The Thinking 

On Children Stowed in Hot Cars

May 9, 2012



This will make some people mad, but I have nothing but sorrow for normal people (not psychopaths) who just have this sudden memory blackout and leave their children in the car in the sorts of situations you describe. They have to live with the consequences of what they did for the rest of their lives. They are being punished enough. Jailing them or chopping their hand off will not prevent these kinds of occurrences. Especially mothers of small children are sometimes so fatigued and overburdened their brain sometimes does not function as it should. No, it hasn’t happened to me, but it could have, and I thank God when I read about these things that it has not.

Laura writes:

And, I feel sorry for decent people who have too much to drink and then kill someone in a car accident. But, they are guilty of negligence and should be punished. I wrote before that parents of children who have died this way should not be criminally charged, but I disagree now. I think a jury should decide how much negligence has occurred. I remember once reading a case of a grandfather who had left a child in the car. Clearly he was not to blame.

These cases often, if not always, involve children who are being shuttled to day care or babysitters. As I said before, these deaths should weigh heavily on the consciences of all those who trumpet women’s “liberation” and the casual destruction of home. For every baby neglected this way, there are thousands who are neglected in smaller, less noticeable ways, leading chaotic lives, shunted around like packages and suitcase, while a woman like Elizabeth Badinter is idolized in the press for her comments on over-mothering. While Badinter almost certainly had nannies to care for her children when they were young, other men and women are driven to exhaustion and child neglect trying to keep up with the lifestyle feminists trumpet.

 —– Comments —–

Buck writes:

Obviously there are a host of everyday tasks and responsibilities that are more important and pressing than the precious and helpless child strapped in the backseat between the briefcase and the case of margarita mix. Life is difficult and hectic. How’s a parent supposed to keep up with everything when the cell phone keeps ringing?

The thought that I could have ever FORGOT that my son was with me in my vehicle … I wouldn’t have to punished. I’d already be dead, by my own hand.

Laura writes:

Yes, if I did that to a child, I would want to go to jail.

Fred Owens writes:

Mothers, instinctively and by training, continuously care for infant children. Fathers can do it by training, but they lack the instinct. I would guess that men, more often then women, forget about children in hot cars.

I was left in the care of my infant son once — he was about three months old. This was 35 years ago, and his mom wanted to go out, and I felt I could watch the little tiger for a few hours. But I kind of spaced it out. Mom came home and found little Eugene with a poopy diaper and the beginning of a rash, and he had been howling with rage about this.

Well, I caught hell for my negligence, but we, as parents, also decided that my training was not as good as her instinct-plus-training and my experiment with infant care was short-lived. I should add, I more than made up for that by a thousand hours of paternal care when the little ones became older.

Laura writes:

I don’t know whether more men are guilty of this than women. It may be.

Here is a case I mentioned before of a successful doctor who left her child in the car.

Karen I. writes:

The website is an excellent resource for anyone looking for information about kids left in hot cars, and all other kinds of mishaps involving children and non traffic accidents. It features statistics, tragic stories and information about prevention. I knew that leaving a child in a hot car was obviously very dangerous, but the site also clearly shows how hazardous it is to let a child play in front of or in back of vehicles. Many drivers think they can see a child and don’t realize what a large blind spot exists around their vehicle. Many tragedies have occurred when someone simply could not see a child playing around their vehicle when they put it in motion. Also, the dangers of power windows are something I was not aware of. Children have been killed when they put their head out a window and leaned on the button that makes the window go up. The windows don’t have a mechanism that makes them stop if something is in their way, and children can be killed very quickly if they lean out the window and push on the button that makes the window go up. Parents often don’t realize there is no safety feature to prevent this and they should never allow their child to lean out a car window.

Ben writes:

I have always scolded my younger sisters for playing around and especially behind vehicles. Not only are plastic tricycles and metal bikes hard on the finish of a very expensive piece of equipment, the danger of getting run over is very real. I personally know someone who backed over their child, he survived, with serious injuries.

If I have to park facing in, I always check behind my vehicle before I get in and start it. This has saved me a lot of time and money, because I can spot and remove any debris that can damage my tires. It goes without saying that a child or large toy will be detected too.

I am not very fond of the organization “KidsandCars” from a legislative standpoint, they sponsor unnecessary regulations that make autos more expensive. I don’t need the government mandating expensive equipment for my vehicle just because a small number of people have no common sense. With any vehicle, from the Chevy full size van that was my first car, to my diminutive Mazda Miata, there are blind spots that can easily hide a child or a number of hazards. If the parents and/or the vehicle operator are paying attention, all of these issues with power windows, sunroofs, backup accidents, or leaving the child in the car go away, no government intervention needed. We need more operator skill, not more gadgets to distract us.

I own many guns, but the deadliest thing I own is 3600lbs, 14 feet long, painted red, and has SUBARU written across the back. I think the most dangerous thing any reader of this blog owns is probably something similar, and if they are a mother, probably even larger and heavier. Let’s be careful out there…arger and heavier. Let’s be careful out there…

Arete writes:

Breastfed babies do not get left in hot cars. The mother is linked bodily to her child. Breastfeeding creates a bond which does not let her forget. Her instincts and her breasts full of milk tell her to go find that baby! The less time you are with physically close to the baby the less you are connected. Feminists would like to destroy that close bond so that mothers can do “important” public work but babies will inevitably die if mothers are encouraged to suppress their milk and along with it their sixth sense about the safety of their baby. Whether you call it nature or God, it is a brilliant system that insures survival of the young.

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