With all the national publicity about parents leaving their children in hot cars lately, you would hope that it just wouldn’t happen anymore, but it did! And like many of the stories about parents leaving children in hot cars – this latest story defies common sense.
A Florida mother left her 2-month-old daughter in a hot minivan in Orlando. But here is why this story is so incredible – the mother left her baby in the minivan outside of a pediatrician’s office where she had taken her 9-year-old daughter to see the doctor.
At some point in the doctor’s office with her 9-year-old, the mother realized that she left her baby in the car. She rushed out to the minivan and grabbed the child – and fortunately she was already at the doctor’s office. Doctors were able to stabilize the baby and she was then taken to Children’s Hospital, where she is now recovering.
The mother, whose name was not released, faces a felony charge of child neglect. No other details were released by police.
Statistics vary, but approximately 40 children die from being left in hot cars by their parents. In relation to the total population – 40 children dying annually from this cause is a tiny percentage – but child deaths from being left in a hot car are 100% preventable. Also - the idea of “forgetting” a child in a car should be inexcusable in our society.
This is not just a threat during the summer – it is also a threat in parts of the country when it is often well below freezing for extended periods during the winter.
Articles and news stories with suggestions on how to make certain you do not forget your child when you get out of the car are appearing everywhere. And many of the suggestions are met with approval and relief that there are things parents can do to remind themselves they have a child in the car. The growing number of stories about not forgetting your child in your car only seem to legitimize the excuse that parents need help in remembering their children in the car.
A teenager has invented a car seat that will send a heat-generated alert to the parent that the child is still in the car seat. A CNN legal contributor has also received a lot of attention for something that she does to remember she has her children in the car – she takes her shoes off and places them in-between the two car seats. Since she would immediately realize she didn’t have her shoes on when getting out of the car – she would be instantly reminded that her children were still in there too. That must be one distracted mom!
I understand that people are busy, and with cellphones, tablets and laptops we are constantly in work mode – but is it ever excusable to forget you have your child with you?
The current downfall of some aspects of American society is paved with convenient excuses that deflect personal accountability. The more excuses our society tolerates for inexcusable behavior – the more inexcusable behavior will become acceptable.
Children come into this world and they need us to protect them. They are innocent and defenseless. A parent literally straps their child into a car seat – also known as a child-restraint seat – and the child is left helpless to die in a hot car.
The excuses for leaving children in hot cars and the inventions and methods of reminding parents that they have left their child in the car are reaching a ridiculous high. Some might even argue that it was forgivable for the Florida mother to leave her 2-month-old baby in the car while she took her 9-year-old to the doctor because she only had the young baby for 2 months – maybe she wasn’t used to having the child in her life yet? Of course, she wouldn’t forget the 9-year-old – she had 9 years to bond with that child! Ridiculous – but so are other excuses.
If you think you might forget your child in the car – I have one suggestion that will guarantee that you NEVER forget your child – don’t cut the umbilical cord!