Skip to comments.Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a child in the back seat...
Posted on 03/17/2009 8:22:37 PM PDT by HaplessToad
The defendant was an immense man, well over 300 pounds, but in the gravity of his sorrow and shame he seemed larger still. He hunched forward in the sturdy wooden armchair that barely contained him, sobbing softly into tissue after tissue...
"Death by hyperthermia" is the official designation. When it happens to young children, the facts are often the same: An otherwise loving and attentive parent one day gets busy, or distracted, or upset, or confused by a change in his or her daily routine, and just... forgets a child is in the car. It happens that way somewhere in the United States 15 to 25 times a year, parceled out through the spring, summer and early fall. The season is almost upon us...
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Reminds me of a story from the Ragamuffin Gospel...
A companion question: how many kids are forgotten when they are in the front seat?
This never happened back when kids never used child safety seats. This is where I place the blame. That and the stupid nanny state laws.
I rode in the front seat standing up. No seat belt. There’s no way I would’ve stayed in a hot car unattended. I woulda got out my own dam self.
I agree. I hate when we criminally charge parents for things like this. This was not done back a few decades ago. Things like accidents happened. People helped the parents cope with their terrible loss with kindness not a trial. I makes me sick they we put parents through this type of things. Nothing is gained by this but a freak show for the reality TV types.
My dad had a station wagon with twin seats in the back that faced eachother, not towards the rear. And the back door opened like a tailgate on a pickup. He would put the tailgate down and we would ride on that.
I remember sleeping in the back of it on long trips. I also remember sleeping on the floor of the front seat area WITH the dog when I was really small.
Sadly, this kind of tragedy is so easily preventable. If you forget your car keys...that may cause an inconvenience. But forgetting to take care of your child can have some pretty serious consequences. I have no doubt he is heartbroken but that doesn't change anything.
Had it been a daycare worker who had left a child on a daycare van...there would be hell.to.pay.
The problem with letting him just go bury his baby, try to comfort the wife, try to forgive himself, try to keep his marriage together is that some evil person might decide to eliminate his child the same way and claim the same defence and we would have to let him go to.
I remember this case. I remember how it was described and the FReepers with whom I was mourning on line that afternoon. He ran out to the car and collapsed. I want him to not be punished because I can only imagine what hell he is living right now. And I think that that punishment is not only enough but too much.
While the combination of hectic work schedules and daycare no doubt play a role in these particular deaths, parents also loose children because of forgetfulness or being unaware of what the child is doing at home, too. And let’s face it, many of us did things as children that parents would be arrested for today, including riding in cars without seat belts, riding in the open bed of a pickup on a highway, riding bicycles without helmets, staying alone in the car while our parents went in to the store, and so on. And that pales in comparison to the childhood risks my parents, aunts, and uncle endured had during the Great Depression. Think about traveling with a baby in steerage on an ocean liner or living in a one room tenement with a baby and no air conditioning or hot running water. The world hasn’t gotten that much more dangerous but our tolerance for mistakes and risks has gotten a lot lower.
Because of other stupid laws that mandate high explosive air bags that can stop an adult without a seat belt that are able to kill even adults weighing under 120 pounds if they are unlucky. Thus we must keep all small humans out of the front seat because we aren't allowed to turn the airbags off.
In the 50s I rode in cars THAT DIDN'T HAVE SEAT BELTS!
My first car -- I had to install the seat belts myself. (They saved my life soon after...)
This, I'm afraid, is the horrible calculus that few are willing to address.
How many kids in the front seat are killed in accidents vs. if they had been forgotten in the back?
I know one thing, however. These people's lives must be Hell on earth 'til their dying day. Can you imagine waking up in the middle of the night, year after year, hoping this is a sick nightmare, then realizing (again), that it's not?
Prayers for these children and their parents are in order.
I will not read it. I can imagine.
I just want to say that I am scatterbrained at times. But I would never forget my child in my car, and do you know why? Because he is ALWAYS with me. I am a stay-at-home-mom and my children are my #1 job, bar none.
I have a 7th sense since my first was born, and it’s the focus that is always there, making sure they are OK.
The only people that would forget their baby was in the car are people that are very often without their baby in the car.
What I forget, on the VERY FEW occasions he is not with me, is that I am not supposed to be in the carpool lane without him! Whoops! But a ticket beats losing my child to a horrible, preventable death.
I know the economy is terrible, but if at all feasible one parent should be with the kids.
“Because he is ALWAYS with me.”
I was that way for awhile. And when he wasn’t with me and I would glance in the mirror and “HE’S NOT THERE!!!! OH MY GOSH, where did I leave him... - oh wait, he’s at home.” (Sleep deprevation with newborn twins played a part too!)
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