Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It Can Happen To Anyone

Oprah did a show on a mother who forgot her baby in the car. This mother went to work and, almost 8 hours later, realized her daughter had been in the car the entire time.  Normally, the husband took the daughter to childcare but had a dentist appointment this day, so the mom was to take the child to the provider.

Many times, this situation happens when there is a schedule change. A new child care provider, preschool, or job. Maybe the spouse is out of town and the other spouse has to do the drop off/pick up. 

We have dear friends who had a wonderful family time swimming, ran some errands, and came home. All the kids and parents laid down for a nap. A couple of hours later, mom woke up to nurse the baby. She thought the dad had the baby and he thought she had the baby. They rushed to the vehicle and found their daughter. She was still alive, but needed immediate medical attention. Sadly, this precious baby girl passed away the following day.

This had been the top news story for 2 days. The servers at a restaurant we ate at were talking about the parents, saying horrible things about them. Accusing them of ridiculous things. We could not stand it. J got up and told these women the parents are the best, most attentive parents. They are strong Christians, who are involved in their church and community. It was an accident. An accident that could happen to any of us and we should never judge this couple. 

It is by the grace of God that neither of my children were lost this way. The summer Motor Mouth was born, a school teacher forgot her child in the car. That may have saved Motor Mouth's life. I'm from Canada. I knew about kids who were left in cars in the winter, but didn't ever remember hearing about kids dying from being in a hot car. It was my wake up call.

I'm not sure where I intended to go with this blog. But just know that it can and does happen to the best parents. Good parents forget their children in the car. It is not just horrible people who are drug addicted or drinking or whatever. No one should EVER judge a parent who has left their child in the car.

These tragedies are reminders that we have to be diligent and present in the moment. Communication with our spouses and childcare providers is really important. 

Here are some ideas to help prevent this from happening to you:
1. If you don't normally drop the child off, have your spouse call you within 15 minutes of when you were supposed to leave the child. 

2. Set an alarm on your cell phone. My phone as a calendar feature I could program.

3. Arrange with the childcare provider to call you if the child has not been dropped off within a set timeframe (30 min).

4. Be in the habit of looking in your backseat every time you exit your vehicle.

5. Do a head count when you arrive home and to your destination.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding us all to be more compassionate. It is so easy to judge people, especially when we don't know them.

Also thanks for all your comments on my blog.

Michelle said...

Simone, I remember when this happened to the couple at church. Actually, I had just had my third child and was in the hospital. Dan Lees (I will be mortified if I spelled his name wrong) came by to see Roger and I. And somehow this accident came up and he was telling us about it. I had seriously not heard about it at church or on the news. However, as I held my precious newborn daughter, I tried hard not to cry. The loss of a child that so sad and devastating for the family. After he left I looked at Roger and told him I believed that him telling that story to us was not a coincedence. It was a warning to be vigilant.

Life was so hectic when we had our third..start of the school year, football practices, lack of sleep..three kids!! I will always be so grateful that the Lord sent him to see us and share that with us. I can totally understand how it can happen. Thanks for sharing this in your blog.

Shan said...

If only we were all a little kinder to each other. What a heartbreaking story.