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October 21, 2017 Joshua Schiffer

CHILD DEATHS IN HOT CARS (PART 1)

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Heard of crib death? What about car death?

It happens again and again, at a rate far more frequently than most people would imagine. Several examples include NASA employee forgot to leave his 7-month old at the NASA daycare and went straight to work on September 21st.

It happened a week before, when a Texas attorney forgot to drop off her one-year old son at daycare.

Again, on September 9th a Florida man forgot and left his 2 year old inside the car.

It happened to a 3-year old North Carolina girl who was found dead inside a van.

It happened on August 12th, when a 7-month boy was found dead inside a car outside of a Walmart in Texas after his father forgot to drop the child off at daycare.

It happened on August 4, when twin 15-month-old girls were forgotten in a SUV in Georgia. Police arrived to a scene of the father frantically trying to cool them down in a kiddy pool behind their house, but it was too late.

It happened on July 24th, when a father went to church services in Dallas and forgot his 3-year-old son in the car. This child was found dead when his father realized the boy was not in the children’s bible service.

It happened on July 22nd, when a Pennsylvania woman forgot to drop her 4-year -old girl off at daycare. When she finished her work at the end of the day, she found the girl unconscious. Despite medical treatment, this child died at the hospital.

It happened on July 6th, when a Florida family forgot their 11-month boy in an SUV while unloading groceries. When they realized what happened, he’d already died.

It happened June 21st, when a Texas father forgot his 6-month-old daughter in the car in his driveway. When realized that the baby girl was missing he found her strapped in the car seat, dead.

These incidents bring the heat stroke death tally for children left in cars in the U.S, to 33 for this year. In all of 2016, it was 24.

When will this madness stop?

These are cases where a very young child dies from excessive heat inside the car — death by hyperthermia. Everyone thinks, it can’t happen to me. I am a careful parent. But when these hot car deaths are investigated, the results show that many of the responsible loving parents were either tired and overworked on the date of this horrific event. Others have some change occurring in their morning routine, including something as simple as the roles of which parent dropped the child off were reversed, and the results — deadly.

The comments at the end of these news stories are often vicious and emotional. Like how could you forget your own child for that long? Would you forget your cell phone or laptop in the car? Or don’t you call your babysitter at least once in a day to check on your toddler?

Yes, forgetting a child who strapped to the back of a safety seat in a car is a terrible thing. But does it rise to the level of being a form of child neglect? Is forgetfulness a crime?

Stay tuned for Part 2

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