When will people learn about leaving kids in locked cars?

Neither mundane nor pointless but I don’t have the strength to rant, and I haven’t seen this story here yet.

I’m giving the mother the benefit of the doubt and hope she made a terrible mistake and then freaked out but leaving her kids in the car for 8 hours???

When the kids “learn” to drive.

Wait- that’s wrong?

Because people keep giving them the benefit of the doubt.

What’s with parent’s leaving the bodies of their dead children in random places around the house?

What’s up with that, America?

Is it really that hard to remember your child? I dont have kids, so I dont know. But I couldn’t imagine I’d need a stuffed animal to remind me that my child is with me. Is this really a problem for people?

It’s a very confusing story to read, but after several tries I get from it that:

  • she didn’t have a babysitter so she took them to work and left them in the car for her 15 hour shift
  • the children were found beneath her sink wrapped in garbage bags

And somewhere in there the car broke down in an Arby’s parking lot, which is where it was found.

So either way she stopped for a quick supper with her children dead. If it was before she got them home, she carried them home to wrap in garbage bags rather than call an ambulance when her car broke down. Or she left them beneath her sink like trash while she went to eat.

I can’t imagine what was going through her mind, but here’s a pretty good bet she snapped. Whether it was before or after she left her children alone in a hot car who the hell knows.

I read an article in the local paper a couple of days ago saying that deaths of children who have been left in cars have jumped since people started using the rear-facing car seats placed in the back seat of the car. The stuffed animal is a visible reminder that there is something in the car you need to remove.

I don’t think there is any excuse, then again, I’ve almost made it two years without doing it, and I’m pretty scatterbrained at times.

I’ve not been able to wrap my head around a rear facing seat, especially since the view is the same from the front whether the seat is empty or full. I had the mirrors installed just in case

I’m amazed that my husband, who can not just leave the house with everything he needs and must make a few trips back every single day, hasn’t left her. Or, if he has, hasn’t done much brain damage (Bug, Get the bucket off your head and stop eating the dog!) Oh, wait…:stuck_out_tongue:

Here is a more professionally written article.

I have two kids. My normal routine is to take my oldest to school and then take the youngest to the sitter. Once or twice I’ve reversed that and proceeded to go straight to work instead of taking the oldest to school. It’s a fairly long trip (about 45 min) and sometimes, especially if she didn’t sleep well the night before, she’ll fall asleep in the back seat. Couple that with me thinking about the day ahead it’s easy to forget she’s back there. Especially since once I leave the sitter’s house, the route to the school is almost the same as the route to work. It’s easy to slip in the driving routine. Fortunately I’ve never completely forgotten her, I always remember at the point where I’ve passed the school and need to double back. There have also been times when I’ve gone through the routine of picking her up from school before remembering that her father has picked her up already.

So I can understand part of it. But I don’t understand how you get out of the car without noticing that your kids are still in it. Especially more than one kid.

Here is a really interesting AP story, Sentences vary when kids die in hot cars. It’s partly statistical about how and why it happens, – sometimes accidental, sometimes deliberate, by care givers or parents, and how the justice system treats them differently.

These cases range from people who get drunk or stoned and forget, to people like Kevin Kelly, father of 12:

Here’s an article talking about the rise in deaths after the move to put kids in the back seat, after it was found that airbags are dangerous. An incident similar to the one in the article happened here, where a flustered father, not used to dropping the kid off in day care, drove to work and forgot the kid until his wife called - when it was too late, alas. I believe articles locally said 210 deaths were associated with leaving kids in rear facing seats in the last 10 years, but I can’t find a specific link. Anyhow, it seems to have happened often enough so it seems to be more of a design flaw than the case of an evil parent.

What they said. I’ve never forgotten my kid (or someone else’s - a good thing, since I’m a babysitter!), but I’ve come close. Big carseats are the thing these days, often “3-way” carseats which serve as rear facing for the littlest ones, but built big enough to seat a 100 pound kid. They’re built to enclose the child in plastic and fabric from three sides. Put it in facing the rear, add an infant who’s been up all night, a parent who’s also been up all night (with the baby, natch) and I can see where overtired parent+huge carseat +baby falls asleep would get spacey and make a horrible oversight. Toss a deviation from normal routine (like Mom is s’possed to take the baby to the sitter on her way to work, instead of Dad, who normally does it) and things can get understandably and still horrifically bad really quickly.

Here’s a picture of an infant in the rear-facing position in a medium sized car seat. Imagine how that looks from the driver’s seat, or even walking along the side of the car. The baby is practically invisible. *ETA: I’m sorry, that’s a **small **seat, designed for rear-facing use for infants under 20 pounds and a year old only. I can’t find a pic of a rear-facing 3way seat in use. *Other smaller seats have sunshades - great for when the carseat is doubling as a stroller seat, but again, blocking the view of the baby from a distracted, tired parent.

I also get upset because news stories about things like this make it very hard for me to leave my daughter for even a moment in the car alone. I’ve had strangers standing next to my car peering in at her when I got back from putting the cart in the corral at the grocery store - never out of sight of the car, but they didn’t know that. Just yesterday, she was sleeping in the car (and sweaty despite the air conditioning, 'cause she sweats when she sleeps regardless of the ambient temperature.) I wanted to grab a Monster at the convenience store. Knowing how bad it would look to a passerby, I wrote “In [name of store] buying beverage - left at 2:07, please don’t call the police unless I’m not back in two minutes,” on a piece of scrap paper and wedged it into the window weatherstripping. And the whole time I was still watching out the big window (and I chose the big window store instead of the drugstore across the street with energy drinks on sale for just that reason). I hate having to be that paranoid, but it’s better than having a perfectly understandable Good Samaritan call the cops on me because a sweaty unconscious baby was in a locked car for 58 seconds.

Who once forgot her kid was in a carseat on top of the car - but remembered before actually starting the car and driving off, thank goodness.