Is it child neglect or not that serious?

Published 08/19 2014 06:26PM

Updated 08/20 2014 12:33PM

Two child neglect incidents recently occurred in Dothan.

With cases like this happening elsewhere as well, the question is where is the line drawn as to what is neglect and what is not?

"Most of us was raised with our families they left us in the car when we were growing up and I left my kids in the car when they were growing up,” said Hawk Godwin.

Under Alabama law, child neglect is negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child including the failure to provide adequate food, medical treatment, clothing, or shelter

But what about acts such as leaving a child in an air conditioned car or allowing your child to walk around a store alone?

"I don't think a child should be left alone at all,” said Sonja Harden.

Police Sergeant Maurice Eggleston says there is no hammered out line for child neglect.

"There's still things that are going on that were going on when we were all young, so the difference now is that you have so many different things that can catapult the word across the country that people are looking at,” Eggleston said.

But some things are considered more dangerous depending on who you talk to.

Laura Barfield is a mother and knows that as her daughter grows older she will continue to be just as cautious as she is now.

"She's going to be right with me the entire time, I'm never going to take my eyes off of her. I know that every parent is different,” said Laura Barfield.

But who should intervene? Is it the public's job to assume there might be a case of neglect?

In most recent cases a passerby has called police.

Harden said, "If I couldn't find the parents or who ever is in charge of them, I probably would.”

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