Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hot Cars

Ugh, please stop leaving your kids in hot cars. If I hear yet another story about this I might burst.

It seems most of the time this isn't a malicious act. For some reason it just doesn't occur to people that cars get extremely hot when the windows are closed and there's no air conditioning on. Isn't this common sense? I think one major problem is that many people don't realize how quickly a car can reach dangerous temperatures, nor do they realize how vulnerable small children are. Then there are the parents who simply forget their children are in the car, for whatever reason. Even more unfortunate are the cases of parents deliberately leaving their kids in cars for long periods while they go off and do other things, again, not realizing the dangers of the heat.

There was a case recently of a Toronto family who was visiting their relatives in Texas. It was incorrectly reported the parents had been preoccupied with their seven year old because he was having a seizure, and so forgot their two year old was in the car. Actually, the seven year old actually had autism and his parents brought him into the house to feed him because he was on a strict schedule.

I haven't read any reports that explain why neither the parents nor the four other family members who had also been in the car thought to bring the two year old into the house, leave a window open for him or come back for him? And none of these six people clued in that he was missing until TWO HOURS later! How can anyone, and so many people, be that distracted, especially when the only rush is to feed another child who isn't even having a medical emergency? Not one of those six people thought to nor had the time to take the two year old inside? And not one of them remembered he was in the car? It doesn't make sense. Don't forget we're talking about Texas heat. I keep thinking about how much that child must have suffered.

I understand that life can get chaotic. These parents obviously had a lot on their plate, but I just don't understand the excuses the media have given them. We should be sympathetic, of course. These parents lost their child and probably already feel horribly guilty. Still, that doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about this. I'm sorry, but this is a case of negligence, like so many others I've heard lately.

It's important to ask questions about what we read, hear or see on the news. Many kids are left in hot cars accidentally. I'm sure many parents have their reasons for it, like tending to another child, but why has that story garnered media sympathy and most of the other incidents have not? I'm angry the parents of the deceased two year old will not be charged.

15 comments :

  1. Good post - same goes for animals as well.

    Jane

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  2. It happens over and over again and it does make you just scratch your head in wonderment. We had a case here a few years back where the dad was going to drop off the toddler at daycare and forgot she was in the car as it was not his normal routine. She fell asleep and he went on to work. He did not know for hours that she was in the parking lot, dead in the car, until his wife called the daycare to check on her and found she was never dropped off.

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  3. I think if I had caused the death of my child, you might as well immediately execute me because nothing would hurt me more than losing the child. You would not have to be calling for my prosecution. Nothing worse could be done to me that I am not already doing.

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  4. Thank you for your passion and concern. On average 37 children in the US die after being left alone in a car. For more information go to Facebook and Take the Forget Me Not USA Pledge, forgetmenotusa.com, kidsandcars.org, 4Rkidssake.org and harrisonshope.com
    Remember, if you see a child alone in a car at any time of the year, call 911 immediately. Also, heat stroke is ALWAYS a medical emergency. Do not hesitate to call for help.

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  5. As Judge Judy would say "if it doesn't make sense it's not true". It doesn't make sense that not one of 6 people didn't notice the 2nd child missing.

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  6. "Oops, my bad" really shouldn't be a legal defense.

    Said child in question isn't any less dead regardless of the intent.

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  7. There's even a law here about leaving your animals in a car. I can't imagine what you would have to be thinking to forget a child!

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  8. Yep, I don't understand how things like this happen...but there a lot of screwy things in this world that I don't understand...

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  9. As much as I hate what happened, and how it continues to happen out of sheer stupidity, my heart goes out to that Canadian family. They came from circumstances that most normal families don't face on a daily basis; their oldest child is severely autistic and must follow a very strict schedule just to maintain some semblance of order and organization in his life. When your entire day goes into the life of one child, other details often fall by the wayside. In this case, the result was deadly and horribly tragic. Those parents, both those families, are going to live the rest of their lives knowing that those hours of inattention, probably spent caring for the autistic child, cost them the life of their son. It must be agony, and I can't think of a more brutal punishment.

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  10. As impossible as everyone thinks this could be, please read the Pulitzer Prize winning article, "Fatal Distraction" by Gene Weingarten.

    The memory experts tell us if you have the capability of forgetting your keys or your cell phone; you could also forget your child. Your memory (primitive brain) does not place value on what is forgotten.

    The other aspect that appears to have taken place here is that when there is a group of people, everyone else ‘thinks’ someone else has brought in the child.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022701549.html?sid=ST2009030602446

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  11. The heart wrenching agony would be too much for me. I have a two year old and love him more than anything. The disgust other people would have for me would pale in comparison to my self loathing. Just writing about how I would think about his suffering after his passing makes me sick to my stomache. I know he would have thought of me. I know he would wish I would have saved him. When I finally found him I would rock him in my arms for hours saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry." No one would able to comfort me

    Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. That is what happens in these cases. A dead child does not mean bad parents.

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  12. Jane - Thank you! I was thinking about animals too when I wrote that too, but didn't think it was appropriate or accurate to include them.

    Jayne - Someone told me about a case like that. I'm trying to wrap my head around it and others. Thanks for sharing.

    Helen - Yes, a lot of parents say that. It makes perfect sense to me.

    Andrea - Thanks for the information!

    Malepeka - Some have tried to explain how this can happen or what might have happened, but I still don't get it.

    Brad - I agree that because it was an accident shouldn't necessarily mean the person shouldn't be charged, but I think "Oops my bad" is unfair because the parents do care and certainly don't take the situation so lightly.

    Jack - I'm glad there are laws for dogs too. I can't understand it either. I don't think I ever will.

    Joe - Yes, I don't understand either, but like you I also know there is a lot I don't understand. There are two sides to every story. Maybe with more information from the parents, this will make more sense to me.

    Laura - Yes, I definitely sympathize with them too. It was mainly the fact that there were six adults in that car and none of them brought the child in or went to get him, that I didn't get. And the fact that it took two hours for the parents to figure out he was missing. I have so many questions. Thanks for trying to help me understand. I'm trying to, I really am.

    Anonymous - Thanks for the links and the information. Others have explained the psychology of this to me. I still don't get it.

    Dr. Goose - Thanks for your heartfelt comment. I can't imagine what the parents must be going through. Still, there are too many holes in this story.

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  13. This is too sad and unfortunate. Ashley, thank you for your concern and common sense thoughts. You'd think it's common sense.

    On another note, thanks for stopping by my site today with your sweet comment, I enjoyed hearing from you :) Hope you have a good night!

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  14. Jinnia - Thank you! Yes, I really am concerned. I'm glad that came through.

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  15. Its sad that parents get so busy and overwelmed with their life they put their children 2nd.

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