How Could You FORGET?!

We've all seen the headlines of babies dying from being left in hot cars. About 37 children die each year in that situation. Some are out-and-out neglect cases which result in much deserved charges for the parent or caretaker.

But most seem to be the "I forgot" defense. Busy lives. Both spouses working, swapping who takes the kids to daycare. Running errands, going to meetings or work, etc.

Charges generally are not filed against these parents, because it was a mistake. A tragic mistake. And at that point, unless they can prove the action was neglectful, it wouldn't bring the child back. Their child's death is enough punishment.

What really baffles me is hearing the parents say, "I forgot little Billy was in the car." How in the world can that even happen? The baby may fall asleep, but at some point they will fuss, cry, laugh, and play with noisy toys.  It's true that rear facing car seats inhibit your view of the baby, but a mirror can easily be placed on the back of the seat they are facing, so you can glance in your rear view mirror and see your child's reflection. There are just so many things you can do to prevent this! Being busy and distracted is no excuse. Checking on your child when you are driving should be as common as checking all of your mirrors, watching traffic, and watching the speedometer. Eyes checking, scanning, checking.

I am terribly forgetful and when our daughter was a baby, I had plenty of distractions and stressful days. But I never once forgot she was in the car with me. Never.

You can forget milk when you go shopping. You can forget your cell phone at the office. You can forget your gym bag in the car. But NEVER forget your child is in the car.



Grumpy said…
It is truly baffling how this happens so often. Now the suggestion is that the driver leave a purse or briefcase in the back seat so they have to retrieve it and see the baby.
Valerie said…
This is beyond belief! People who can 'forget' should have their kids taken off them for safety's sake ... or give them similar treatment to that given to their child. Ooh, I'm angry now.
Mr. Shife said…
I don't get that excuse either. Just doesn't make sense to me. It's unfortunate that the kiddos are the ones that have to pay the ultimate price.

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