Unexpectedly Hot Parenting Topic

Wow! My parenting poll from last week about leaving children unattended in cars, touched off a firestorm of discussion.

I must say, I didn’t realize this was such a hot topic. I also wasn’t aware of some of the tragic incidents which have taken place across the country. I want to thank Andrea and Jason for their impassioned comments.

Some of the incidents on Kids and Cars are as hard to believe as they are tragic. Some are freak occurrences. Some are adults acting very stupid, like just plain forgetting a kid is in the backseat.

I think this boils down to awareness and common sense. Being aware of the dangers is important. I am now more aware of some of the things which can happen to kids left alone in cars. It’s similar to the warnings we are given about bathtubs and swimming pools. Don’t leave a child unattended. A kid can drown in very little water. Hearing these warnings over and over helps raise awareness.

But freak accidents can occur anywhere. When you leave the room to answer the phone. When you are making dinner in the kitchen. Riding a bike. You can’t keep your eyes and hands on your kids 24/7.

When I think about all the potential dangers out there, and when I see my kids doing some of the things they do (jumping off stuff, running full speed without looking), it makes me paranoid. And my oldest is only four and a half. What happens when they are older? Jumping off higher stuff. Riding skateboards. Driving a car. Yikes!

3 thoughts on “Unexpectedly Hot Parenting Topic”

  1. The worry never goes away, it just gets a little bit easier to manage. My boys are almost 18 and 16 and I still worry every second they are not with me.

    The driving cars part will adds a whole new dimension. I haven’t managed this to well.

    Keep up the good work, I really enjoy this site.

  2. I don’t think forgetting your child in the car qualifies as “stupid.” It usually happens to smart people who are departing from routine or have too much on their minds. I read one story in which the father normally didn’t take the baby to daycare, but on the day of the incident he was supposed to and forgot she was in the car. Factor in that we are required by law to tuck our children rear-facing into the back seat where we can’t even see them, and it becomes such a terribly easy mistake to make. It can happen to anyone, because we are human. I think the misconception that it only happens to horrible, abusive, stupid parents causes it to happen more often. Because–honestly–how many people think they ARE the kind of person who would forget their child in the car? Most of them don’t until it happens, and then they are in shock! If everyone accepted it could happen to them, they could take precautions and prevent it.

    Please read:

  3. Okay, I already commented on this, but… This week on the news, a lady was running into a wireless phone store to pay a bill, just for a minute. So she left her infant in the car. On her way into the store, she was attacked by a man who wanted to steal her car. She fought with him, knowing her child would be taken if she gave in. He stabbed her in the chest, but luckily he ran away on foot and the baby was saved. The woman died. I wonder what might have happened if she’d taken the time to get the baby out. Would he have moved on to someone else? (He didn’t attack her until she was nearing the door of the store.) This story has my mind made up. You never know what can happen when you leave your child in the car.

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