Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

GinaPagnato

How are children being forgotten in hot cars?

Recommended Posts

Maybe someone needs to come up with a device that says, "did you check your backseat" when you open your car door.

On interstate 65 a couple days ago the electronic highway alert signs actually had a message that said something like "Where's Baby? Check your backseat". I think it was the first in our stretch of 90+ degree days.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm another one who did this.  We were moving and I only had my 6 week old with me.  I jumped out of the car to wave dh and the moving van in, then a bunch of friends walked up and were excited to see our home for the first time.  I let them in, showed them around (a thankfully very small house), and then I suddenly remembered the baby.  Ran out and he was sound asleep.  I was lucky.

 

It's easy to be self-righteous about these things when they never happened to you.  It's not about being uncaring or so used to being without your kids that you just *poof* forget them.  It's about being out of routine.  It's about the way the brain works.  The deeply rutted out routines and paths that your body goes through every day. Or in my case, I think my ADD brain/exhaustion/stress/excitement were all players.

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never ever understood how it was possible and thought it could NEVER happen to me. Until is so totally did happen to me.

 

Yes, I forget my infant in a car. It was a little over 5 years ago. Fortunately it was a February or March Seattle day and he was sleeping like a rock and I remembered him in a panic before anything bad happened.

 

It was a strange set of circumstances. My older son was 5 and at school. At least I think he was school, it's been awhile. My father picked up my baby son from me so that I could be at the hospital with my mother and discuss some options with her doctors (this was about 4 months before she died). At little bit later my dad brought baby to the hospital so I could nurse. At this point I was done talking to the doctors and was tired. I decided to drive home and get some rest. My dad had brought him to me in his infant car seat and the stroller car seat frame. I don't know what I was thinking but I think it's that I hadn't had him on the way there, that I somehow forgot that he was there on the way home. If probably didn't help that my dad had walked me to the car and helped me get the car seat in so I hadn't clicked in the seat myself. My dad was heading to pick up my older son I think. My younger son was a very sleepy, small baby, the sort of baby you have to rouse to feed in the night. I got home. I parked on the street. I went inside. I was alone. I fell asleep. I woke up with a start like "something is not right!" And ran to the car where he was sleeping. I am honestly not sure how long he was there and had it been a warm day, it was long enough for it to be a tragedy.

 

You'd better believe I was always very careful to check the backseat after that. It was extremely frightening.

 

I think I read it is more common when there is a break of routine. Like dad normally does the am daycare drop off but mom is doing it today and she drives to her office instead or something. In my case, there was very little routine because I was caring for my mom and new son while dealing with pretty severe ppd. While all new parents are tired, I was at the limit because in addition to a newborn, I was constantly at the hospital or medical stuff with my mom and my baby was gaining slowly and we were on an alarm clock to rouse him for feeding every two hours. I am pretty sure one of the reasons I woke up was because my body was like "time to feed baby".

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there's a danger in thinking you would never forget. That's the problem - it can happen to anyone.

 

Exactly. But for the grace of G-d, go I.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was working at Wal-Mart, a manager called the police because a parent left a baby in the car in the summertime and they did it on purpose.  They said the baby was asleep and they didn't want to wake it up so they went into the store and left the baby in the car.  It does happen... even on purpose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this thread is good evidence that it happens to good parents.

We all screw up. Mostly without consequence. It is terrible when the consequence is your worst nightmare becoming reality.

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was working at Wal-Mart, a manager called the police because a parent left a baby in the car in the summertime and they did it on purpose.  They said the baby was asleep and they didn't want to wake it up so they went into the store and left the baby in the car.  It does happen... even on purpose.

 

Yes, some people do it intentionally, but that's not really what we've been talking about here.  I think the focus has been on people "like us".  Good, responsible, caring, loving parents, who would never do anything intentionally to endanger their children, but based on circumstance could find ourselves in the same position as some of the parents.

 

Those who are otherwise neglectful are another story entirely.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh! I just remembered I did leave a child in a car once. It hadn't come to mind in the context of the discussion because heat wasn't an issue, but I kept having this nagging feeling that something similar had happened to me. We had just come home from my older childrens' choir concert, we herded everyone inside to get ready for bed and I went to lie down and feed the baby. It must have been 30-45 minutes later when we were gathering for family prayer that I noticed the three year old missing. No one knew where she was and we finally went out to the car to check. She was there, she had cried herself to sleep in the front seat. She had been unbuckled from her carseat but was not out of the van yet when someone closed the door. The door wasn't even locked, but she didn't know how to open it. I felt so awful. She has been terrified of the dark and of being alone in a room with the door shut ever since.

 

I really do think it can happen to anyone, that is what makes it so scary.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend suggested that you always leave a 'necessary' item in the back seat with your baby - like your wallet or phone, so that you will always have to turn around and look in the back seat. I think it's a great idea. The thought of unknowingly leaving a child in a car is terrifying to me.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I try not to be too high and mighty on these things, because it happens to good parents too.  As loowit pointed out, usually it's because of a change in routine.  I've never done it, thankfully….but I have been so engrossed in thought that I've driven past my neighborhood or done something else.  Could I forget a sleeping infant?  Probably not as a SAHM….but if I had to drop him/her off at daycare….and I breezed by daycare deep in thought and just assumed I had dropped the baby off…it's possible.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/fatal-distraction-forgetting-a-child-in-thebackseat-of-a-car-is-a-horrifying-mistake-is-it-a-crime/2014/06/16/8ae0fe3a-f580-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html

 

 

I was going to link to that WaPo article but I see the lovely Usami beat me to it. It's a great investigation and I came away from it with a lot more empathy for the parents and a better understanding of the issue.

I remember one lines, if you can forget your cell phone you can forget a kid.

Just now I got off routine and totally distracted and came home to find out I had left both the front and back doors wide open. I have never done that. Security is very important to me. But, get me out of my routine and I forgot. It was so out of character the kids thought we had been robbed. Nope, just a distracted mom.

 

 

 

 

I read that Gene Weingarten article linked upthread when it came out and I don't know that I've ever been so affected by a piece of journalism.  That article positively haunts me.

 

 

 

I was going to post that article too. It so, so worth a read, especially if you think you could never do it. It's a powerful article.

 

But, anyone could do it.

 

“Memory is a machine,†he says, “and it is not flawless. Our conscious mind prioritizes things by importance, but on a cellular level, our memory does not. If you’re capable of forgetting your cellphone, you are potentially capable of forgetting your child.â€.....

 

“The quality of prior parental care seems to be irrelevant,†he said. “The important factors that keep showing up involve a combination of stress, emotion, lack of sleep and change in routine, where the basal ganglia is trying to do what it’s supposed to do, and the conscious mind is too weakened to resist. What happens is that the memory circuits in a vulnerable hippocampus literally get overwritten, like with a computer program. Unless the memory circuit is rebooted -- such as if the child cries, or, you know, if the wife mentions the child in the back -- it can entirely disappear.â€

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I ever have left them in the car but I have forgotten to stop at day care and had to turn back and when my youngest is quiet I forget he is there sometimes. I did forget to do up the carseat when my youngest was an infant but luckily nothing happened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have done it twice :( both with my four year old as a newborn. I think I was suffering from some vitamin etc deficiencies because it freaked me out do bad I started taking everything I could think of and my head did clear (vit B and D and fish oils etc)

 

The first time I was walking into walmart and got a few cars away when I noticed my empty sling draped across me :( luckily I had left it on when removing her to put her in the car and it reminded me I had her with me. The second time was at home and she was in the garage. Not hot either thank goodness. I just went in the house and was relaxing on the couch when I got a "something's not right" feeling. There were also a couple close calls where my kids reminded me to get her. I did not have PPD but something was NOT right in my brain. Severe exhaustion and just plain being worn out I think. I remember calling my friend in tears just so distressed and she recommended I take supplements and it did help rid me of the horrible fog. I was fine after my last baby.

 

About ten years ago a toddler at my church died in the hot car. He was supposed to stay home with dad but at the last minute he was upset that mom was leaving so she took him. He fell asleep and she just forgot he was with her :( it was so so tragic.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was going to post that article too. It so, so worth a read, especially if you think you could never do it. It's a powerful article.

 

But, anyone could do it.

 

 

Another powerful quote from that article:

 

In the last 10 years, it has happened to a dentist. A postal clerk. A social worker. A police officer. An accountant. A soldier. A paralegal. An electrician. A Protestant clergyman. A rabbinical student. A nurse. A construction worker. An assistant principal. It happened to a mental health counselor, a college professor and a pizza chef. It happened to a pediatrician. It happened to a rocket scientist.
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure none of the parents this has happened to ever thought it could happen to them either, and I would wager they don't get it either.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't forgotten my dc in the car but I did forget to buckle ds1 in his seat on a drive home from the store. After we got home I felt so sick that I'd done it. Really, even though it was a short drive *anything* could have happened.

 

I read about the Marietta case this morning--so very sad!--and I can understand the whole out-of-routine thing. While I haven't left a child in the car I did forget to pick up ds from school once. As in *completely* forgot. Totally. Dh had come home early from work that day and we were doing something with dd. My brain must have gone into Saturday mode. At 3:15 dh says, "Don't you usually get ds from school about now?" What?!? Yeah, I'm supposed to leave at 3 because it's a 30-min drive! And it wasn't like it just slipped my mind to check the clock. The task was nowhere in my brain at that time. It was like waking up and forgetting what day it is. If dh hadn't said something I'm not sure how long it would have been before I remembered. Thankfully it wasn't a big deal in our case as ds was 15yo at the time. But that situation helps me understand how easy it is to forget even really important things when there is just a little change in routine.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can imagine it.  I can remember being so sleep deprived or simply so overwhelmed with parenting (especially a special needs kid) that I got in the car and drove off and never arrived at the intended place, but found myself someplace completely different.  I can also imagine being so overloaded with stuff to think about ... presentation at 9, lunch with boss at noon, phone appointment, calling child's specialist about some illness, etc ...

 

I have never done it but the fear of forgetting my kids was often a subject of my anxiety dreams.  It's a good think I stopped at 3 or I am sure I would have been one of those people you read about.  There were days that I didn't know my own name.

 

ETA:  I didn't drink (still don't), no drug use, was breastfeeding and was very securely attached to my kids.   But, there by the grace of God, I go. 

 

 

Yes, there but for the grace of God go I, that's how I see it too.

 

The only thing I can think of that would help prevent it is to establish, as part of your leaving-the-car routine, checking the back seat for children.  The same as locking the doors or getting your purse, do it consciously every single time for a few months, even if you know the baby is there or you know the baby is not there, and it should become part of the routine.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

When you're tired, I think anything can happen, even if it's something you could never imagine happening to you.

 

I think this is very true. I left my babies in the car once and totally forgot I had them. They were newborns and had been in the NICU for weeks. I hadn't had them home long, and was more used to them not being there than I was with them being there. I was also dead tired. They weren't nursing well, I was pumping, and nursing each one around the clock every 2 hours, one baby at a time. 

 

I went to a friend's house to drop something off. I got my 2yr old out of the car and went to the porch, leaving the babies in their carseats since they were sleeping. Thankfully, I was aware of what I was doing at first and left both side doors open so they wouldn't get hot and so I could hear them. My friend and I chatted on her porch while our 2yr olds played. The car was just within view if we cared to look. Even though I intended to only stay a few seconds, we ended up staying an hour. I about had a heart attack when DS and I got back to the car and I realized we had left the babies so long. They weren't in danger- it wasn't hot or cold, the doors were open, it was a extremely rural area with no neighbors or traffic, and we would have heard them if they cried. IMO, it was equivalent to them sleeping in a bouncy seat in another room. BUT- I was horrified that I had forgotten them for that hour. It still bothers me. I think I may forgotten that I even had babies. It was just like DS was still an only child on a playdate. He didn't even ask about them and neither did my friend. I realized how easily that I could have been one of those people we read about. I think it was because I was so tired and had been living on adrenaline and stress for weeks. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's very rare, and that's why it hasn't ever happened to me or probably most of us here.  I read the stories and I do believe the people are telling the truth.  I'm sure some of them are nuts or stupid, but not all of them.

 

Also, a significant percentage of kids who died in hot cars actually climbed in there themselves, and nobody realized it until it was too late.

 

I was doing some research on this recently, and I noticed a couple of things.  Some - perhaps most - of these deaths are actually caused in part by safety devices.  The number of kids forgotten in cars shot up at the same time airbags came into general use.  You used to be able to have your kid in the front passenger seat, where it would be a lot harder to forget him.  And, at least some of the cases with older kids (able to get out of their seats and try to open the door) died because of safety features that prevented the doors from being opened from the inside.  Another time a little boy went missing and they assumed he was snatched.  The whole Amber alert, special searchers etc., and nobody thought to look in the car until 4 hours later, when he was already dead.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a break in routine with tired and busy parents...

 

 

I've never left mine in a car, but I have lost the baby...searching frantically...to realize that she's sleeping on my back in the ergo.

 

 

We've left kids at church (yes, more than once).  I thought dh had him, dh thought I had him.  Thankfully, this happened to big kids who weren't scared and could find their way home if there wasn't anyone there to help.

 

 

I took my big 3 kids to the pool this afternoon, leaving the baby napping at home with dh.  I have this kick to the gut feeling when I see her seat empty, and my mind replays where she is.  It's pretty ingrained in me to open the back door before closing mine.  It's such a habit now.  I started it b/c I was afraid of locking myself out of the van w/ kids inside.  That is more likely what I would do.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was working at Wal-Mart, a manager called the police because a parent left a baby in the car in the summertime and they did it on purpose. They said the baby was asleep and they didn't want to wake it up so they went into the store and left the baby in the car. It does happen... even on purpose.

Yes, but that is hardly most cases or most parents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is kind of hard to explain, but my ADHD prevents this from happeni g to me. That seems counterintuitive, but I learned very early in life, subconsciously, that there is NO safe autopilot mode for me. Autopilot for me is chaotic danger. I have to be "on" ALWAYS, and deliberate. I developed a pseudo OCD way of checking constantly and hyper situational awareness. I thought everyone was this way and it would frustrate me when they couldn't see the "obvious" coming. I didn't know til the past 3 or 4 years that I was the unusual one, always compensating. My food allergic children have NEVER had a slipup, because I am never on autopilot with their situations/food. I have to check all things each time (you get quick at that.)

So each and every time I have kids in the car, I know who and when they are in and out of the car. I have to quietly check when we arrive to a place, even home, that all kids are no longer in the car. Just like I have to note consciously where I put my keys and purse (or they are lost forever.)

Yes, it is probably exhausting, but it is all I can ever remember being like, so I have nothing to compare it to.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was terrified this would happen to us because I saw how often my husband would forget wallet, phone, pretty much everything but the keys needed to open the car. He's very absentminded even about lists he writes to go shopping 10 minutes before he leaves

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I try not to be too high and mighty on these things, because it happens to good parents too.  As loowit pointed out, usually it's because of a change in routine.  I've never done it, thankfully….but I have been so engrossed in thought that I've driven past my neighborhood or done something else.  Could I forget a sleeping infant?  Probably not as a SAHM….but if I had to drop him/her off at daycare….and I breezed by daycare deep in thought and just assumed I had dropped the baby off…it's possible.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/fatal-distraction-forgetting-a-child-in-thebackseat-of-a-car-is-a-horrifying-mistake-is-it-a-crime/2014/06/16/8ae0fe3a-f580-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html

That article was incredible.  It covers everything there is to say about this subject.  There is, however, one line which I wish I had not read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did it.  My oldest was 2 and my youngest was 1 month.  My dh had been home for less than a week following a 6 month deployment and I went out to run errands.  I took the baby since I knew she would be waking up and want to eat soon but left the 2 year old, for the first time in 6 months.

 

I hopped out of the car at the bank and ran in to cash a check, luckily it was late November in the mid atlantic so it was cool and my errand only took 10 minutes.  The next day I went out with no kids to finish errands (since I went straight home after I realized I had forgotten her) and drove to the regular grocery store instead of Costco.

 

Autopilot, tired and preoccupied parents and deviations from routine all contribute to these accidents.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was working at Wal-Mart, a manager called the police because a parent left a baby in the car in the summertime and they did it on purpose. They said the baby was asleep and they didn't want to wake it up so they went into the store and left the baby in the car. It does happen... even on purpose.

Yes, you are definitely right about that. Or the cases you hear of when a parent leaves the child in the car while they go buy drugs and then are too stoned to remember...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That article was incredible.  It covers everything there is to say about this subject.  There is, however, one line which I wish I had not read.

 Me too, and I bet it was the same line.

 

It will make me check twice when I leave the car, though, instead of once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do hate that parents who have committed this accident are then sent through the legal system. As if they haven't suffered enough! They have to live with what they've done for the rest of their lives. Our legal system isn't going to somehow impart reparations. Does every accident need to be a crime, too?

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I don't get why the parents are prosecuted when this happens. I don't mean the people leaving the baby to buy drugs or on purpose, but the "dad drove to the office" type cases- why?? The worst has happened! What possible purpose does it serve to charge a person for a crime, when it was a horrible accident? I don't get that.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot imagine a situation like this at all.  I just have never been in a situation where I could have forgotten my kids. 

 

 

I'm sure these parents felt the same way until it happened to them.  Sometimes parents change routines and are so busy and rushed in the mornings trying to get out the door etc...  I could see this happening in families where they're trying to get kids to school and be at work on time, plus dealing with traffic etc.... 
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I don't get why the parents are prosecuted when this happens. I don't mean the people leaving the baby to buy drugs or on purpose, but the "dad drove to the office" type cases- why?? The worst has happened! What possible purpose does it serve to charge a person for a crime, when it was a horrible accident? I don't get that.

 

:iagree:

 

 

Maybe they are investigating to make sure it was truly an accident - but you'd think they could do that without an actual arrest and trial. I don't know how any of that legal stuff works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might be the only one to admit it, but I've done it ....

 

I've done it, too, and it was definitely a situation where routine was different. Thankfully, even though it was summer, we were at a high elevation in a mountainous area and I parked in the shade, I think.  Heat wasn't an issue. We were on vacation in Montana with my family and my husband's family.  I was having a stressful interaction with one particular family member, and we needed something from the store in town, so I told my husband I'd go and I put the baby (she was about a year old) in her carseat in the back. The drive to town was about 10-15 minutes and -- because I was a little consumed with thinking about the situation back at camp, and because the baby had fallen asleep -- by the time I arrived at the store and parked, I'd forgotten she was with me. I took my time in the store, looking at souvenir kitschy stuff, browsing for a snack, finding what I needed, etc.  I walked back out to the car -- and then saw my daughter in the backseat. She was still asleep and I broke down right there.  I remember glancing around and being scared someone was watching the vehicle and that the police had already been called.  I got in the car and drove away, and when I got back to camp, broke down again.

 

It can happen.  I'm very aware of my kids, I maintain that always-checking sense wherever we go (that internal counting mechanism!), I'm a good mom.  I totally understand how good parents can forget and I also don't understand charges in a situation like this.  What did I just read a couple of days ago?  Ummm, oh -- a mom had left a toddler home with three older kids.  The toddler slipped away and was found on/near a highway about 200 yards from the house.  "Police are considering charges against the mother" and I'm like "What?"  All she did was leave her children home under the care of a teenager.  What will she be charged with (and how can leaving kids home with a babysitter be a crime)?  And why?  What good will it do, especially when she didn't do anything illegal or neglectful. Anyway, different topic. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have yet to leave a kid in the car, but probably because it's a HUGE fear of mine.  Plus, my kids are noisy and would never let me forget them.  ;)  Han Solo almost never sleeps in his carseat (lucky me), so it would be hard to forget him.  Indy did sleep in his carseat when he was little, but the minute the car stopped and the door opened, he'd wake up make some sort of noise.

 

I read an article once that said you should put a stuffed animal or blanket in the carseat when the child isn't in it.  When you put the child in, you put the stuffed animal or blanket in the front passenger seat, to remind you that your kid is in the seat instead of them.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would imagine it comes from being so grounded in habit, that it doesn't take much to throw things off.  up here it will occasionally make the news that someone left their CAR on the ferry - because they usually walk on.  talk about embarrassment . . . . .

 

after 2ds was in school - I had no one left at home. the first couple years, I often had times when I was panicking thinking I had forgotten him somewhere and constantly turning around looking for him.

 

and how many times have I started on a route I take frequently - only I'm not going to the usual place, but somewhere else - and followed the 'usual' route - which didn't take me where I wanted to go this time.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I read an article once that said you should put a stuffed animal or blanket in the carseat when the child isn't in it.  When you put the child in, you put the stuffed animal or blanket in the front passenger seat, to remind you that your kid is in the seat instead of them.

 

I put things on the passenger seat to remind me of my errands.  doesn't work - I totally ignore them.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never done it but I can see how it happens. I am constantly forgetting things and I often do go in autopilot mode while driving and end up going in the wrong direction because that is part of my normal routine. One time I was ran into someone in a parking lot and started talking and totally forgot I didn't buckle my toddler yet and as I was driving I saw him appear in my mirror standing up. If it isn't your normal routine to take your child to daycare, the grocery store etc I can see it slipping your mind even though it is what means the world to you back there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read an article when this happened last year that people should put their cell phones in their baby's car seat because the author said that even those who forget their babies will probably not forget their cellphones because they are so connected to it. I tend to agree - with people checking email, FB and twitter all day long, for personal and work reasons, they might even go back to the car immediately to look for the forgotten cellphone in the baby's car seat and maybe find the baby safe.

 

I live in an area where hi-tech startups have their engineers working night and day for weeks in a row with about 2-3 hours of sleep a day until they can push out their first product which can make or break their company. And in our neighboring city, a dad working such extremely long days, living in a sleep deprived fog, was asked by his wife to drop off her 8 month old at the daycare one morning because she had to go in early to work and he forgot that the baby was in his car and drove to his work and the daycare called the mom in the afternoon to check why the baby had not been dropped off and the dad ran to the car and found the baby dead in the middle of the summer. This made the local headlines news here (around 9 years ago). I was so shaken up by it and could not even imagine what hell the father might be going through.

My DH and I live exactly the same lifestyle as this couple and I always fear that we might also forget the child because of too much stress in our lives. So, when my DS was born, I made a rule that whenever my DH took DS in his car, he would call me when he reached the destination (he works 18 hour days sometimes that he does not know what day of the week it is). And to this day, we still have that habit - whether DH drops off at school, at a playdate, drives him to visit relatives etc.

Ofcourse, my DS turned out to be so talkative, noisy and never ever fell asleep in the car that it was impossible to ignore him or forget him in the car seat! But, when he became 4 years old, I taught him how to get out of the car seat and crawl to the front seat and open the car doors in case of an emergency. He can look out for himself now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I don't get why the parents are prosecuted when this happens. I don't mean the people leaving the baby to buy drugs or on purpose, but the "dad drove to the office" type cases- why?? The worst has happened! What possible purpose does it serve to charge a person for a crime, when it was a horrible accident? I don't get that.

The dad in Marietta has been charged with felony murder and won't even be eligible for bail until July 15th

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/authorities-searched-dead-toddlers-fathers-office-/ngP33/

 

Maybe there is something more to the case, but I can't imagine jailing for a tragic accident like this.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brains are imperfect things.

 

I've told this story before.  When my 3 oldest were little (baby, toddler, kindy) I went grocery shopping.  A normal event, but a fairly stressful one!  I threw kids and bags into the minivan, got in the driver's seat, and pulled out of the parking lot.  Suddenly, I realized I didn't remember putting the baby (who was in a bucket car seat) into the car.  I was too afraid to turn around immediately and took some time (surely a fraction of a second, but it felt like ages) to try to conjure up the memory of putting her in, but that brain file simply was not there.  I stopped in the middle of the street to finally turn my head around, and there she was, exactly where she was supposed to be.

 

I cried hysterically.  Sure, she was fine, I didn't screw up.  But the fact that my brain STILL refused to remember putting her in there was terrifying.  If I can do something without remembering I did, obviously I can forget to do something without realizing.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I try not to be too high and mighty on these things, because it happens to good parents too.  As loowit pointed out, usually it's because of a change in routine.  I've never done it, thankfully….but I have been so engrossed in thought that I've driven past my neighborhood or done something else.  Could I forget a sleeping infant?  Probably not as a SAHM….but if I had to drop him/her off at daycare….and I breezed by daycare deep in thought and just assumed I had dropped the baby off…it's possible.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/fatal-distraction-forgetting-a-child-in-thebackseat-of-a-car-is-a-horrifying-mistake-is-it-a-crime/2014/06/16/8ae0fe3a-f580-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html

 

Thank you for posting this. I know a family who lost a child this way. I won't describe their exact circumstances, but it was one of those "swiss cheese" incidents. No one who knew this family ever believed that it was anything but a horrible life-altering mistake. Even though I couldn't fathom forgetting my child in a carseat, I am forced by the empirical evidence to believe that it could happen to me too. How can I say that I would never do this when plenty of people like me have?

 

This is also worth some thought.

 

http://www.salon.com/2014/06/03/the_day_i_left_my_son_in_the_car/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came close one time.  I dropped ds off at daycare on week days, but not on the weekends.  I worked both. The road to his daycare and my work were the same road. The difference was, that I drove past my work parking lot by about 2 miles, to get to his daycare.  One day, I turned into work instead of continuing on to daycare.  Fortunately, he said something from the back seat as I was getting my things situated, and shocked the crud out of me.  I had totally forgot he was there, and could have easily left him in the car had he not spoke up.  I have no idea if I would have visually noticed he was there or not.... 

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I hear of these tragedies, I can't help but to wonder what this does to the marriage of those involved. Even if it's an innocent mistake, even though it could happen to anyone, I'm not sure I'd ever be able to forgive my husband if our child died because he accidentally left them in the car, and vice versa.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to see more sympathy for children than the parents. If the parents had so little feeling and thought for their child that they forgot it in a car, why would I assume they have more feeling when they caused the infant's death. Many people are using our own feelings of empathy and transferring them to people who may not be feeling that at all. I'd rather that these people guilty of man-slaughter feel bad because they are inside jail. Perhaps if this was the consequence more people would remember their children in cars. 

 

This seems to be a case of being distracted and negligent, so why should people's response be compassion for the parents who were negligent in the first place? It is so sad how children's lives seem to hold so little value in our society.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to see more sympathy for children than the parents. If the parents had so little feeling and thought for their child that they forgot it in a car, why would I assume they have more feeling when they caused the infant's death. Many people are using our own feelings of empathy and transferring them to people who may not be feeling that at all. I'd rather that these people guilty of man-slaughter feel bad because they are inside jail. Perhaps if this was the consequence more people would remember their children in cars. 

 

This seems to be a case of being distracted and negligent, so why should people's response be compassion for the parents who were negligent in the first place? It is so sad how children's lives seem to hold so little value in our society.

 

I think you're missing the point entirely.  No one is saying that the child's life was not valuable.  No one has a feeling of "Oh, well.  Dead kid.  They can just make another."  

 

What they're recognizing is that accidents happen.  To everyone.  Dare I say, even to you.  Not every death is a homicide, or even because of criminal negligence.  Sometimes accidents really are just accidents.

 

If any of these parents were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or intentionally left their infants/toddlers in the car, even if they thought it would only be for a minute, or there were other extenuating circumstances, then that changes the story.  In the case of the man in Georgia, it seemed at first like a terrible accident but he has been charged with murder, so it seems there is more to the story than has been made public.  But an accident?  That's exactly what it is.  An accident.

  • Like 17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This actually was just talked about on the news in a slightly different way.

I forget the name, but they were talking about a device that hooks up to your carseat, the rest of the device goes under the passenger seat. It then has a loud continous beeping noise that it makes to tell you that the baby is in the seat. Then if you leave the car and the baby is still in it, it'll make your car horn go off continously.

 

Sounds like a sound idea, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a vast amount of flaws to it as well.

 

Yeah I think the flaw might be that if the sound isn't unusual enough you'd get desensitized to it and it would no longer have an affect as a reminder.  Kinda like I don't notice the seatbelt noise when I get in the car.  I never forget the seatbelt though.

 

So ideally the sounds would rotate or something.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're missing the point entirely.  No one is saying that the child's life was not valuable.  No one has a feeling of "Oh, well.  Dead kid.  They can just make another."  

 

What they're recognizing is that accidents happen.  To everyone.  Dare I say, even to you.  Not every death is a homicide, or even because of criminal negligence.  Sometimes accidents really are just accidents.

 

If any of these parents were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or intentionally left their infants/toddlers in the car, even if they thought it would only be for a minute, or there were other extenuating circumstances, then that changes the story.  In the case of the man in Georgia, it seemed at first like a terrible accident but he has been charged with murder, so it seems there is more to the story than has been made public.  But an accident?  That's exactly what it is.  An accident.

 

I guess, but I still don't get it.  This makes me think of how I felt when the kids were babies.  I would sometimes feel angry towards DH (I usually kept those thoughts to myself) because he seemed capable of not being in a state of constant worry about the kids.  It's why I hated going places with them if there were a lot of people around and I'd have to watch them like a hawk.  It's hard to maintain that vigilant state.  He couldn't do that. He could think about other things.  Me?  No.  So it was just stressful and I kinda resented him for it.  Kinda like the guy in this story, like what the hell how is it you could forget your kid?  And I can't forget even so I can freaking relax a bit.  KWIM? 

 

I do believe there was no malicious intent.  I'm not saying it was not an accident.  I'm sure this is the worst punishment anyone could inflict so I see no need to punish the guy. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess, but I still don't get it.  This makes me think of how I felt when the kids were babies.  I would sometimes feel angry towards DH (I usually kept those thoughts to myself) because he seemed capable of not being in a state of constant worry about the kids.  It's why I hated going places with them if there were a lot of people around and I'd have to watch them like a hawk.  It's hard to maintain that vigilant state.  He couldn't do that. He could think about other things.  Me?  No.  So it was just stressful and I kinda resented him for it.  Kinda like the guy in this story, like what the hell how is it you could forget your kid?  And I can't forget even so I can freaking relax a bit.  KWIM? 

 

I do believe there was no malicious intent.  I'm not saying it was not an accident.  I'm sure this is the worst punishment anyone could inflict so I see no need to punish the guy. 

 

I understand what you're saying.  I can't imagine forgetting my kid, either, but that's only because it has never happened to me.  I'm sure none of these parents on this board, or the ones that his has happened to, ever thought they would, either.  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand what you're saying.  I can't imagine forgetting my kid, either, but that's only because it has never happened to me.  I'm sure none of these parents on this board, or the ones that his has happened to, ever thought they would, either.  

 

I will admit to one thing I "forgot".  I had been out all day with my two.  They were quite young at the time.  I put them back in the car.  I got all the stuff we had with us loaded into the car.  It was rather chaotic and the kids were cranky.  I forgot to buckle one of my kids in.  I drove about 5 minutes and he said mom you didn't buckle me in.  So I pulled over and did it, but man did I feel terrible.  Something could have happened!

 

Since my kids were always with me, I guess that is why I have a hard time imagining how I could forget them.  But it is easy enough to forget stuff for sure. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Typically it is the parent that doesn't normally do it as part of their routine.  They get into tunnel mode of their daily routine and if the child isn't making noise because they are asleep, I can see forgetting.

I suspect this is a big part of how it happens. I can't imagine doing it but I'll bet those parents who have forgotten their kids in the car, regardless of the outcome, couldn't imagine it either. No one thinks they could ever do such a thing.

 

It happened just recently in a city 20 minutes from where I live. The city where my adult niece and my in-laws live. The story mentions a disruption in routine.

 

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/dad-charged-in-death-of-baby-left-in-car-rockledge-police-say/26587552

 

 

I really and truly cannot imagine myself doing such a thing, but as I said I don't think anyone thinks they'd be the one to forget their child anywhere, let alone in a hot car.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...