s/o forgetting your child in a carseat — The Bump
3rd Trimester

s/o forgetting your child in a carseat

A few ladies seem to be under the impression that only an idiot would do this (as per the "DH and I were talking" thread.

This article won the 2010 pulitzer prize for feature writing.  Wonderfully written, yet horrifying, and quite eye-opening.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022701549.html
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Re: s/o forgetting your child in a carseat

  • i have nightmares of leaving my kid in the car. sigh.

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  • I have been a mother for 15 years. I am 100% certain that this COULD happen to me. There but for the grace.

    I accept that it is a possibility, I refuse to condem those who have expereinced it, and I try to implement a system that makes it less likely to happen. If we dismiss the possiblity of something like this happening to us, we don't take precations, and thus make it more likely. Just like the child abuse cases I see at work. The idea of shaking a child is abhorrent to me. At the same time, I know that I can be pushed to the edge. So I make a plan for what I will do when faced with an unconsolable child, when my temper is short and sleep is a distant memory. I do it so that I ensure that I am NOT one of the ones who crosses that line. But by doing that, I admit that maybe, in a perfect storm of trouble, I could be.

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  • So sad...I can't imagine the hell these parents must put themselves through.  Thanks for the link.
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    Oh, that is fantastic. This...this is wine. Yeah. Look what all these idiots are drinking. Look at these dicks!
    Obviously it's not really delicious, like hot chocolate or Coke, but for wine...brilliant.
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  • I can't even read it. I got a few paragraphs in and was already teary eyed. The look on that man's face says it all. Heartbreaking.
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  • 2nd tri lurker...

    I read that article awhile ago, and it definitely opened my eyes. I had never really thought about the horrible situations like those. The ending of that article is so sweet though.

    DS #1 - 12/10/11
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    DS #2 - 4/2/14

  • Those stories made me cry. I don't think I could live with myself if something like that happened to me. 
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  • I read this article a while back before I knew I was pregnant and remember the story in the news.  While it is horrible and tragic and definitely can happen to anyone, that is not really what I thought of the original post "H and I were talking"  In the post, she tried to say there was a link between having your carseat installed in advance and forgetting your baby in the car.  I think that correlation is absurd and in no way an accurate statement. 

    Some people wish to have their carseats inspected by a licensed professional and that can take weeks sometimes a month just to get an appointment (at least in our area).  So if having a carseat installed at 32 weeks gestation means it will be inspected and correctly installed then so be it.  I do not think that makes someone more likely to leave their child in the car which was was the OP of the previous post was implying.

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  • I don't know how you can just forget.  You go inside, you sit down, turn on the TV....don't you think something would pop through your mind that it's strangely quiet in the house???  My toddler is all over the place, i would take me 2.5 seconds to realize something was up.  These people you hear of forgetting their kinds in the car for hours on end...that doesn't make sense.
  • I am totally afraid of this happening. Everyday at lunch, when I go for a walk outside, I walk by my car and peek inside...paranoia.  As I do this, I can specifically remember what happened when I dropped my son off in daycare earlier in the morning, but I still feel like I HAVE to check.  When my husband dropped my son off at daycare, I made him call me when he was leaving the building and tell me specifics about the drop off...now that I do it, I don't call him, but I should! If you are worried, come up with a plan like that! Call SOMEONE every morning when you drop him off and ask them to call you if they don't hear from you by a certain time....put a reminder on your Outlook calendar at work. My sister leaves her purse in the back seat EVERY time she drives her car so she has to open the back door and look inside to get it out...this way she always checks her boys' carseats.  Other people put a stuffed animal in the babies car seat when it is NOT in use and when the baby is in the car, you put it in the front seat next to you, so that you know if the toy is next to you, the baby is in the car.  I fully agree this can happen to anyone and hope I take enough precautions that it doesn't happen to me!
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  • The problem is that BK(Before Kids) we think we know it all. AK we know we don't.BK we will have perfect kids. AK we hope we don't warp them.

    In our newspaper we had one of the columnist write a piece on this issue and stated that she feels that it is because the seats face backwards and look the same from front or back. In some ways I agree with her. She also stated that if you add sleep deprivation to the equation it only gets worse. I just wish the manufactures could place a device to the seat that could help out parents to know when baby is still there.

    It is the same with child drownings. People have pools and kids. Then one day the child drowns. The parents may be the most attentive parents and it still happens.

    I'm not trying to excuse it, I just know that I'm not perfect.

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  • image Ivana.Stolichnaya:
    I don't know how you can just forget.  You go inside, you sit down, turn on the TV....don't you think something would pop through your mind that it's strangely quiet in the house???  My toddler is all over the place, i would take me 2.5 seconds to realize something was up.  These people you hear of forgetting their kinds in the car for hours on end...that doesn't make sense.

    Did you read the article?

    "Some people think, 'Okay, I can see forgetting a child for two minutes, but not eight hours.' What they don't understand is that the parent in his or her mind has dropped off the baby at day care and thinks the baby is happy and well taken care of. Once that's in your brain, there is no reason to worry or check on the baby for the rest of the day."

     

  • image Ivana.Stolichnaya:
    I don't know how you can just forget.  You go inside, you sit down, turn on the TV....don't you think something would pop through your mind that it's strangely quiet in the house???  My toddler is all over the place, i would take me 2.5 seconds to realize something was up.  These people you hear of forgetting their kinds in the car for hours on end...that doesn't make sense.

    Usually, though, it's not at home. It's when they go to work. Maybe one parent doesn't always take the kid to daycare, or they had a bunch of other stops before dropping off the kid, or the parent is working a totally different shift or something. And the little one falls alseep in the car. And the parent, already thinking ahead to what they have to do that day, doesn't realize that they didn't drop off the baby.

    I haven't forgotten a kid in the car. But I did load up my daughter in her carrier and drive for several hours. When I got home I discovered that while I had clicked her car seat into the base, I had not buckled her into the seat itself. How did I miss that? We lived in Minnesota, and it was freezing. She was in the carrier, covered in blankets. Luckily nothing had happend, but if it had I would be sitting in prison right now, for child neglect and vehicular homicide.

  • This is a wonderful article...a real eye opener. I was not stating that there was a direct correlation, just the chance that one could get used to, or form a "habit", of not taking the carseat out when they left the car. I believe that it is great that people get the carseat inspected and such, and having just the base in the car probably wouldn't affect a person....but habit does. You drive to work, get out, lock the doors, etc. everyday. This is habit and could happen with or without the carseat in the car. I have never forgotten my child in the car, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen to me....I am a pessimist, and do believe if there is a chance of something happening....it could happen to me. I wasn't trying to stir a pot, or make anyone angry. We were just thinking about this one night and I thought I would share my thoughts....sorry if my post offended anyone. Again, thanks for posting this, and my thoughts and prayers are with anyone this ever happens/happened to.
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  • image BabyQuizzle:

    I read this article a while back before I knew I was pregnant and remember the story in the news.  While it is horrible and tragic and definitely can happen to anyone, that is not really what I thought of the original post "H and I were talking"  In the post, she tried to say there was a link between having your carseat installed in advance and forgetting your baby in the car.  I think that correlation is absurd and in no way an accurate statement. 

    Some people wish to have their carseats inspected by a licensed professional and that can take weeks sometimes a month just to get an appointment (at least in our area).  So if having a carseat installed at 32 weeks gestation means it will be inspected and correctly installed then so be it.  I do not think that makes someone more likely to leave their child in the car which was was the OP of the previous post was implying.



    I assume you didn't read my OP.  I was addressing the ladies who commented further in that post, who just couldn't imagine this happening.  I feel it is a great article to show you that yes, you can be an incredibly attentive parent, but if you rush rush rush and allow yourself to be distracted (as I bet every last one of us has done in their lives) it very well may happen to you, regardless of intelligence or love.
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  • This is my absolute worse fear. Yes, you want to think this would NEVER happen to you. However, I think we all have to assume it could and therefore take measures to prevent it. It isn't just walking in your house and going about your day. But forgetting about daycare, then going to work, etc. New parents tend to be sleep deprived and believe me, I can't tell you how many times I found milk in the pantry or dry goods in the fridge. Not the same, but your brain starts to do funky things without normal amounts of sleep. I read an article somewhere that had tips to help prevent this. I'd have to find it, but just a few DH and I try to follow:

    1) Diaper bag in the front by my purse

    2) Daycare calls us if he hasn't been dropped off within an hour of when he was supposed to be. This happens, he gets sick, I've been up all night, we just all sleep in and you forget to call daycare.

    I just think if you assume it would never happen to you then you aren't prepared. I would rather be prepared for the worse.

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  • image Ivana.Stolichnaya:
    I don't know how you can just forget.  You go inside, you sit down, turn on the TV....don't you think something would pop through your mind that it's strangely quiet in the house???  My toddler is all over the place, i would take me 2.5 seconds to realize something was up.  These people you hear of forgetting their kinds in the car for hours on end...that doesn't make sense.

    Yeah, try reading the article first... Hmm

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  • image backinpgh:

    image Ivana.Stolichnaya:
    I don't know how you can just forget.  You go inside, you sit down, turn on the TV....don't you think something would pop through your mind that it's strangely quiet in the house???  My toddler is all over the place, i would take me 2.5 seconds to realize something was up.  These people you hear of forgetting their kinds in the car for hours on end...that doesn't make sense.

    Yeah, try reading the article first... Hmm

    this. sheesh.  

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  • image RadicalDreamer143:
    image BabyQuizzle:

    I read this article a while back before I knew I was pregnant and remember the story in the news.  While it is horrible and tragic and definitely can happen to anyone, that is not really what I thought of the original post "H and I were talking"  In the post, she tried to say there was a link between having your carseat installed in advance and forgetting your baby in the car.  I think that correlation is absurd and in no way an accurate statement. 

    Some people wish to have their carseats inspected by a licensed professional and that can take weeks sometimes a month just to get an appointment (at least in our area).  So if having a carseat installed at 32 weeks gestation means it will be inspected and correctly installed then so be it.  I do not think that makes someone more likely to leave their child in the car which was was the OP of the previous post was implying.



    I assume you didn't read my OP.  I was addressing the ladies who commented further in that post, who just couldn't imagine this happening.  I feel it is a great article to show you that yes, you can be an incredibly attentive parent, but if you rush rush rush and allow yourself to be distracted (as I bet every last one of us has done in their lives) it very well may happen to you, regardless of intelligence or love.

     

    I agree with you 100% and it can happen to anyone.  And I think it happens more often without dire consequences than we realize because drivers are so tuned into their cell phones and already start the work day on the commute.  I would love to know how many parents get halfway into their office and remember that their child is still in the car before it is too late. 

    I also think all the tricks about the stuffed animal in the front seat or the purse in the backseat are great, but there are still going to be times when you are in such a rush that the stuffed toy will not end up where is should be etc. I work at a childcare center and we passed out these neon cones a few years ago that are supposed to go on the front seat when there is a child in the backseat (specifically marketed to prevent this kind of tragedy).  Many parents took them and not once did I see them being used in the parking lots of the center. 

     

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  • I too am terrified of this.  Especially b/c I am usually the one to drop DS off, but my schedule changes a lot and so sometimes DH takes him.  Our daycare also has no idea what time we are coming in, so sometimes they call if we're later than usual but not always.

    So like PP said, DH and I try to call or text each other when we drop him off and ask specific questions about how he did so we can't just be remembering a drop off from a different day.  We also have a mirror that attaches to the seat so I can see him in his carseat - I know this isn't the "safest", but I'd rather remember he was in the car and risk an injury if it moved in an accident.

    I have once driven to work then remembered he was in the car.  Thank god I remembered as I was pulling into the parking lot and not hours later.  We  too had an incident where we went out to dinner and DS fell asleep so I put him in his infant carrier and covered him with a blanket and didn't buckle him in.  He never woke up the rest of the time in the restaurant and we forgot to buckle him in when we put him in the car.  When we got back to the house and realized that he had not been buckled in, I freaked out and had nightmares for days.

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  • What a heart-breaking, but very well done, article. DH and I recognized that this could happen to us when we had DD1, so we set up a system of calling each other when we both drop off and pick up (even when one of us is out of town). It helps a little more now that DD1 is older and watches a movie in the car so it's an additional trigger that she's in the car.
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  • Thank you for sharing that article...such an important read.  But for the grace of God...

     

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  • Thank you for sharing that article - i hadn't seen it before and i'll mirror what everyone else already said - as kenandlaura said, "But for the grace of God...". it is heart-wrenching and a nightmare of mine, especially as the last woman that this happened to was a veterinarian. I am one as well and have done exactly what she did - multi-task while driving to work, on autopilot and already planning out my day. It struck home to a degree that i have been continuously haunted by it since then. 

    Thank you again, OP.  

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  • I think the article is very well written. personally i still cannot fathom forgetting your child in the car, especially when the man pictured who stodd trial went to such great lengths to adopt the little boy.

    But as far as the title of the article, i definately think that leaving your child in a car, causing them to die a slow painful death, is be a crime. Maybe not 1st degree murder as death was (hopefully) not the intent, but negligent homicide in which it was a true accident.

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  • So so very sad. I think that they should make it law that new cars need to have the sensor in them. In fact I wish that they would market that alarm. I think that parents would buy it. I sure would. I am going to do the stuffed animal thing. Thats a great idea to help keep aware. Its horrible.
    DS Born 10/05/99 DSS Born 7/11/95 BFP 05/11/10 - Missed M/C, D&C 06/23/10 BFP 8/3/2010 - Ectopic, Methotrexate 8/17/10 BFP 1/27/11- Please God let this heart beat strong. Beta1 17dpo-314 Beta2 20dpo-883 Beta3 22dpo-1861 Beta4 25dpo-5918 DS2 Born 10/07/99 "I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he shall be given over to the LORD." 1Sam1v24to28.
  • I'm terrified of this happening to me.  This article made me cry.  I feel so sorry for these parents b/c they will never forgive themselves.  Never. 
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  • This is still a fear I have and I have a toddler. This happened a few years back in my town to an RN and her husband who was an EMT. The hospital they both worked for had an onsite daycare center and one thought the other had the toddler (about my sons age) and it was a hot July day...you know how it ends. They were not charged with manslaughter though and while this is such a terribly sad thing to happen I am glad that they weren't. 
  • I'm paranoid about doing this. I could completely understand doing this.

    A friend was meant to drop his daughter at creche which his wife normally did. He was also meant to drop off the carseat so that his wife could pick up daughter at the end of the day.

    He got to work (30 minutes away from their home and daycare) and this is the phone call he made to his wife.

    Friend: I did something bad.

    His wife: You forgot to drop off the carseat with Holly didn't you?

    Friend: Worse than that, I forgot to drop off Holly.

    He was fortunate that he noticed/remembered as he parked his car rather than hours later. 

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  • OMG, so sad! I had nightmares when I was pg with my DD about leaving her in the car. I feel so bad for that man and his family.
  • This is very scary! I had a dream the other day that I forgot my baby at home and went to work. I woke up so scared. Thank goodness it was just a dream!

    When my sister was a new mom she told me that there were many times that she would drive straight home from work and forget to pick up my nephew. Luckily she would remember as soon as she got into our driveway and would leave right away to get him. She was always late to pick him up from daycare so she started writing herself post it notes and would leave it on the steering wheel. It was a good thing she always remembered to drop him off before work.

    I like BabyWing's suggestions and we will follow this as well. I think I will also have my husband and I text each other after we drop off/pick up our LO to/from daycare so we confirm that she has gotten there/been picked up. It's better to have all these safety measures to be safe.

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  • This happened near us and it made big news in Philly. I was pregnant with my 1st son, working so close within the case as an RN. To this day, I go to work and look at the car seat to make sure my son is not in there... Even though I know I didn't take him to work with me! This could certainly happen to any single one of us. My thoughts and prayers go out to that poor family.
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