Two Babies Died In Hot Cars This Week, Because Human Beings Make Mistakes

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children-left-in-carsOn Monday, an Orlando father switched up his morning routine a little. He had intended to drop off his daughter at daycare, but whatever errand her ran before that somehow managed to make his 9-month-old in a carseat in the back of his truck slip his mind. He drove to work and went about his day. Four hours later, a family member asked about the baby and he realized what he had done. It was too late.

On Wednesday, a similar tragedy happened. A Georgia father was supposed to take his 22-month-old to daycare. Instead, he drove straight to work. The child remained strapped to a carseat all day – in 100 degree weather.

The very thought of this breaks my heart into a thousand pieces. The thought of a child suffocating in a hot car is something I don’t want to fathom. And I am certain that these fathers are in a place I wouldn’t wish on any human being.

I’d like to say that I can’t imagine how something like this could happen – but I can. Because it does. There are hundreds of comments on these stories, calling the fathers murderers – saying that they should never had children to begin with. I understand the rage – the mere thought of a child dying this way is enough to sicken anyone. I just think – it’s why they are called accidents. It’s horrifying. There is no justification, besides the fact that human beings can really fuck up.

I was sitting at my desk on Monday writing, when all of a sudden I jumped up and thought “Oh my God! I have to pick up my son from daycare!” For a brief moment – I completely forgot I had already done it an hour earlier and on time. But in that moment, the day just left me – I had a complete lapse in thought. I know this isn’t the same thing – but it’s the lapse, the scary misplacement of time that makes me understand just a little how something like this could happen.

This is just tragic. It makes me think that there has got to be a way to help prevent this awful thing from happening. An alarm goes off in my car if I leave my keys in the ignition when I open my driver door. The same thing happens when I leave my lights on. Could a similar strategy be employed to help in a situation like this? I don’t know. Many would say it’s simply the responsibility of the individual, but so is turning off your headlights and remembering to remove your keys from the ignition – yet we have help for that.

I truly hope these families can find some peace.

(photo: Ulrich Mueller/ Shutterstock)