We have all heard the news stories: a baby gets left in a car, forgotten by their parent, and dies there. The parent is always “devastated” by what they have done, they cry on TV and lament their neglectful actions, “how could I forget my baby?”. Good question. How can you forget your baby in the car?

Why it is Bullshit

There are several reasons why this is actually an inexcusable offense in the eyes of many, myself included.

  1. Strapping a kid into a carseat requires a certain amount of effort, sometimes a great deal if your car seat is difficult like mine always were.
  2. Kids typically do not sit quietly in the car, they make noises, they whine, they comment on their passing surroundings.
  3. All of the awareness that has been raised in recent years makes it pretty unbelievable that people are still forgetting their children and leaving them in the car to die.

More than Forgetfulness

I am, admittedly, a forgetful and very absentminded person. I lose almost everything I come into contact with, my keys get lost countless times every day, I forget to return emails and phone calls, I forget things I tell people I will do for them, I forget places I am supposed to be, you get the picture, I forget shit.

That being said, one thing I have never, ever, ever forgotten is one of my children inside the car. When my 10 yr. old son was in Kindergarten I forgot that he was only having half a day once, and the school had to call me when I didn’t show up to pick him up. But that was the one and only time it ever happened. How exactly does a person take their infant or toddler, strap them into a car seat and then suddenly forget they are even there?

Take this story from CBSNews, for example; a woman puts her two year old into the car in the morning, apparently meaning to take her to daycare before heading to work. Except, somehow, she forgot to drive to the day care center at all. She went to work instead, and left her baby in the car all day. Then, according to the article, she leaves work, gets back in her car and drives all the way to the day care center without noticing her dead toddler in the car seat. She then gets out of her car, goes into the daycare center allegedly to pick up her daughter and is told that she never even dropped her off that day. It was only then that she went outside and looked into the back seat of her car.  Read the Article

What the fuck? How does that happen exactly?

Why it is Inexcusable

The big news media has been reporting on these stories for a long enough time and on a large enough scale that there should be no way anyone could accidentally do this type of thing anymore. Even if half or more of them are truly nothing more than horrifically tragic accidents, how the hell does that happen?

Here is a list of stories and statistics about children being left to die in cars:

Tragedy in the backseat: Hot-car deaths | CNN

Deaths of children in hot vehicles in 2010 | USA Today

Heatstroke Deaths of Children in Vehicles

Kids And Cars

Death in Hot Cars: Facts, Figures and Prevention | NBC News

Hospital CEO Leaves Child to Die in Hot Car | ABC News