April 2013 Moms

Horrifying but important

I thought long and hard before posting this article, but I think its too important disregard.  The link is from a Huff Po piece that the author does every year at the start of summer about forgetting kids in cars, but it basically references and links to a pulitzer price winning article written by Gene Weingarten.  The article is beautifully written, but I again warn you that it is very disturbing.  For people like me, the pain that the article invokes is a catalyst to some changes in my routine.  Also, awareness of the reality is key in prevention. 

Here goes:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/25/what-parent-leaves-child-in-broiling-car_n_3497956.html

I look forward to discussing ideas for prevention and want to know if this has spurred you to change anything in your routine?

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Re: Horrifying but important

  • Just makes me sad, I agree to leave your cell in the back. When I first went to the store without my son, on my way back from the store my heart sank because for a brief moment I thought I left him in the cart. I always check my rearview mirror every few minutes though to make sure he hasn't choked or something. I also leave my wallet in his car seat because I don't have/carry purses. 
     
     
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  • Maybe I should clarify 'change in routine'.  Its not something like: I wont leave the baby in the car while i get drunk in the casino (because clearly I will still do that).  But I decided that anytime I put the baby in the back seat, my purse goes on the floor board back there too. 

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  • I read the article linked in the Huff Po article and I am literally bawling. I don't even know what to say.
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  • NandaBNandaB
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    I can't read the article because you didn't clickify it, but I don't need to put anything special in the backseat or create some special routine to remember my kids are back there. This is a thing?
    G: 5/8/11
    N: 4/8/13
    having a baby on Christmas!

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  • image NandaB:
    I can't read the article because you didn't clickify it, but I don't need to put anything special in the backseat or create some special routine to remember my kids are back there. This is a thing?

    Here's a clicky for you. It does an excellent job of highlighting how this could happen to absolutely anyone.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022701549.html?sid=ST2009030602446

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  • I know how you feel, me too.  I read an interview with the author, who had an extremely close call with his own child and here is a quote:

    It would never have happened again. I didn't need a Plan. I had an intense experience that altered my mindset every single time I got into a car with my children. I can tell you the basal ganglia got turned off. Every time. Put key in ignition. Check mirrors. Disable basal ganglia. Turn key in ignition. ...

     

    I think the pain of reading his article is enough to alter my mind set and turn the basal ganglia off.

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  • image OhSewCrafty:

    image NandaB:
    I can't read the article because you didn't clickify it, but I don't need to put anything special in the backseat or create some special routine to remember my kids are back there. This is a thing?

    Here's a clicky for you. It does an excellent job of highlighting how this could happen to absolutely anyone.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022701549.html?sid=ST2009030602446

    I agree it does an excellent job.  I admit I had the same biased feelings before i read the article.  Nothing but sympathy and resolve now.

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  • NandaBNandaB
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    I don't not have sympathy. And I believe that its is a sad, tragic accident that happens to more people than I would imagine. I don't judge the parents. I feel badly for them, I just don't think this is something that I need to make a special stuffed animal routine for. They're always with me. Lol. I think they are there when they're not, so I don't see myself ever just forgetting them
    G: 5/8/11
    N: 4/8/13
    having a baby on Christmas!

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  • image MrsHartman7:
    image OhSewCrafty:

    image NandaB:
    I can't read the article because you didn't clickify it, but I don't need to put anything special in the backseat or create some special routine to remember my kids are back there. This is a thing?

    Here's a clicky for you. It does an excellent job of highlighting how this could happen to absolutely anyone.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022701549.html?sid=ST2009030602446

    I agree it does an excellent job.  I admit I had the same biased feelings before i read the article.  Nothing but sympathy and resolve now.

    Agree 100%. I'm going to make my husband read this when he gets home.

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  • I pulled my sleeping baby out of his swing after reading this. I just needed to hold him! Thanks for sharing!
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  • I'm too hormonal to read it this time around, but I've seen it in previous years.

     I'm definitely aware that it can happen and happens to even the best of parents.  My mom tells the story of how they left my brother sitting in his car seat on the kitchen table and they didn't realize they left him until they were about ten minutes down the road.  He was strapped into his seat, perfectly fine, unable to get hurt, but it's scared her.

    Our diaper bag also acts as my purse when I'm running around with baby, and I'm paranoid about losing my purse.  Diaper bag always goes in the back seat with LO.  I always do a mental check before leaving anywhere.  Baby. check. diaper bag check, cell phone check.

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  • Kate_CKate_C
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    image OhSewCrafty:

    image NandaB:
    I can't read the article because you didn't clickify it, but I don't need to put anything special in the backseat or create some special routine to remember my kids are back there. This is a thing?

    Here's a clicky for you. It does an excellent job of highlighting how this could happen to absolutely anyone.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022701549.html?sid=ST2009030602446

    i remember reading the article shortly after DS was born and sobbing.  I live in fear that something like this could happen to me. I remember my dad forgetting he had to drop me off at school because he was distracted. Thankfully I was old enough to say something, but things like this can happen to anyone. 

    An incident just happened in MN where a dad forgot the baby in the car. I believe they are criminally charging him. I just can't imagine the criminal justice system can do anything more to him. He already has to live with the fact that his child suffered a horrible death because of his mistake. Does charging him help anything? 

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  • I'm also too hormonal to read this, so my opinion might not count, but I have to agree with Nanda.  I can not ever imagine just forgetting my kids... Usually I freak out wondering where they are when I've been able to make the rare escape to the store by myself while they're home with dh.  I don't need a special routine, they ARE my routine.
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  • I think it's important to remember this doesn't *typically* happen to people with babies as young as ours.  It happens to people who've gotten back into the routine of work & life and adjusted to a "normal" schedule.  I'm just not willing to say it could never happen to me just because I have a mental checklist I go through every time I leave with DS.  

    I also think I should have waited to read this because I had a huge scare today because it made me bawl.  I pulled into my garage after bringing DH lunch at work, turned off the car, put the key in the cupholder (I've always done this since I park in the garage, rethinking that now!), got out and shut the door to walk around to the passenger side to get DS out and as I'm halfway around the vehicle I hear it honk.  WTF?!? I have no idea why but it's happened to me twice before in the three years I've owned it, my tahoe randomly locks itself.  I completely flipped out.  I'm locked out of my car, it's not running, and DS is inside it!  Thank God it was inside the garage in the shade at least.  I ran inside and was literally throwing items out of our entry table where the spare key is and found it within about 30 seconds (I found the spare before my husband picked up his cell, lol).  DS never even woke up from his nap.  I think it took an hour for my heart rate to slow down!!! 

  • Absolutely heart wrenching. I'm in tears.

    Makes me think that if I even see the outline of a car seat in a parked car, I'm gonna walk over and look inside. If someone walking by had noticed any of those poor babies, they may have been able to help.

      

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  • image minxyglams:

    Absolutely heart wrenching. I'm in tears.

    Makes me think that if I even see the outline of a car seat in a parked car, I'm gonna walk over and look inside. If someone walking by had noticed any of those poor babies, they may have been able to help.

      

    I was thinking the same thing 

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  • image minxyglams:
    Absolutely heart wrenching. I'm in tears. Makes me think that if I even see the outline of a car seat in a parked car, I'm gonna walk over and look inside. If someone walking by had noticed any of those poor babies, they may have been able to help.nbsp;nbsp;


    What should you do if you see this? 911?
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  • image RussianMommy:
    image minxyglams:
    Absolutely heart wrenching. I'm in tears. Makes me think that if I even see the outline of a car seat in a parked car, I'm gonna walk over and look inside. If someone walking by had noticed any of those poor babies, they may have been able to help.nbsp;nbsp;


    What should you do if you see this? 911?


    911 then ask 911 operator what to do I guess. I would feel inclined to smash a window open though if it meant saving a baby!
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  • image RussianMommy:
    image minxyglams:
    Absolutely heart wrenching. I'm in tears. Makes me think that if I even see the outline of a car seat in a parked car, I'm gonna walk over and look inside. If someone walking by had noticed any of those poor babies, they may have been able to help.nbsp;nbsp;
    What should you do if you see this? 911?

    Smash the window.

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  • I am sure any parent this has happened to said "this will never happen to me". I can see how it could happen. There have been times I am driving somewhere and am just so tired I have to mentally stop and remember which day it is and where I am going. Yep. It could happen to anyone.

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  • image Grace0609:
    I am sure any parent this has happened to said "this will never happen to me". I can see how it could happen. There have been times I am driving somewhere and am just so tired I have to mentally stop and remember which day it is and where I am going. Yep. It could happen to anyone.

     

    I was thinking the exact same thing, how many times have i gotten to work and not remembered driving there?  I was tired or stressed and my mind 'autopiloted' me there.  I think the awareness that the phenomena even exists goes a long way toward prevention.

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  • image JollyWife:
    I'm also too hormonal to read this, so my opinion might not count, but I have to agree with Nanda.  I can not ever imagine just forgetting my kids... Usually I freak out wondering where they are when I've been able to make the rare escape to the store by myself while they're home with dh.  I don't need a special routine, they ARE my routine.

     I think the difference here can also be if you are a stay at home parent who rarely goes anywhere without your  children or if you  are a working parent who leaves them at daycare, etc.  Most of the stories are of parents changing their routine and going a different route, etc and then imagining that they already dropped the baby off with the sitter.  If you don't have a sitter, yes, this would be more difficult for you to do.

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  • image minxyglams:
    Absolutely heart wrenching. I'm in tears. Makes me think that if I even see the outline of a car seat in a parked car, I'm gonna walk over and look inside. If someone walking by had noticed any of those poor babies, they may have been able to help.nbsp;nbsp;


    I am definitely going to check cars that I see a car seat outline now too.

    I couldn't even finish reading the article, these stories are too devastating.

    My DD cries anytime she's in the carseat which is a constant reminder of the fact she's with me! I can't even fathom myself ever, ever forgetting that I have DD with me. I EBF her and don't pump so wherever I go, she goes. She's still feels like an extension of my body!
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  • Oh god I read this last night during a MOTN feeding and I sobbed so hard I woke my husband up. I'm still shaken hours later. I've had that "oh sht" moment in the car when I've left LO home with MH and look back and don't see him in the carseat. Then I feel stupid a second later when I remember he's at home. I can't imagine having that moment and then the moment never ends.

  • I couldn't finish the article, either. But reading what I did was just enough...the idea of that happening to any child is just absolutely, painstakingly heartbreaking and I really feel awful for the parents who have gone through that kind of a loss. I just can't imagine...I feel like it would be impossible to forgive yourself.
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  • Molly&Molly&
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    image Grace0609:
    I am sure any parent this has happened to said "this will never happen to me". I can see how it could happen. There have been times I am driving somewhere and am just so tired I have to mentally stop and remember which day it is and where I am going. Yep. It could happen to anyone.

    This. It's a good thing to be aware of. I saw a list of occupations of people this happened to and it seems quite comprehensive. SAHM, business man, pediatrician, scientist. It's heartbreaking.
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