Children Left In Vehicles

?? - posted on 08/01/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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A woman who alerted police to two young children left in a sealed van for hours may have saved their lives, Abbotsford police said Saturday.



Police said they were doing routine checks at about 1 a.m. PT at the Abbotsford Agrifair when a distressed woman alerted them that two children, ages two and four months, had been left in a van for hours while their father was drinking at the Fat Pig Saloon.



Const. Ian MacDonald said the car was locked, all of the windows were closed and the children were in grave condition.



"They were extremely distressed, as you can imagine. They're still awake and they're in a locked vehicle probably with strange surroundings … they had soiled their diapers and they were extremely dehydrated," he said.



"So even on a summer night — we know we're in the middle of a heat wave here — it was probably still in the upper 20s outside, so you can imagine the heat inside the vehicle."



It was not immediately clear how long the children had been in the van, but one witness said the engine was cold and it was believed they had been left there for several hours.



Both children were taken to a local hospital, where they were deemed to be doing well other than being dehydrated. The children have been placed in the care of the Ministry of Children and Families, police said.



No charges have been laid against the father, 26, an Abbotsford resident.



Police say the children's mother was also out Friday night, but it's unclear whether she and the father were together. Their investigation continues.





(link: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbi... )





Thoughts?

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[deleted account]

I'm not sure how it happens. But let's imagine that the baby is young and still in a rear facing seat. Maybe behind the drivers seat. (that's where our is only because of how the garage is situated.) Let's also assume that the parent does not have a little mirror that reflects the child seat. In this situation, the child would almost appear invisible even if you looked in the rear view mirror. I can recall times that I have looked in the mirror and have seen the car seat empty and my heart just sinks. . ."where is my baby, did I leave her somewhere?" and it only takes a few seconds and I realize oh, she's with the hubby. . . that's what scares me. I am so used to doing something a certain way. I am so used to having my baby with me that I freak out when I don't see her in the car seat. Having said that, I could easily argue the other way. If you are so used to not having a baby with you. . it would only take a few seconds to exit your vehicle and start your meetings or whatever. .. . how sad that is... but it does happen as we all know. I don't think it's that the job is more important. . so much as it we are all so distracted because society requires that we move a mile a minute. Which is fine when you're going in a straight line. . but when you deviate from the course you have been on for months or years. . even if it is a seemingly simple task such as dropping the baby off.

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[deleted account]

Disgusting..why do some people think its there right to create life and then treat there own flesh&blood like that..i would of charged them..why didnt the get charged..some people are let away with way to much.Makes me so angry Grrr

Nikki - posted on 08/22/2010

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These stories kill me I cannot fathom how you can possibly forget your child in a car,m let alone leave them in a car, everytime I hear one I hold my son tight and cry and know that I would never ever do such a thing.
Three days ago in Texas a 2 year old Toronto boy was left in the car for 2 hours in 50C weather and died. There were 3 adult men( one being his father) a teenage girl and 2 other children, the father was tending to his autistic son whom was overwhelmed, yet NOT A SINGLE PERSON REMEMBERED THE 2 YEAR OLD WAS STILL IN THE CAR AFTER 2 HOURS?!?!?!?! I just dont get it, it breaks my heart I cannot imagine what that poor lil boy was going through, so helpless, Im crying now thinking about it

Jessica - posted on 08/22/2010

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That is absolutely disgusting! They should charge that vile man and ban him from having children till he can prove to be a consistentl good parental figure.

Meghan - posted on 08/20/2010

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I don't even leave my son in the car alone for 2 minutes while I run it to pay for gas. I go through the hassel and take him out of the car seat and deal with him whining about wanting gum and slushies... Fucking stupid, and this shit pisses me off!!!

Abby - posted on 08/20/2010

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I just saw that on the news break, Mylene. I can't imagine forgetting my child in the vehicle. This makes my heart ache.

[deleted account]

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/2010082...

Here is another one... I NEVER leave my son in the truck EVER on his own unless I am within 3 feet of the vehicle. the windows are opened and I make sure to stay within eye sight at all times even if he's sleeping. Certainly not in blazing hot heat... How sad that children die like this.

Stifler's - posted on 08/19/2010

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What a bloody idiot. There has been way too much media coverage on children being left in cars dying for him to not have known. It's bullshit that there were no charges.

Chrystal - posted on 08/19/2010

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I think that is so sad. It is not right to leave your children out in the car so you can go out and drink at a bar. Very selfish! It doesn't sound like the kids are in a safe home environment. I really hope the parents change their ways for the kids sake.

Rosie - posted on 08/19/2010

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my god people are disgusting. i will throw in my 2 cents about accidentally leaving your child in the car. it happens, and it's horrifying. i had to get my license renewed and had to take vinnie with me to the DMV. i think he was between age 1 and 2. so i get there and just walk in and do my thing, completely oblivious to the fact that i had left my baby in the car. as luck would have it it didn't take very long that day, normally theres a enormous line, and it also wasn't very hot that day even tough it was june. i got in and out, went to get in the car and he made a noise when i got back in the car. i was ABSOLUTELY horrified that i just left my child in the car for 15 min. i cried and cried, it was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. if something would've happened to him i wouldn't of been able to forgive myself. i definitely feel deeply for those who do lose their children.

Angie - posted on 08/02/2009

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I think that those 2 parents had no right going out in the first place. I do think they should be locked up for good.

Now for the parents that forgot...it would be tough one to say, I would have to know them personally. I think people get so much going on in their lives, that they forget what really matters...(this is just my personal opinion). I live in a small town, and if my daughter is sleeping I usually leave her there, so I can dash in and out. In bigger cities, I'd definitely wake her up to take her with me. I do remember one year we went to a street dance and our friends didn't have a babysitter, he fell asleep in his carseat...we all took turns checking on him (this was also from a small town, and his grandparents and Aunt's and Uncle's were there also...and I don't there was a problem with that...oh ya I was DD and didn't have a drop of alcohol. Maybe you guys think that was wrong, I don't know?

[deleted account]

Unfortunately I'm not shocked because it happens all the time where I live. I am shocked that no charges have been filed. I hope child protection are involved and hope hope they will press charges eventually.

I do feel sympathy for parents who accidently leave their children and something happens. I'm not condoning it, but I feel sorry for them. I get really angry when I read about cases like this where they were sat in the bar for hours while the children baked in a van. What are these people thinking?

Sharon - posted on 08/02/2009

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I would like to say to bury them under the jail. But accidents, forgetfulness, and miscommunication do happen. And it does happen on purpose. Leaving your child in the car on "accident" seems like the perfect blameless way to "get rid" of your children these days. Unless you can prove they did it on purpose (ie. give a statment that you did it because you didn't have a babysitter) or the police can tell you are in altered state (drugs/booze) most people are let go with a slap on the wrist.



As a side note a few years ago here in AZ a state prosecutor left her new baby in Phoenix heat and she died everyone in the capital sympathised with the horrible tragedy. Not long after a welfare mom left her baby in the care and was dragged into the police station. Stupid newspapers were sketchy on details but the bare bones looked ominously prejudicial against people without money.

ME - posted on 08/02/2009

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I heard that story about the school principal on Oprah, Jo. That mom was clearly devastated, and suffering terribly. My heart was broken for her and her whole family. I can't imagine trying to survive somthing like that. I've had nightmares where I forget my son somewhere for a few minutes, then can't find him...I always wake up shaking and sobbing...I can't imagine going through it in real life. A person who does something like this deliberately to their children deserves to lose all rights to his/her kids, they obviously do not care about them at all.

Anna - posted on 08/02/2009

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This is wrong on so many levels, obviously in this case in particular this was intentional b/c daddy felt like going to the bar. On a normal summer day with the windows rolled down a little the inside of a car can heat up to 120-140 degrees + inside, on a mild day, the inside of a car can heat up above 100 degrees. Children can suffer heatstroke, dehydration and death. They even could have been kidnapped. Who in their right mind would risk that? It's a lack of appropriate supervision, obvious neglect and I am sure once cps' investigation is complete they will find a myriad of other issues in the home, along with the father being criminally charged with risk of injury to a minor. This digusts me, I am so glad those children were not harmed.

Esther - posted on 08/02/2009

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No charges?? Are you kidding me? He should be locked up and have the key thrown away. The mom should probably be locked up too for leaving them with a father who is clearly unworthy of the title (surely she knows what kind of guy he is).



Now as for the accidental scenario, I cannot imagine any worse punishment than losing your baby, so no, I don't think any criminal charges should be filed against such a parent. I remember a show that Oprah did a while back. A principal of an elementary school lost her daughter because she left her in the car all day in the heat. It was the first day of school after the summer and she was stressed because of everything she needed to do that day. Her husband, who normally took the baby to daycare, had a dental appointment that morning, so she had to drop her off first. When she got to the daycare, it was still closed so she drove to a nearby bakery where she got some bagels etc. for her teachers for their breakfast meeting, as she often did. She was so consumed with thoughts of the day ahead of her, that she just drove to school on auto-pilot (the baby was asleep in the back the whole time), parked the car & went on with her day.



It was not until sometime later that afternoon that another teacher happened to see the baby in the back of the car. By then it was too late. I will spare you the gory details but it was a very ugly sight. And the mom had to see that and know that it was because of something she did that that happened to her daughter. I cannot imagine how that must feel and I only feel sadness for her.

Johnny - posted on 08/02/2009

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I try not to think about the scenario where the baby gets left in the car mistakenly. It gives me this horrible ache in the pit of my stomach, that just doesn't go away, and you can not go around that anxious all the time (I did for the 1st 3 months of my daughter's life and it was terrible). To this day, when I am carrying my daughter, I still walk as far away as possible for railings & overhangs because a woman in our city dropped her baby off the local suspension bridge a couple years ago (accidentally or on purpose, it's never been known). I'm petrified that it could happen to me. So one paranoid fear is enough and I try to avoid the others lest ending up a completely debilitated ball of worry like my own mother.

When I heard the story on the news last night about the babies left in the car in Abbotsford I was just sick. And then I heard the sound of the little 4 month old crying and my heart broke. I can not imagine why they would choose not to charge the father or both of the parents with neglect & abuse. But then nothing surprises me about our child welfare system, I used to be a social worker. I'd love to be proven wrong on this one.

Lindsay - posted on 08/01/2009

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Thanks, Jo! I wouldn't say that I still beat myself up over it but more that I keep myself aware of it. It was a huge lesson to me to slow down. Obvioulsy now that she is a 4 1/2 year old that never seems to stop talking and that Cooper is also a very vocal almost 3 yr old, that scenerio isn't likely to repeat itself!



As for the other questions, unfortunately, I honestly think that people assume that they could never forget the child and that's when things like this happen. Your kids are at the top of your priority list so you try to keep up with the other things "knowing" that your precious kids wouldn't fall behind in the scheme of things. I don't think I'm saying this right and can't seem to get it out in words so if this really doesn't make any sense, sorry.

?? - posted on 08/01/2009

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I agree 100% with you ladies. (For arguments sake) The argument I have come across is - how could any parent be so oblivious to their child in the back seat. Do they not look behind them? Do they not do a mental check list when they leave the car? If their routine is such a focused one, wouldn't the add of having to drop off the baby at daycare, throw them off so much so that they would remember? And then the ones I love the most - how bad of a parent do you have to be to put your job before your child?



I am not sayin any of these things to be what I think - just wondering what your opinions are of those arguments.





Lindsay I wish I could give you a super hug right now, that must be a horrible experience. I'm so sorry that that happened to you. I hope you don't still beat yourself up about it and know that you and your daughter are no worse off because of what happened.

[deleted account]

I don't think that those who unintentionally leave a child in the car should be punished as murderers. The end result is of course so completely awful. And the pain, guilt and anguish that parent will feel will be far worse than what any prison will ever do. In today's society we are all pushed to do more, do it more quickly, get it done better. We are pulled in a trillion directions each day. I know it's easy to sit and read the news and think, what an awful parent; they left the baby in the car and just went to work . but I can understand how that may happen . . that doesn't make it any less horrible . .. for the baby that died, the parent who 'forgot' and the spouse who was to busy to do the normal routine. Can you just imagine the guilt!! The anguish. Seriously, put yourself in that situation. Take your normal routine and add this element in and seriously go through the emotion of it. The pain of losing a child is unbearable, the guilt unbearable.. . as parents, our core job is to protect our children and when we fail at that there's nothing externally worse than how we can punish ourselves. All of this is very different from "I'm going to the bar and the kids are coming with me."

Lindsay - posted on 08/01/2009

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Obviously if it is done purposely, they are the scum of the earth but...I have to say, I'm not so sure about the accidents because they can happen, even to the most responsible parents. I can't even believe I'm going here because I know I'm going to cry while writing this but here goes.....

When Madeline was very young, like just a few weeks old, I took her to the grocery because we just needed a few things. I had made out a list but forgot it of course. Madeline was asleep in her seat in the back and I just hopped out of the car and locked it and went to get a cart. I made it about ten feet from the car and turned around in a panic. How could I have forgotten her so quickly? I ran back to the car, pulled her out and cried and held her for a good hour. I was so shook up, I knew I couldn't drive and I definately wasn't doing my shopping after that! I had so much guilt over what could have happened and beat myself up over it for a long time. I still do when it comes up. The only thing I can think is if I had that much guilt and she wasn't even 10 feet away, I can't imagine worse. That's a hard one, Jo... =(

Dana - posted on 08/01/2009

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I remember when that happened, the mom usually brought baby and the dad didn't realize he had the child in the back. Awful, my heart still breaks for that couple. I don't think they deserve any punishment, they were punished enough that day. I just hope they are still together as husband and wife and don't blame one another. Sad

?? - posted on 08/01/2009

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I don't think they've pressed charges yet because they are still investigating the mother too. I hope they throw the book at him for sure and her too if she knew her babies were in the car as well. I thought the same thing as you Allison. Getting in the car drunk, a drunk carrying 2 babies around in the middle of the night even, leaving them there all night... the possibilities make me want to throw up, and on a purely evil level - go tie his ass up in the back of a car to leave him to see what it's like.



Now I have a question for you guys, I had this conversation awhile ago so I wanted to see what you thought about it -- do you think parents who "forget" their children in the car deserve to be severely punished? Do you think that knowing they killed their baby or hurt their baby is sufficient enough punishment? Do you think there are some... excuses... that are reasonable?



By "excuses" I mean; mom usually brings baby to daycare, daddy has a very busy/demanding/focused job, forgets baby is in the carseat and goes to work caught up in work, to find their child died during the day. In that situation I think knowing that they accidently killed their child, would be punishment enough. But anyone who PURPOSEFULLY leaves their child in the car, deserves punishment.



What do you think?



And Thank you Dana hehe

Deanne - posted on 08/01/2009

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I meant even if it is me dashing in for milk at the shop, I always take both kids in with me!

Deanne - posted on 08/01/2009

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Gosh I even drag my son into the shops/where ever I am.... if he really protests that he doesn't want to go in! Never ever leave your kids in the car.

Dana - posted on 08/01/2009

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What is wrong with people. Thank God, or whatever you want to do, that these children were only dehydrated. Can you imagine how awful this story could have been. I think we all could and the fact that people hear these kinds of stories and still continue to do this kind of crap boggles my mind. A two year old is bad enough but a 4 month old too. It makes me sick to my stomach. I hope that there is justice made on the behalf of these children.

[deleted account]

I seriously hope that charges will be brought against this man (and woman if they were together). Clearly the children were in danger and could have been killed. That is clear. But what about basic common sense when it comes to children? Who has babies out at 1a.m.. . they should be tucked in bed, safe and sound. And then we have to look at what happends when this loser of a man decides he's had enough at the pub and gets in the car and drives drunk with his babies in the back. He should be charged with everything the law can throw at him. What a loser!

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