The Dangers of Leaving your Child alone in the Car

One of the top news stories this morning left my husband and I sitting with our mouths agape and heads reeling. A mother of two apparently took her children with her to the office and left her two young children alone in the car for fifteen minutes! Tragically, her youngest child, a little girl only two years of age, got her neck caught in a power window and died as a result. While I realize that this poor Mother will have to live with unbearable guilt and pain, doubtless for the rest of her life, as a result of this terrible accident, that the spin of the story focused entirely upon the dangers of power windows was completely shocking and disturbing to both my husband and my self.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely for any measures taken to ensure that power windows are made with a safety feature to prevent such tragic events from ever taking place again. However, I firmly believe that the focal point of these types of tragic deaths, where infants and young children are concerned, absolutely needs to be split between the negligence of parents who leave infants and young toddlers unattaneded and the cause of their tragic and preventable deaths. Pointing out the dangers of Power Windows and fighting to ensure that they are made with safety features is absolutely something to back. But if we are truly concerned about the safety and well being of infants and children, not focusing on the subjects of child endangerment and the neglect that is, beyond a shadow of doubt, partly the cause of such tragic deaths, is equally dangerous and negligent.

In this day and age, no parent can claim that they didn’t know it wasn’t safe to leave an infant/toddler/young child unsupervised in a vehicle for any length of time. It takes only one second for the worst to happen, and in the case of leaving infants/young children alone in a vehicle, the worst could be any number of terrible events, from choking on something to falling prey to a sexual offender and countless horrors in between.

So come on people! Let’s be real child advocates here. Power Windows are dangerous,true enough,but parents who think it’s ok to leave infants and young children unattended are equally, if not more, dangerous. If we’re going to push for safer Power Windows, we must also push for safer parents. That begins by making very clear, when reporting on such stories, that the cause of death was two part, and that not only does the way the child lost his/her life need to be pointed out and addressed, but the how. Wake up people! Use common sense. Do NOT leave your beloved, irreplaceable, precious little ones unattended in vehicles, or anywhere else for that matter. One second, that’s all it takes. But the guilt and pain you will be left with if the worst happens will last a lifetime, the lifetime your precious little one has tragically, preventably lost.