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  1. #1

    Default forgotten babies in the car

    It's that time of year when you hear about those tragic deaths when a parent forgets a child in the car seat.

    Should these parents be prosecuted for homocide?

    I can't help but think there's no punishment the court system can come up with that would be more harsh than the self punishment and guilt the parent inflicts on themselves.

    Should prosecutors show compassion or vigorous enforcement?
    http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

    Originally Posted by JSwan
    I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


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  2. #2
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    I don't see the point of prosecuting them. People do not avoid forgetting babies in a car because they are afraid of prosecution. The motive for remembering is to keep the child safe, not to stay out of jail. People who have forgotten are probably less likely to forget their other children in the car, so it isn't avoiding future harm.
    I absolutely think that people who knowingly leave a child in the car should be prosecuted, but I'm much less comfortable with prosecuting who sincerely forgot.


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  3. #3
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    I used to think they should show compassion and let it slide. However there was recently one where the mother was high and left the baby in the car seat on the roof of the car and drove away.
    I think the circumstances need to be well investigated to make sure the parent/grandparent wasn't high, drunk or just leaving the kid in the car to go gamble at PARX casino.

    If it is clear that it truely was an accident with no contributing factors then I don't think they need to go through a trial.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


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  4. #4
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    I think it depends. This latest case in Florida (right down the road from me, actually) was really horrific. Guy said he had a really hectic and distracting day, and just forgot. I really cannot fathom what would lead someone to do this, but in his case, I think it's true - he wasn't drinking, had no known history of drugs (that I know of - he's the cousin of one of my friends, and has basically been a pretty standup guy up till this point). In the cases where they leave the kids to go into a bar or to buy drugs? Yeah, in those cases probably.


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  5. #5
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    Last year I read an article by a psychologist (I think) about this topic. It was a really great read, and basically explained how the way our brain is wired to process information is a big part of why this happens. It was very sad and left me feeling terrible for the people who end up doing this, not being angry at them for being horrible parents (as most people do in these situations).
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  6. #6
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    Nov. 15, 2005
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    Bear with me....

    I wonder about these cars that warn you that... there's someone in your blind spot... you're about to rear end something... have cameras so you don't have to turn around and LOOK with your eyes to see behind you...
    These cars that the commercials for same [Infinity I am looking at you] ABDICATE part of the driving responsibility... the car will do the work. I think the Infinity ad says something like... 'so you can focus on driving' when in fact the video and narration of the ad details everything on the mind of the driver BUT driving... his e-mails, messages, etc....

    When you are driving your car... DRIVE YOUR CAR.
    No texting, no phoning, stop your mind and stop worrying about work and BE IN THE MOMENT.

    Awareness is partly to blame for these incidents.

    At 22 months of age, my son in the car meant we were singing songs together and talking about what we saw- big trucks, big buildings, etc...
    Was this GA toddler in the car so early that he fell asleep and therefore they were not interacting? Did the father never once in driving to work or parking talk to the kid? Look in the rearview and see him? Turn around to look behind his vehicle and see toddler?

    I do think that there's no legal punishment that will compare to this parents lifetime of knowing his negligence caused his child's slow, horrific death.

    On the other hand, when is an accident not an accident?
    Leaving a loaded, chamber'd gun on a nightstand/under a pillow/on the dining table/... is not an accident.

    IIRC, this parent [the GA incident] not only left the kid in his vehicle while he was at work, but then got back in the car after work and drove to a mall... so didn't notice the kid in the back upon re-entering the car? Didn't notice an odor [a baked diaper that had to have pee if not poop and pee in it smells]?
    Didn't look in rearview mirror or turn his head/neck to look behind him and SEE his kid in the back?

    If not, why not?
    What level of preoccupation such that you neglect your child is prosecute-able?
    I don't know. But I also think that prosecuting *might* mean people get their heads in the game and focus on what they are doing and not the bajillion other things that distract them to the point the do not notice a living human being they love is in the vehicle.
    Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

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  7. #7
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    I can see it easily happening if it's out of the ordinary (the other parent usually does it) to take your child to daycare before work.

    I know I was always on automatic pilot. In the way back machine, I was promoted and moved to another building down the road. I actually parked, walked in and sat down at my old desk. I never lived that one down.

    However, I know I have that problem, I would make damn sure, with an alarm, putting my purse next to the car seat, something so I was paying attention.

    Sometimes babies are sleeping or quiet in the car.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  8. #8
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    When they moved babies to the backseat the problems skyrocketed.

    The article posted below by Fordtraktor is the article I am thinking of... It broke my heart to hear the stories of parents on autopilot doing their work and forgetting the babies. Just so, so sad.
    Last edited by katarine; Jun. 20, 2014 at 10:16 AM.


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  9. #9
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    Apr. 28, 2008
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    Every time this topic comes up I post this article. All parents should read it, and anyone who feels like "I could never do that" and needs to develop some empathy should too: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifest...a52_story.html

    It could happen to anyone, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning article explains how. Devastating.

    My baby often sleeps in the car. Have fun singing and talking to a sleeping baby, Angela Freda. it feels pretty stupid. You can't engage a sleeping infant

    I keep my purse in front of the baby's car seat, so I have to go back there to get it. But I don't know if I would have thought to do that if I hadn't read that horrific article.


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  10. #10
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    I feel horribly for the families and children involved when it is truly an accident. Yes, our minds can go on auto-pilot...

    When I was a brand new mother I heard a tip: leave something of your baby's on the passenger seat- like a diaper bag, bottle, stuffed animal, blanket- ANYTHING that might remind you that the baby is back there just in case you go on auto-pilot. I thought it was a very good idea.


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  11. #11
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    If it was a honest mistake, I think the parent has been "punished" more than enough by having to live with that mistake. My heart goes out to those parents. One thing I have learned in live is to never judge/say "I would never do that".


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  12. #12
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    I think the car seat manufacturers and the car company executives should be prosecuted. Then, the problem that they created would immediately be solved. A warning buzzer when the car door is open and there is a child in the car sear would help. Safe, front facing car seats would solve the problem. Building cars that safely accommodate a front seat car seat would solve the problem. Making seats of clear plastic would help.

    Corporate America put children rear facing where parents can't see them and can't interact with them. Car time is no longer quality time with the baby or child. We need to solve this instead of blaming parents for forgetting about the invisible child who is "safely" hidden in the back seat like a bag of groceries.


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  13. #13
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    Maybe if the parent put their cell phone next to the car seat. Then they are not talking, texting, etc. when driving, AND no one forgets their cell phone anymore right? Most of us are stuck like glue to those things!


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  14. #14
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    I forget my cell phone all the time. And being (even a relatively) new parent is often just overwhelming. My ex-husband left his son AT A REST STOP once while traveling - he got the diaper bag and the other paraphenalia, but left the kid sitting on the table. Well, he was kind of an f-up anyway at the time, but still...So I never think that couldn't happen, but rather "there but for the grace of god..."

    He did remember before he got out of the rest area completely, but it was a horrific memory for him.


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  15. #15
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    AKB, it is supposedly substantially safer to rear-face children in car seats. From what I can tell that appears to be true and not a plot from corporate America to kill children. I am not sure why you think otherwise. Have you looked into crash safety data? It looks pretty resoundingly in favor of rear-facing, but I am no scientist.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyGiantPony View Post
    I can't help but think there's no punishment the court system can come up with that would be more harsh than the self punishment and guilt the parent inflicts on themselves.
    That's my take on things as well



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKB View Post
    I think the car seat manufacturers and the car company executives should be prosecuted. Then, the problem that they created would immediately be solved. A warning buzzer when the car door is open and there is a child in the car sear would help. Safe, front facing car seats would solve the problem. Building cars that safely accommodate a front seat car seat would solve the problem. Making seats of clear plastic would help.

    Corporate America put children rear facing where parents can't see them and can't interact with them. Car time is no longer quality time with the baby or child. We need to solve this instead of blaming parents for forgetting about the invisible child who is "safely" hidden in the back seat like a bag of groceries.

    You really need to look into why children under a certain size are rear facing. It is safer for them. Much much safer. Getting into a car accident with a child in the car is much more likely than forgetting you put one in the car. You put infants and small toddlers front facing, when they should be rear facing and get into an accident, even a minor one can cause serious injury that can lead to instantaneous death to the neck and head.

    Properly using a car seat is a very big deal that is why many hospitals, fire stations, and police stations have people trained to install them and offer free installation. The engineering and design that go into these car seats is top notch. The testing is rigorous. Quality control for safety devices is strenuous. As of now there is not a clear plastic substitute that is as strong and can form a baby seat. And until a child is less head than body the safest way to sit is rear facing.

    Parents need to take responsibility for knowing where their child is. Leave a note on your dash, drape a baby blanket on your lap, keep a special toy in your purse, keep the diaper bag up front. When I was nannying I had a pacifier on my baby driving keys.


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  18. #18
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    What a very sad commentary this is. A cell phone is remembered, a child is forgotten.

    Quote Originally Posted by BabyGoose View Post
    Maybe if the parent put their cell phone next to the car seat. Then they are not talking, texting, etc. when driving, AND no one forgets their cell phone anymore right? Most of us are stuck like glue to those things!
    Ride like you mean it.


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  19. #19
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    Yep, at 545 AM I pulled into work and got out of the car and said hello to a departing shift worker I rarely saw because our shifts were off by a couple of hours, and then I wondered why I was there so early and I was standing outside the car and looked in the back and the baby was sound asleep still in the back and I hadn't made it to the sitter yet, and that's why I was so early.

    It's a bunch of factors. Taking them to daycare, multitasking, getting distracted, they're asleep in the back. After that my lunchbox went on the back seat with her.

    Thinking about it still makes my blood run cold. It could happen to any ordinarily respectable loving parent.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    What a very sad commentary this is. A cell phone is remembered, a child is forgotten.
    It's not a sad commentary. It's how our brains are made. It's the HABIT of it all.

    You should go read something non political and incendiary. Like the article Fordtraktor posted above.


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