Babies Left in Car Seats? I Don’t Think So.

4 Aug

There have been multiple articles recently about babies being left in car seats, and dying in cars in the sweltering summer heat. Forgive me for sounding like “that” mom, but there was a segment on the Today Show this morning. They were talking about moms who headed to work and forgot to drop their kid at daycare (or dropped their older kid, but forgot to get their infant out of the back seat), went to work, and went to pick their kid up from daycare to learn that their kid wasn’t there. But of course he is here, the mother would say. Oh, wait. Oh, no. And that’s it. the five month old was n the backseat of the SUV, in his rear-facing car seat and his mom had forgotten him. Forgot him on the way to work. Forgot him for nine hours at work. Forgot him on the way home from work. He died.

Then, they talk about some sensor technology that goes in car seats that alerts you on your dash that there’s still a baby in your back seat.

Matt Lauer asks, “why doesn’t the government require that technology be put in all cars?”

And the guy says something like they’re working on that.

When you are in the hospital for two nights after having a baby, they make you write down on a little chart what time you fed the baby, how long the baby ate, when you changed diapers that had pee in them, and when you changed diapers that had poo in them. You do this for two days, and if you do a good job with that and act decently competent, they let you head home, baby in tow, with no supervision. No one makes you keep writing on those sheets and turning them into anyone. Why? Because you are an adult. Because you were old enough to have sex. Because you should be able to handle this. And because if you can’t, your doctor will tell you 100 times over to just ask for help.

That’s why the government doesn’t require sensor technology to remind  you that you have a baby. Because you are an adult. Because you were old enough to have sex. Because you should be able to handle this. also gives some pointers on how not to forget your kid in your backseat. It tells you all sorts of stuff you can buy to remind yourself about your baby.

Don’t get me wrong, baby stuff is hard. There are a lot of changes.

Here’s a thought: cut your expenses (like all those reminders), work a little less, slow your life down, and hang out with your kid. Then maybe you will remember them.

Original Post:


11 Responses to “Babies Left in Car Seats? I Don’t Think So.”

  1. Lauren G August 4, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    Great Post.

    I dont understand how anyone can forget their child in the car. I have a 15 month old little boy and even after dropping him off at creche I turn around and look at the car seat every few minutes out of habit.

    If these people are forgetting their children, I believe that they dont have their priorities right and need to slow down like you say in your blog.

  2. Laura August 4, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    amen friend. and don’t get me started about the government requiring sensor technology…. seriously.

  3. Kara August 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    Amen, sister! I was getting all riled up just reading about the story you watched! Forget about a baby? Your own baby? Really people?!? Crazy.

    Great post. And I’m loving the blog resdesign!

  4. hilstreet August 5, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    Sometimes I sit at work and obsess over if I shut the garage door or not. I am sure I will now obsess about this and check my car for babies instead of wonder about the garage.

    Wait! Ryan has “morning drive to daycare duties.” I don’t have to obsess.

    Wait! Now I am more worried.

  5. Morgan August 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    Oh Hilary. You remember people’s birthdays and the way our furniture was arranged five arrangements ago and what was on my to do list in 2008. You will remember your baby and I may ask you to remember things about mine so that I won’t forget later 🙂

  6. Stephanie August 5, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    Morgan, you know I love you, but I am going to respectfully disagree with your assertion that parents who forget to drop their kids off at daycare and leave them in hot cars are simply not responsible enough to have children, or are working too much and therefore forget the kid is in the back seat.

    Having a full-time job and raising a child is ridiculously hard. Sometimes you are really, really worried about work. Maybe you are driving to work thinking about how you have to present to a room full of executives that day and you are so nervous you could puke, because one of them might say something that makes you feel ridiculous and you are afraid you might cry in front of them. Maybe you’re thinking about a project you are responsible for that failed epically, and you know you are about to spend days apologizing to people and trying to fix something that you know you can’t fix but have to pretend to try to fix anyway. And maybe you are going through all of that on top of the fact that your kid would. not. sleep. the night before and you, subsequently, got three hours. Not in a row.

    Those things matter. Not, of course, as much as your children. But they can occupy your mind, and as much as I would like to think I would never, ever, leave Ryan in a hot car, I know that work sometimes distracts me from my family more than I’d like. And that’s why I take precautions, like making a habit of parking in the garage at work, so in case I ever did leave him (or future children), the car wouldn’t heat up. Or putting my laptop bag in the back seat so that I have to go back there to retrieve it. You certainly don’t need to buy special equipment for your car, but there’s nothing wrong with minimizing your risk. I would never fault someone who purchased any device that they thought might help them not forget their child in the car one day.

    There but for the grace of God we go, you know? Sometimes, as much as you’d like to, you can’t stop working, and sometimes, as much as you’d like to, you go through periods where you can’t even slow down (hello, NIWeek!). Sometimes, shit just happens. And God forbid it happen to you, or me, or anyone else.

  7. Stephanie August 5, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    PS – For the record, if the government ever required cars to put those sensors in, I’d be the first person protesting. Happy Libertarian here!

  8. Morgan Noris August 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    You are absolutely right. Apparently, I am the first to protest on either side. Sensors? That’s ridiculous. Seat belts on kids? Helmets on motorcyclists? Oh, the government should definitely regulate those. In an effort to humble myself after writing this pretentious post, I could not find my car keys for an hour. ONE HOUR. I do not have that big of a house to lose car keys for one hour.

    All to say I don’t have it all down, and I hope to God that I am not shown that in greater ways than losing my car keys.

    • Stephanie August 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

      Oh, car keys. Sometimes I think they actually do walk away on their own, because, like you, my house is just not big enough to lose car keys in for that long. I have to pull them out of my purse every night before bed and prominently display them on the kitchen table, because there have been too many times when I’ve gotten ready to head out the door in the morning only to find them gone.

  9. Kelly August 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    To a certain extent, I think stories like this are blown way out of proportion because crazy news sells. This is certainly not a *common* occurrence, but obviously as we’re seeing, it is possible to make this horrible mistake. So suggesting that we need to mandate sensors to prevent this rare thing from happening? Yes, that’s over the top.

    But on the flip side: I have never forgotten Abby in the car, but I have done something that scared the sh*t out of me. I was out running errands, and I put her in the car seat and then loaded up the grocery bags. Then I got in the front seat and drove away. It was only when I got home and went to get her out of her car seat that I realized I had put her in the seat but I HADN’T BUCKLED HER SEAT BELT. Holy crap.

    I feel like I am a good mama. I have my stuff together, mostly. I am not a dumbass. I love Abby more than anything. I am not a forgetful person, in general. And yet how could I do this?

    Sometimes good people make stupid mistakes, and unfortunately sometimes you aren’t always lucky to come out of those I-can’t-believe-I-did-that mistakes with no consequences.

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