A Parent's Worst Nightmare

From the front page of our morning paper…

“A baby girl clad only in a diaper was found clinically dead and almost frozen solid in the snow with a body temperature 21 degrees below normal, say doctors.”

Full story:

“The odds are in her favour right now that she’s going to survive, and if she’s looking as she is today or better, there’s a good chance she’ll come through this with no brain injury.”

The picture of the little footprints in the snow are more chilling than anything one could ever see at rotten.com

It makes one want to hold their own little ones a little closer this cold Sunday morning…


I’m sorry, I feel terrible for these people, but how exactly did this little girl get outside? You’d think that there’d be some locked doors in this housr in the middle of the night??? The article says they were visiting friends, but the friend as a four year old daughter of her own. What the heck were these women thinking???

I hitchiked to Edmunton, Alberta in the dead of winter and it was the coldest I’ve ever been in my life. Imagine being so cold that you stop shivering. I am at a loss to think of how this child got out of the house. Let us all praise modern medicine. If ever such a child had a chance of surviving, it is with today’s superior technology.

Think good thoughts…

I have no idea how that little girl survived. They said that her mouth had to be pried open in order to put an airway in, because basically it was frozen shut. It was -29 here last nite, I was bundled up and still cold. It’s a very sad thing that has happened.

I am going to cry now.
I didn’t read the article since I have a hard time handling such things, but are they going to do something about the situation with the parents, or are the chalking this up to an accident?

“We’re not looking at it as a case of child abuse, but as a tragedy,” said Children Services Department spokesman Jerry Bellikka.

They are looking at it as accidental. The family will have alot to deal with in the upcoming days I’m sure.

from the story

"Police, who initially dispatched child abuse investigators to the scene, said no criminal charges will be laid.
 “We’re not looking at it as a case of child abuse, but as a tragedy,” said Children Services Department spokesman Jerry Bellikka. "

<sigh> mrs beagledave and her tummy just got an extra hug and kiss

While my kids were growing up, I never would have thought to lock doors to keep them in. (Or out, either, of course.)

Was I neglectful? Do other parents do this? Worry about their toddlers leaving the house at night, or in bad weather?

When we locked our doors, it was to keep things out.

Like AuntiePam I never locked the door to keep my kids in. Until one of them got out. When my (now 14 year old) son was between 12 and 18 months old, he slipped out the front door early one AM, while Mr. Jess and I were still abed. Fortunately, the milkman had visited and Nick was sidetracked by all the goodies in the milk box. He broke a dozen eggs, ate 1/2 a pound of butter (and smeared the other 1/2 into the screen door) and was working on opening the pint of half-and-half when we found him. I put up a chain-lock on the front and back door that very day. Reading a story like the one in the OP gives me the shivers…

This is so sad. A similar thing happened here in Sweden this weekend. A young couple with a 3 month old baby in the back seat went to a convenience store to buy diapers. The husband went inside, and the wife stayed in the car. She suddenly realized they also needed milk or something and left the car, keys in ignition and motor running to go inside to tell her husband.

As she’s walking into the store, someone is walking out. Wife realizes she has left her wallet in the car and tells her husband to go out and get it for her. He goes out, only to see the car starting to pull out. He grabbed a hold of the handle but had to let go.

The police are called to the place and involves virtually everyone to search for the car, taxi drivers, newspaper deliverers and anyone else driving around. The car was discovered at 6 in the morning, 7 hours after the car had been stolen. The car thief had just stolen the car on a whim, he’d seen it outside the store with the motor running and couldn’t resist taking it to drive home. (He lived about an hour and a half away.) Halfway there, he discovered there was a baby in the back seat, and he abandoned the car where he was sure it would be discovered, and then, get this, he had watched it until someone came along and noticed it! I don’t know whether to admire this guy or want to hit him in the head with a baseball bat. he turned himself in to the police later on and has been crying on the news saying he had no idea there was a baby in the car.

Anyway, the baby had a temperature of 36.5, and will be just fine.

A few years ago, while I was still tending bar, I came home at my usual time of 3 am. I had left the lights dimmed wso as not to wake the household while I tried to wind down from work. My then three year-old-son, surprised me by walking up to the front door and opening it, deadbolt and all. I grabbed him and put him back to bed. We didn’t know that he knew how or even had the strength to work the door lock as well as the deadbolt. I don’t know why he was trying to leave or where he was planning on going, but we bought 3 kinds of additional door locks after that. A hotel style arm lock, which he quickly figured out, and then a chain with slide bolt and another type of hotel style lock, both of which kept him in. If I had already been asleep, would it have been child abuse? Sometimes kids can really surprise you. I’m glad the little girl will be okay, but you can’t foresee everything that a little kid will do.

A good friend of mine has an autistic child who is prone to wandering away into dangerous situations. A few months ago he walked into the middle of a major boulevard during afternoon rush hour. The parents have been forced to replace the knobs and normal deadbolts with those that can only be opened with a key from the inside.

When my husband was a toddler, he quietly slipped out of the house, and into a Chicago winter. His mom quickly discovered that he was missing, and the police and the whole neighborhood frantically searched for him. The family dog had followed him out, and when he was found a few blocks away, the normally docile golden retriever wouldn’t let the police near him. His mom had to call off the dog. Rusty had guarded him and kept him warm, and he was shivering, but otherwise unharmed after being out alone for over an hour.

::hugs baby tight::

I am continually surprised by the things that my daughter knows that I didn’t know she knew. It’s astonishing. Locked doors are a piece of cake for her. And now she’s strong enough to drag things and stack them to reach things that are too high–like the chain lock on the front door. Thanks goodness that our house is small enough that no matter where I am in it, I can hear her.

I think she’s gotten the message about going outside the house, though. Stern lectures about the street being very dangerous, and the death of a beloved kitty from an accident outdoors kind of hit home for her–don’t go outside without Mom or Dad. She’s four years old now, so things are getting a little easier for her to comprehend.

I hope that little baby is okay. I couldn’t read the story either. Stuff like that causes me physical pain.

Last I heard on the news the baby was going to be alright. She was very lucky though they might have to amputate some limbs because of frostbite complications or something like that. They also said they figure the door wasn’t latched properly (at least the outer door) because the babysitter went home not too long before everyone went to bed. This is such a sad story… if I ever have kids I’m gonna watch them carefully…

I feel for that child. I wandered outside one day in the winter when I was about four, in my socks, no coat. Luckily, I went next door to visit the older couple there rather than wandering away.

What saddens me even more than the ordeal this girl went through is that the first thing people think when this stuff happens anymore is, “The parents were negligent!” I’m not a parent, but it seems nowadays that if a parent isn’t in sight of any child under six at all times, people think they’re bad parents. Have times really changed that much that anything other than absolutely constant supervision is necessary, or are we becoming paranoid?

Good news on the lil tyke. The 6:00 p.m. newscast showed her pic, she’s an angel and she has been taken off the ventolator. They said she started breathing on her own immediately. There is still a fear that she may have to have some amputation of the limbs if they get infected, but at this point, she is doing well.

Yeah, as a parent this horrifies me but my first question wasn’t “What sort of lousy parents…” My mom was just telling me that my niece once crawled out of her crib, pulled a chair to the front door to reach the lock, unlocked it, and went outside while everyone was still asleep. The neighbors found her walking down the street and brought her back. She wasn’t much older than 2 and they had no idea she could climb out of her crib, much less unlock the door like that.

Kids are amazing.
I saw on one of the home video shows, a tape of a kids doorway. The parents couldn’t figure out how they were getting out, since they had TWO babygates, stacked one on top of the other.
The vidoeshowed the older kid, maybe 3 years, climb up BOTH gates and let himself down the other side. He then open the bottom one and let his sister out. His folks were horrified, but glad they had those gates wedged in there tight!

JayJay, when I posed the question, I wasn’t on a witch hunt, only curious as to what was being done, and seeing if all senerios were covered.
You will have to admit there are some different kind of people out there.

My four year old is a sleep walker, so I worry. He can also open things I never knew he could, so yes we keep the doors locked, and the locks are up high to where I even have a hard time reaching them.

I am so glad to hear that she is on the road to recovery. What those poor people are going through has got to be heartbreaking.

And Persephone, I get pysically ill myself.
I just had a girl at work telling me that it was her five year old cousin that was just killed in a mobile home fire here a few weeks ago. She said that his mother was only a few feet away and could hear him calling to her “mommy, I’m right here” If you are like me those word rang all in my head and I of course put myself there as a mother. I think alot of parents do that. Goddess it hurts even if it isn’t your child.
{{{{{{{Persephone}}}}}}} Just because I’ve been there, and know what it feels like.