Father forgets baby in car, baby dies of dehydration

Bruno@MT

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
3,399
Reaction score
74
Father forgets to drop off his baby at the daycare, and goes to work, leaving the baby in the backseat.
Mother wants to pick up the baby car seat in the evening and discovers the dead baby.

This must be horrible for the parent. The dad will blame himself for the rest of his life.

I've had it a couple of times when me and my wife swapped schedules so I had to take them to daycare / school instead of picking them up. My youngest sits behind me so I can't see her anymore. And she is also very quiet when driving in the car. A couple of times I was already past the daycare and on my way to work when I suddenly remembered that I was not alone in the car :eek:

Throw in some stress and a busy schedule, and you got a drama waiting to happen. My heart goes out to the family.
 

MA-Caver

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 21, 2003
Messages
14,960
Reaction score
312
Location
Chattanooga, TN
Seems I've read this story before here on MT and elsewhere. Do you have a source because there is no link to where you read that story. I know it happened once before but we would like to see if it was a recent story of this tragic event?
 

Jade Tigress

RAWR
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 11, 2004
Messages
14,196
Reaction score
153
Location
Chicago
Seems I've read this story before here on MT and elsewhere. Do you have a source because there is no link to where you read that story. I know it happened once before but we would like to see if it was a recent story of this tragic event?

Unfortunately, this has happened more than once. I've read several stories like this over the years. It's tragic and I can't imagine the parents regret and sorrow.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
23,440
Reaction score
3,750
Location
Northern VA
Unfortunately, I know of several in my region -- and at least 3 that have ended with the death of the kid.

And it's not just fathers who leave kids in the car...

Anyone with nannies -- especially if their some of the less professional sorts like au pairs or even older siblings -- needs to make it absolutely clear that kids aren't to be left in the car alone. More than once, I've handled calls of a kid (and in one case, an elderly person... who was just as vulnerable as an infant!) in a car, and it turned out to be a conscious choice by an au pair or other sort of nanny.
 

Stac3y

Master Black Belt
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
1,103
Reaction score
40
:soapbox:

Okay. Sorry to be the meanie here, but I don't have any sympathy for the father at all. A parent's chief job in life, surpassing everything else, including concern for his or her own life and limb, is taking care of his or her kid/s. IMO, if you can "forget" your kid in the car, your priorities are massively f**ked up. Stress and being busy are not excuses. The kids that are killed by their parents in this way each summer are victims of their parents' egocentrism or extreme stupidity. Parents who do this should have the rest of their kids removed from the home and given to responsible people, and should go to jail for (at the very least) child abuse; preferably murder. /dismounts soapbox.

To the poster who said he has "almost" forgotten his child a few times, please understand I'm not attacking you. That "almost" is the important word.
 

Empty Hands

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
4,269
Reaction score
200
Location
Jupiter, FL
Okay. Sorry to be the meanie here, but I don't have any sympathy for the father at all. A parent's chief job in life, surpassing everything else, including concern for his or her own life and limb, is taking care of his or her kid/s.

It has nothing to do with priorities, parenting skills, character, willpower, intelligence or anything else. Everyone is vulnerable to this sort of thing. Pretending that you are a better parent and it will never happen to you only makes it more likely that it will. These situations are consequences of how our brains work. Avoiding this situation takes special preparation that relies on the fact that you know it could happen to you.
 

LuckyKBoxer

Master Black Belt
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
1,390
Reaction score
39
I too can not possibly imagine someone so self centered and so selfish and self absorbed to forget their own child is in the car with them.

I have no sympathy for the father.

My wife and I both work, different schedules so that noone but us has to take care of our kids.

I can not possibly imagine any way shape or form that someone can forget their kids, I am always looking back at the empty car seats when I go anywhere without my kids, always thinking of ways to improve their lives, teach them something, give them some sort of heads up on life in general.

No there is no excuse for this.
There is no forgiveness for this.
Children are truely innocent, one hundred percent dependant on their parents for life.
This is the ultimate betrayal.
I can not state strongly enough my disgust and outrage over this and similar stories.
 

celtic_crippler

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 15, 2006
Messages
3,968
Reaction score
137
Location
Airstrip One
It happened here locally a few years back at a place I used to work. A coworker left her baby in the car in the hot Georgia sun and her baby died.

Her husband served on the police force and that's why many thought she didn't get any jail time for it.

I really don't know all the details, but I do know that having a kid is a massive responsibility. I get ill when I see people leaving their pets in the car unattended...I'm not sure these people have an excuse.

I reiterate for the umpteenth time: Why is it you have to show you're responsible enough to warrent a license to go fishing, but not prove you're responsible enough to have a kid? Not just anyone can go fishing, but anybody can reproduce!
 

LuckyKBoxer

Master Black Belt
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
1,390
Reaction score
39
It has nothing to do with priorities, parenting skills, character, willpower, intelligence or anything else. Everyone is vulnerable to this sort of thing. Pretending that you are a better parent and it will never happen to you only makes it more likely that it will. These situations are consequences of how our brains work. Avoiding this situation takes special preparation that relies on the fact that you know it could happen to you.

I disagree completely. This happens to parents who chose to have kids out of wedlock, or chose to be single parents, or chose to make their work the priority rather then the kids, or some other sort of choice other then putting the kids first and foremost.
It is really simple, you choose what is most important. Yourself our your kids, and you adjust accordingly. This is not like going and buying an expensive pet and forgetting to take care of it. This is our future, our Legacy, ourselves.... I just don't get it.
Now don't get me wrong, there are exceptions to the single parent rule.. there are some great single parents out there, but theya re few and far between. It is still preferable to have two parents, to have both parents caring for their children, and to put those children first. This is of course assuming no massive flaws in the parents....
 
Last edited:

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
23,440
Reaction score
3,750
Location
Northern VA
It happened here locally a few years back at a place I used to work. A coworker left her baby in the car in the hot Georgia sun and her baby died.

Her husband served on the police force and that's why many thought she didn't get any jail time for it.

I really don't know all the details, but I do know that having a kid is a massive responsibility. I get ill when I see people leaving their pets in the car unattended...I'm not sure these people have an excuse.

I reiterate for the umpteenth time: Why is it you have to show you're responsible enough to warrent a license to go fishing, but not prove you're responsible enough to have a kid? Not just anyone can go fishing, but anybody can reproduce!
Many of these cases have extensive mitigating circumstances, and very few give significant jail time. The situation is different from murder or killing a kid through abuse or persistent neglect. Please take note that mitigation is not the same as expiation; they still are at fault -- grievously so. In one case I'm familiar with, the judge crafted a unique sentence. The father left the youngest of his 12 or so kids in a car after running errands; I believe that he thought the older kids had the infant while he dealt with the younger. He was tried -- with much local uproar -- and convicted. He was sentenced to one day a year in jail, and to coordinate and sponsor a blood drive on the infant's birthday every year. All in all -- a good compromise sentence, I think. Here's an article about punishments that mentions it.
 

Empty Hands

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
4,269
Reaction score
200
Location
Jupiter, FL
I disagree completely. This happens to parents who chose to have kids out of wedlock, or chose to be single parents, or chose to make their work the priority rather then the kids, or some other sort of choice other then putting the kids first and foremost.

Wow. What can I say to that?

This has happened to plenty of devoted, 2 parent households. Look at the data, not your own prejudices.
 

LuckyKBoxer

Master Black Belt
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
1,390
Reaction score
39
Wow. What can I say to that?

This has happened to plenty of devoted, 2 parent households. Look at the data, not your own prejudices.

Did you read my comment? It did not say solely single parent households... it said those that put work ahead of thier kids... as was the case here...

I would say show me one story of a "Devoted" parent.....single or double parent household that this happened too, and I will show you wrong based on the story itself.
 

Empty Hands

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
4,269
Reaction score
200
Location
Jupiter, FL
Did you read my comment? It did not say solely single parent households... it said those that put work ahead of thier kids... as was the case here...

Yes...that is why I included "devoted."

I would say show me one story of a "Devoted" parent.....single or double parent household that this happened too, and I will show you wrong based on the story itself.

Why would I bother? You've already signaled your firm belief that any such story will already by definition be wrong.

Just in case you are able to be convinced though, here is an article on the subject that consults the relevant experts. There is no comforting conclusion that this only happens to "bad" parents. It can happen to anyone, and realizing that will decrease your chances.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
23,440
Reaction score
3,750
Location
Northern VA
Did you read my comment? It did not say solely single parent households... it said those that put work ahead of thier kids... as was the case here...

I would say show me one story of a "Devoted" parent.....single or double parent household that this happened too, and I will show you wrong based on the story itself.
Look up Frances Kelly; it's the case I mentioned above.

As hard as it is for me to imagine forgetting my son somehow... I'm not going to leap to a conclusion that anyone who did is evil, neglectful, or anything other than human. The circumstances are often too complex to give a simple label too.
 

Gordon Nore

Senior Master
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
77
Location
Toronto
This is just a sad story. I don't understand the need to parse the machinations of the parents. There's no indication that they put themselves or their work ahead of their child. The OP merely speculates as to what may have happened. And, yes, I believe it's OK to feel bad for the parents, not because of the mistake they made but because of what they've lost.
 
OP
Bruno@MT

Bruno@MT

Senior Master
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
3,399
Reaction score
74
I forgot a couple of times that my youngest was in the car with me, until she made a sound or until I realized I forgot to go to the daycare parents. This was while driving to work in the morning. I care more about my kids than anything else in the world, and I would not describe myself as self centered and so selfish and self absorbed.

Especially when switching routines, with the kid out of sight and not making any sound at all... It happens. I've always realized it a minute or two later, and yes I always check the car so I would notice. But it is a mistake to think that bad things only happen to bad people.
 

LuckyKBoxer

Master Black Belt
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
1,390
Reaction score
39
I forgot a couple of times that my youngest was in the car with me, until she made a sound or until I realized I forgot to go to the daycare parents. This was while driving to work in the morning. I care more about my kids than anything else in the world, and I would not describe myself as self centered and so selfish and self absorbed.

Especially when switching routines, with the kid out of sight and not making any sound at all... It happens. I've always realized it a minute or two later, and yes I always check the car so I would notice. But it is a mistake to think that bad things only happen to bad people.

The point is you are always checking..
Don't get me wrong people I never said that these people were bad... there is a difference between being bad, and being self centered or selfish or self absorbed. I have said it many times, I have pretty extreme views on things like Marriage and Children. I have seen too many poor choices made, and too many tragedies that were unnecessary. People,for the most part...there are exceptions to nearly every rule so if this gets your *** burning think if you are an exception or not before you yell at me,are so into themselves and instant satisfaction that they do not think about the long term. Its too easy to get married and divorced on whims.. Its too easy to have a kid and either have other people care for and raise the kid, or ignore the kid. I know that our society has moved past my views on marriage and children, but that does not mean I have to change my opinion..... I am not going out there and hosting violent protests or exchanges with people... When people mention it I give them my opinions and hope it makes them think twice before getting married or before having kids, or if they are married and or have kids then makes them think twice before they throw away the marriage or make decisions that are not in the best interest of the kid.

Hey I wish you did not have to take the kids to a day care... But that is what it is, but at least you always check as you put it... to simply forget and leave with no thought through the entire day about having a kid in your car? Thats not a man that loves his kid and family... thats a man that loves his job and has a kid and family..... Like I said I know my thoughts are extreme.. but they are what they are and I would rather have them then make a mistake, or not state them and risk even one person thinking twice about how they treat their kids and family. /shrug
 

Gordon Nore

Senior Master
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
77
Location
Toronto
...and I would not describe myself as self centered and so selfish and self absorbed.

Especially when switching routines, with the kid out of sight and not making any sound at all... It happens. I've always realized it a minute or two later, and yes I always check the car so I would notice. But it is a mistake to think that bad things only happen to bad people.

Bruno, I hear you. When my son was little, our only car was a Ford Festiva, a two-door hatch-back. His seat was mounted behind the driver's seat, so the front passenger -- my missus or I -- would have easy access. Many was the time, driving alone, when I would have to look around because I forgot if he was with me.

In fact, more often that not, I would hear nothing, check, and then realize I had already dropped him at daycare.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
23,440
Reaction score
3,750
Location
Northern VA
Let's look at a pretty simple situation... Dad's been up most of the night 'cause the kid's been fussy. He's running on a couple hours sleep a night for several nights. Meanwhile, he's still juggling hefty work responsibilities. Mom usually takes the kid to day care -- but she's passed out because she's even shorter on sleep. So, he's trying to be a good husband & dad -- and takes the kid to day care. On the way in, dad's phone rings with an urgent work situation.

He's out of his normal routine with the kid, short on sleep (MAJOR issue in mental functioning), and dealing with a crisis. Something falls through the cracks. Unfortunately, the most unusual/least urgent thing is what's likely to slip... and in this case, that's very possibly going to be the kid. Especially if the kid is dead asleep, and not making any noise. This doesn't make these situations less tragic, and, sadly, there are plenty of cases where it IS true neglect and apathy... but a whole lot of these cases are just a string of events. Again -- I refer you to the Frances Kelly case. Dad in that case trusted someone else to look after the youngest, while he dealt with the middle kids, made lunch, dealt with several home situations... and, tragically, never checked on the youngest.

My best suggestion for dads, moms, or uncles, or whomevers that are transporting a kid in a world of distractions and it's out of their routine is to put something else in plain view that you can't miss to remind you or put your briefcase or something else essential near the kid. It's a variant of an old cop trick to avoid forgetting your gun at the jail; you put your keys in the lockbox with the gun.
 

LuckyKBoxer

Master Black Belt
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
1,390
Reaction score
39
Let's look at a pretty simple situation... Dad's been up most of the night 'cause the kid's been fussy. He's running on a couple hours sleep a night for several nights. Meanwhile, he's still juggling hefty work responsibilities. Mom usually takes the kid to day care -- but she's passed out because she's even shorter on sleep. So, he's trying to be a good husband & dad -- and takes the kid to day care. On the way in, dad's phone rings with an urgent work situation.

He's out of his normal routine with the kid, short on sleep (MAJOR issue in mental functioning), and dealing with a crisis. Something falls through the cracks. Unfortunately, the most unusual/least urgent thing is what's likely to slip... and in this case, that's very possibly going to be the kid. Especially if the kid is dead asleep, and not making any noise. This doesn't make these situations less tragic, and, sadly, there are plenty of cases where it IS true neglect and apathy... but a whole lot of these cases are just a string of events. Again -- I refer you to the Frances Kelly case. Dad in that case trusted someone else to look after the youngest, while he dealt with the middle kids, made lunch, dealt with several home situations... and, tragically, never checked on the youngest.

My best suggestion for dads, moms, or uncles, or whomevers that are transporting a kid in a world of distractions and it's out of their routine is to put something else in plain view that you can't miss to remind you or put your briefcase or something else essential near the kid. It's a variant of an old cop trick to avoid forgetting your gun at the jail; you put your keys in the lockbox with the gun.

Why do people spend time trying to justify something like this with a whole list of possibilities? Thats ridiculous to me. How about the guy was simply more concerned with his work then his family. Thats the story right there, because thats what he did.
The Frances Kelly story is horrible, that father is a horrible father. The f amily is breaking down from the stresses, the father puts all the responsibility on his teenage kids and goes off on his own. You use this as an example of a doting and caring parent? Seriously?
I am in shock.
I do agree with you on one thing though, it makes sense to put your essentials next to your child as a reminder.
The fact of the matter is children are 100% dependant on their parents to care for them. To make correct choices to shape thier lives. You make a mistake like this with a kid and they die. Its not like forgetting to bring your cell phone to work and being put out for a couple hours. I am sorry but I am shocked by the example given.
 
Top