Melbourne mum claims she was abused by a stranger for leaving her toddler in parked car for “not even one minute” while she ran in to a shop to buy him water.

Charlene Dandoulis blasted the man’s behaviour and urged more tolerance for parents.

She said she’d been rushing to and from appointments all day when her one and a half year old son, Ryder, started having a “tanty” in the back seat.

The mother said she planned to be in an out of the convenience store near Elwood, in a matter of seconds, but a man approached while she was at the counter and started hurling abuse, reports Herald Sun.

“He was saying you don’t deserve your child … he called me a slag. He was telling me I was clearly as stupid as I looked,” Ms Dandoulis said.

“In the past, every single time, even while filling up the car with petrol, I take my son with me … this was the first time,” she said.

“For someone to say that I on any level would not be considering what’s best for my child is insulting. I would assume that he would probably not have done the same if I was a big burly man.”

The mum claimed the man continued his vicious rant as he followed her from the shop to her car, even leaning down to scream at her through her infant son’s open window. His tirade only stopped, she said, when a shocked bystander intervened.

Not even one minute is OK!

Ambulance Victoria senior paramedic Phil Campbell said children and pets should never be left in cars, even if it was only for a few minutes.

“Tests by Ambulance Victoria found even on a 29 degree day the inside of a car can heat up to 44 degrees within ten minutes and reach 60 degrees within 20 minutes. This can be catastrophic and unfortunately in the past there have been cases of children dying in hot cars,” he said.

Do you think there was any need for the stranger to confront the mum over her actions?

Share your comments below

  • He obviously has strong feelings about it. Why knows, maybe he did the same and his child died or he knew someone who’s did. Or he’s just an angry man. The way he went about it was wrong. He could’ve said nicely “you shouldn’t do that etc etc”. No compassion for busy/tired mums.


  • I think both were in the wrong, she for leaving her child in the car and the man using such foul language in front of the child-he has anger issues clearly.


  • I don’t think it was very wise of the mum however the man sounds like he could use some anger management.


  • She should never have left her child in the car but, at the same time, this man tackled the situation the wrong way.


  • What could have happened if the Mum had taken longer or even worse had a fall or suddenly taken ill. Yes, I am pessimistic but it has happened. Fortunately I the cases I know of a child had not been left in a car.


  • she intended on only being a minute but what if there was other people lined up, what if the shop keeper took a phone call?


  • honestly, no need for this at all. I could understand if she was gone for a longer but she just had to pick something up. If I stop at a roadside bakery or get fuel I don’t take kids. Who would? It’s dumb and safer for them in car. People need to mind their business!


  • I think what the man did was right – but the way he did it was wrong.


  • I will never ever under no circumstances leave my kids alone in the car.

    • This story is unecessary and irrelevant scaremongering.
      Your headlines says she was less than a minute, not ‘only a few minutes’ so the ambulance comment is totally irrelevant. If we are going to nitpick down to a few seconds how do you actually get more than one child out of the car? how do you put money in a parking metre or return a shopping trolley?
      Save the abuse for situations where there is actually a risk.


  • This man, while not behaving well himself, will not have known how long the child was in the car. I must admit, now, due to the awareness of this action, if I see a child in a car I will just ring 000. It doesn’t matter if they’ve only been left a short while – no time is a good amount of time.


  • Both responses were not ok in my opinion.
    My youngest is 5yrs old. I never leave her alone in the car, unless one of my older children is with her.


  • Definitely no need for the abuse, but the mum shouldn’t have left her child in the car no matter how long for. Go through a drive through like maccas and get a water if your desperate!


  • He may have been a bit over the top, but with all the stupid people who leave their kids and dogs in cars in all sorts of weather, I think he did the right thing. In my opinion, you can never be too careful when it comes to possibly losing a life


  • You can never tell how long you will be in a shop for, so she should have taken her child with her! The man was out of line for his tirade, I wonder if there was more behind it? Maybe he lost a child after he/she was left in the car? Or it happened to a family members child? Still doesn’t excuse his verbal abuse though


  • His behaviour was wrong but frankly, so was hers.


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