Mom Is Puzzled Whether It’s Ever OK To Leave Kids In The Car, Asks The Internet For Advice

Nearly every week on some social media or local news there is either a tragic story of a child left in a hot car or a timely reminder to not do that, supplemented with images of smashed car windows. Particularly if one lives in a hot area, every summer (or winter, if you are in the southern hemisphere,) there are reminders to keep windows open and AC on.

But one mom wanted to hear the internet opinion on when, if ever, it would be acceptable to leave a baby in the car. Surprising no one, thoughts were deeply divided as netizens shared their thoughts, argued, and debated OP’s question.

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There are a multitude of horror stories involving kids and pets left in cars

Image credits: Jay Gooby (not the actual photo)

But one mom decided to ask the internet about when it would be ok

Image credits: Lum3n (not the actual photo)

Image credits:  missydecay

Image credits: Peter Fazekas (not the actual photo)

The act of driving seems to actually make parents forgetful

While OP was debating scenarios where one could leave a baby in a car, there is a surprisingly high number of cases where a parent, babysitter, or guardian leaves a child by accident. This is so common that psychologists have named it “forgotten baby syndrome,” which is quite descriptive, if a bit unimaginative. Studies indicate that around one-fourth of parents forget there is a child in a car during a drive or when arriving at a temporary destination, like a shop, gas station, and so on. Despite this relatively high number, the actual deaths caused by being left in a car are relatively low, potentially around one hundred a year.

Despite more public knowledge, the incidents of children dying of car-induced hypothermia or heat stroke have actually grown in recent years. Researchers have noted that the implementation of airbags and backward-facing child-safety seats both appear correlated with this increase. Psychologists believe that, without a visual or audio reminder of a child’s presence, parents go into autopilot after parking the car and simply leave and lock it. Of course, this doesn’t include the parents who willingly and knowingly leave children in a car, as only a sleeping baby is quiet and passive enough to not draw an adult’s attention when pulling up to Walmart.

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

Car manufacturers and litigators around the world have both started addressing this issue

To combat the former case, some manufacturers are developing devices to remind parents that, hey, your literal child is still in the car. One simple solution is a beeper. The car keeps track of when the backseat has been opened, and the next time the car parks or the front door opens, it goes off. In OP’s example, this would perhaps wake the child, but, depending on where she lives, this could also save his or her life. Other vehicles come with end-of-trip reminders, though it’s easy to see how it could be annoying to hit a button or switch every time one stops the car. The Association of Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a wonderfully long and grand name, have committed to standardizing some sort of warnings or alarms in the future, while Italy and Israel both already require them in all new vehicles.

All these factors together point to the fact that leaving a kid in the car is, at best, an exception. A hundred or so deaths seem like a low number, but these were all preventable, unnecessary deaths caused by ignorant and irresponsible parents. There might be fringe cases where, realistically, the child will be fine, such as OP’s example. However, her fear of being judged or some sort of emergency responder being called is not only valid but pointing towards a growing awareness of this issue. While in her example, a firefighter breaking her vehicle’s window might be excessive, it’s an overall net positive that people are vigilant of children left unattended in cars and willing to get help.

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Understandably, many believed that there were really never any good reasons to leave a baby unattended


While others saw the mom’s point and brought up other scenarios

The post Mom Is Puzzled Whether It’s Ever OK To Leave Kids In The Car, Asks The Internet For Advice first appeared on Bored Panda.


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