complained too and basically they work in a similar manner to public car parks or places with no parking/parking restriction signs in that the signs are used as a deterrant (which doesn't work in asda lol) and there is a car park patrol companies which comes and checks a couple of times a week for anyone parking where they shouldn't and will then ticket them but the visits are rare as the signs are meant to deter people.
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