Monday, July 19, 2010

Safety Alert:Should parents&caretakers who forget their children in car seats&die be fined or jailed??

It is heartbreaking to hear these stories yet every summer, when the weather can reach 90-116 degrees in some places& the temperature in cars can quickly double,many children from as young as newborn to three years of age are reported dead because the parent or caregiver 'forgot' to take them out or in the case of older children, they manged to get into the car and couldn't find a way out.

The article below, from momlogic, nicely compiles a recent list of 23 children who have died around the US alone because of this 'forgetfulness' or neglect of parents. Is it really 'forgetfulness' or is it a case of neglect??

I can't imagine forgetting my child in the car,especially when they are below the age of 12 or 13 and shouldn't even be left home alone yet. Some parents may think it's ok to leave their child in the car for a quick trip to the ATM or convenience store;which in many cases isn't life threatening. However, you also risk the threat of a carjacker or kidnapper taking off with your kids and keys in the car;which has happened in some other cases.

We have never left our children alone in the car, let alone car seats, without one of us being in the car as well. However, my kids have been known to sneak into our garage and get into the car. Thankfully, I caught them and reprimanded them and now I make sure to keep the car locked and keys out of their reach.

It is tough when you have two curious boys at home,one being six years old and the other three. My oldest is like another 'Dennis the Menace'...only I call him 'Messy Matthew'.

What are some of the things you do to keep your kids safe and prevent accidental deaths like this? Should parents&caretakers who forget their children in the car or leave the car unlocked or leave the keys out be fined or jailed? I'm kind of mixed on this because I know how mischievous kids can be;yet realize we are ultimately responsible for them when they are in our care.
Amplify’d from
So far this year, 23 children have lost their lives in hot cars. Eleven of them were accidentally left in the vehicles by their parents or caregivers, and 12 were playing in cars and got trapped. Here are their stories.

kid sleeping in car seat
March 8Payton McKinnon, 17 months old, of Fort Myers, Fla.
Payton's father picked her up from daycare for a doctor's appointment early in the morning and returned to work at 11:09 AM, at which point he accidentally left Payton in the vehicle. When he left work shortly after 3 PM, he discovered his mistake. Source
June 27Zipporah Johnson, 21 months old, of Phoenix, Ariz.

Zipporah's parents had gone to church with their six children and traveled in two vehicles, one of which was a minivan. The father accidentally forgot to bring Zipporah inside from the backseat of the minivan. Source
July 11Anthony Michael Hickey, 18 months old, of Rockport, Tex.

The family was visiting the child's great-grandmother when Anthony went missing. He was later found unresponsive in the family SUV. Source
July 13Jaden Carpenter, 3 years old, of Chandler, Ariz.

Jaden slipped out of the house and got into the car when his mom was studying. He was discovered dead less than thirty minutes later. Source
July 14 - Jahzel Pinon, 2 years old, of Albuquerque, N.Mex. 
Jahzel's mother accidentally left her behind in the car when she took her 4-year-old to an appointment. She said that she forgot the child was in the vehicle. Source
June 19Holland Judy, 5 months old, of Lexington, Ky.

The infant's mother, a single mom with three other children, accidentally left the baby in the car in the driveway of the family's duplex. Source
According to Janette Fennell, founder and president of Kids and Cars, a national nonprofit group that advocates for child safety, roughly 36 infants and children die annually in the U.S. due to being trapped in hot cars.
As mentioned above, TWELVE children have died in 2010 after playing in vehicles. It's imperative to keep car doors locked at all times -- and to keep keys out of the reach of children. Often, boys go into cars to push buttons and play with the wheel like they see their parents do, says Fennell. "A lot of times, they get unlucky and the doors are locked," she told AZ Central. "Or the heat overtakes them and they pass out."
Eleven kids so far in 2010 were forgotten in vehicles. Of these cases, four children were forgotten by their mothers, three by their fathers, one by both mother and father, two by family friends and one by a great-grandmother.
Fennell says these accidents have little to do with how good a parent is, and everything to do with how a memory functions -- or doesn't function. "In the early '90s, these cases were rare," she says. "But then, in the mid-'90s, front-passenger airbags were installed in cars and there was a huge campaign to get kids to move to the backseat. An unintended consequence of this was kids dying of hyperthermia in cars -- because children were out of sight, out of mind."
How could someone forget their child? "Everyone thinks these parents are bad or strung out on drugs, but parents who've lost their kids in these types of accidents include pediatricians, doctors, school principals, lawyers and NASA engineers," says Fennell. "For the most part, these are highly educated, extremely loving and doting parents."
She says that the biggest mistake parents can make is thinking that this cannot happen to them. "That's what these parents probably thought, too," she says. 
In many of the cases, the forgotten children are under the age of 1 and are sitting in rear-facing car seats. Their parents are not sleeping much -- which comes into play. "And in an overwhelming majority of cases, there has been a change in routine," Fennell adds.
Here, Fennell shares three ways to help prevent these deadly accidents:

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