Saturday, August 20, 2005

How Can You Just Foreget a Child in a Car?

Just read a story about a 1-year-old found dead in a car Thursday in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Mt. Pleasant is in southeast Iowa, near where I grew up.

Authorities say the child had been in the vehicle for several hours and may have died of heat stroke.

Local newspaper reports said the child had been in the car all day and that Henry County Medical Examiner Dr. Kent Metcalf said the death apparently was an accident.

The local temperature at the time the child was found was 90 degrees.

Child advocacy groups have worked in recent years to reduce what appears to be a steady number of deaths caused when children are left unattended in hot vehicles.

According to the Associated Press, this type of child death in the United States varies annually from 28 children to 34 children in recent years.

I do not understand this. How can you "forget" about a child or a pet left in a car? How, in this day and age, can you not know how dangerous it is to leave any living thing in a car in 90-degree heat? We read stories like this every year. Why? Are some people still that ignorant?

And how can this be ruled an accident? Yes, I know, the parent didn't mean to kill the child, probably. But shouldn't these cases be ruled as negligent homicides? Isn't this really a case of depraved indifference?

I'm sorry for the family and friends who must mourn this senseless loss of life. I'm not unfeeling toward the party responsible, the party who left a 1-year-old in a car when the temperature was in the 90s. But I will never understand how you can just forget about any living thing in your car.

Anyone care to offer an explanation?