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Household Dangers

We've talked about it before and the Consumer Products Safety Commission agrees, magnets are the No. 1 hidden home hazard you ought to worry about. "In several hundred incidents, magnets have fallen out of various toys and been swallowed by children," the CPSC writes in its press release on hidden home dangers. The next four dangers on the list are: recalled products, furniture and appliances that tip over and crush children, windows and their coverings and pool and spa drains.

What's not on the list is a danger that appears to be a growing concern: Your car.

In the past decade, 340 kids have died from heat exhaustion while being trapped in a car, according to the Associated Press. In the past month, an 11-month-old boy died in California after his father forgot to drop him off at day care. In South Carolina, a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old died after being left in their car while their mother worked. Their mother left them there after her babysitter fell through. And in Jerusalem, two children, one aged 4 and one who was 7 months old have died from being trapped in cars.

The AP story, which examined punishments in the cases of children left in cars to die, identified more than 220 in which caregivers admitted to leaving the child behind. The bulk of those people (75 percent) say they simply forgot the child was in the car.

Do you ever worry about leaving your child behind in your car by accident? Have you knowingly left a child in a car, even for a short time? What dangers to kids worry you?

10:00 a.m. Update: Fisher-Price has recalled nearly 1 million toys because their paint contains excessive amounts of lead. Here's The Post story and here's the recall posting on the CPSC Web site.

By Stacey Garfinkle |  August 2, 2007; 7:00 AM ET
Previous: Birthing Plans | Next: The Debate: Talking Pedophilia

Comments


Ummm, Is it really the car that is the danger or the idiot parents?

Posted by: Me | August 2, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it's the lack of safe affordable daycare in this country. Can you imagine what it must be like to be so desperate and afraid of losing your job that you would lock your child in a car, leave them at a storage facility or some of the other scenarios we see in the news from time to time? What it must be like to have no family, relatives or social support system? My heart goes out to this poor woman. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Posted by: justlurking | August 2, 2007 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like drugs were involved.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 7:55 AM | Report abuse

I cannot fathom forgetting a child in the car -- how distracted does a parent have to be to forget he or she has a kid? I know it's incredibly judgmental, but that kind of absent-mindedness goes way past bad parenting and into neglect territory. I hope that the any other children these people have are now being cared for by competent foster parents.

Posted by: NewSAHM | August 2, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

"Do you ever worry about leaving your child behind in your car by accident?"

Nope, since I actually pay attention and stay sober.

"Have you knowingly left a child in a car, even for a short time?"

Hell no.


Posted by: Father of 2 | August 2, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with NewSAHM - a person wouldn't forget their purse or briefcase...how can you forget a child??? As far as the story about the woman leaving her kids in the storage facility, if it is the story I am thinking of, she dumped them there and went to spend the night at her mother's house in a nice, clean bed. So, sorry, no sympathy there.

Posted by: Me | August 2, 2007 8:00 AM | Report abuse

"What's not on the list is a danger that appears to be a growing concern: Your car."

Well, the reason the CPSC does list "your car" is because it is responsible for 15,000 products, but cars are not one them.

"What dangers to kids worry you?"
ATVs!! And pools, especially the new inflatable ones that people aren't fencing. My good friend has a pool, she has two step-children under 6 and her own infant. I've mentioned pool safety a couple time, only to be met with an eye roll and "I'm not going to let the kids die." Yup, neither was anyone else whose child drowned in a home pool.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

(oh, and that was me above also, forgot my name)

"Have you knowingly left a child in a car, even for a short time?"
How about a corrollary, "were any of you knowingly left in the car as a child?" I don't know how common this is, but my mother routinely left me in the car while she ran into the store to buy sometime. I HATED it. I had a song I would sing when she didn't come back right away ("My mom's been mom-napped"). I remember this clearly from around age 6 on up to 14, I can only imagine it was happening when I was younger, too.

And I don't tell this story as some sort of "our parents did it an we are fine" way, but more to say: it sucked then, I was scared, even terrified at time, and still remember the fear.

Posted by: RT | August 2, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

"I don't know how common this is, but my mother routinely left me in the car while she ran into the store to buy sometime"

It was common practice when I was growing up for parents to leave their kids in the car while they went shopping and ate in restaurants.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

A friend of mine had recently had her second child in the course of 18 months. She was exhausted (of course). She had to run to the store and left her older child with a friend and brought a long her 2 week old infant. She parked her car and made it almost into the supermarket but she got the feeling she was forgetting something. She went back to her car and was shocked she had left her child. In her exhaustion and lack of routine she left her child.

I was shocked, until I had my second child a few weeks later. Every time I went out of the house for the first month I did a kid count, just to make sure.

I am not excusing it, and believe that parents should be punished when this happens, specially if the child is harmed or dies. But every parent has made a serious mistake at some point. None of us are perfect.

Luckily most of the mistakes have been caught before something tragic happened. Like in my friend's case, her child was fine for the 2 or 3 minutes she was alone in the car. And, an entire neighborhood of parents started doing the kid count every time they left the house.

Posted by: A mom | August 2, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

The only way a child is forgotten in the car is that the driver is too tired or too harried. As a society we need to do a little less, sleep a little more, and plan our time schedules better. Our expectations for our lives are too high.... have a smaller house and smaller mortgage, quit scrambling the corporate ladder, give up some extra curricular sports, just have a more low keyed life!

Posted by: frugal mom | August 2, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

My Mom would leave me in the car if she was just running into the store for one or two things. Usually, I'd ask to stay in the car rather than go in with her, and it never bothered me. But the it was never more than 10 minutes or so. Shopping? Eating in restaurants? I would have thought that was neglect 30 years ago as well.

Though, really, none of that is as bad as "forgetting" you have a kid.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

New SAHM and Me: One of the examples cited by the Associated Press story was of a father who left his 21-month-old daughter in a van for seven hours. The story goes on to tell what his day was like. It certainly seemed to influence what the judge decided for his sentence:

"Would it influence your opinion to know that the day Frances died, May 29, 2002, the Manassas engineer was watching 12 children alone while his wife and oldest daughter were abroad visiting a cancer-stricken relative?

Does it matter that when he returned home that day, he'd asked two teenage children _ both of baby-sitting age _ to attend to their younger siblings while he went back to school for another daughter who was late getting out of an exam?

Or that during the next seven hours, he was accosted by an air conditioning repairman with news that he was going to have to spend several thousand dollars on a new unit? That he fixed lunch, did laundry, mended a gap in the fence that the little ones were using to escape the yard, drove to the store for parts to fix his air conditioner, took a son to soccer practice and fixed a leaking drain pipe in the basement?"

Posted by: Stacey Garfinkle | August 2, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Stacey, all the "reasons" the guy left his kid in the car boil down to "other things were more important than the child".

NOTHING is more important than the child. If a child was at or by a pool and the AC repair guy came, would the father say "Oh, tell me about my system" or would he say "Wait, let me make sure my child is out of danger and then we can talk."

Posted by: Father of 2 | August 2, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Stacey - I remember hearing that story - that was a bit of an extreme example, one guy caring for all those children. It's a bit different then having one child you are responsible for and "forgetting" them. Also, I know this sounds judgmental, but if you have to do a "head count" for TWO kids, please don't have any more.

Posted by: Me | August 2, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I remember the story of Francis. I was disgusted: those people had too many kids. If you cannot keep track of your offspring, you have too many. And asking another child (babysitting age or not) to be responsible isn't the answer.

Posted by: 21117 | August 2, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

My husband does the daycare dropoff. I do pick up. He had an early meeting and I had to do the daycare dropoff. Lo and behold, I get to work (25 miles from the daycare), open my back door to get my briefcase, and spy my little angel smiling at me. I felt like a moron. When little angel was first born, I got in the habit of keeping my purse, shopping bags, etc., next to the baby seat even when the baby wasn't in the car. That way, to get my purse I had to look in the baby seat - and note that there was/was not a baby present. These stories make me paranoid and so very sad.

Posted by: Anny | August 2, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Anny - as pointed out above, how can you always remember your purse or shopping, and not your kid? Guess I don't get it....

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The thing people say here is that "NOTHING is more important than the child." Frankly that incorrect chestnut has gotten a little old. A friend of mine volunteers at a church homeless shelter and she told me multiple stories about women in the following scenario: They believed via religion that all they had to do in life was be there for their kids and then the husband leaves. They have no real education, no job history, no relationship with their husband anymore, they have nothing but their relationship with their kids, they're living out of a car for several weeks trying to get into Section 8 housing, WIC, and welfare. Some of these people were genuinely surprised that their church friends and relatives gave up on them 3-4 years after they started borrowing money. Some don't want jobs except between 9-3 when the kids are in school.

Then what about the drivers (I sometimes see them leaving daycare) who have their head turned around, talking to their kids as they drive down the road? They're in a car, but are their kids really more important than keeping their eyes on the road? Are their kids more important than them hitting me?

And that's the big issue here, are your kids more important than your job, your marriage or safety on the road?

A driver on a highway commute can get wrapped up in traffic easily because they can't think about the children- they must think about traffic or else they crash.

I talked to a friend a few days ago who related this story about his cousin: Mom was sick and while Dad was getting breakfast and rushing to work she put the baby in the carseat and told Dad to drop the baby off at daycare. Dad got most of the way to work when the baby woke up and cried. He apparently never heard the Mom say anything to him about this and presumed the baby would stay home that day. Crisis averted.

since we're talking about children who died due to negligence it's almost an academic argument. Obviously these parents did wrong and most were pursued by the police for child neglect. No one can argue that the parents did wrong, at the very least by accident. some stories anger me, others are heartbreaking accidents.

But my kids, while their safety and health is the #1 priority in my life, are not the #1 priority in my life at the expense of other things. What I mean to say is that life is a juggle between raising my kids, managing my career, and keeping my relationship with my wife alive. I go out to eat with my wife and leave the kids with a babysitter. I leave the kids with my wife while I attend business meetings out of town- as does my wife. I have the kids at a church daycare so I can have a full-time job. I pay my mortgage before I buy them toys or clothes. Life consists of compromises, it does not consist of absolutes.

I voluntarily had kids, I made the decision to modify my life so I can have a family, I have at least 10 friends from college who made the decision NOT to have kids. I voluntarily put myself in this position. I take on the responsibility required. But that doesn't mean I don't want to move to a C-Level position, it doesn't mean my relationship with my wife is over and it doesn't mean I don't love my kids just because I need to listen to business news in my car and not the Wiggles.

Posted by: DCer | August 2, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"GUANYAO, China (Reuters) -- China leapt to the defense of its products Thursday after Mattel Inc. said it was recalling 1.5 million Chinese-made toys worldwide because their paint may contain too much lead.

The recalled toys made for Mattel's (Charts) Fisher-Price unit include popular preschool characters such as Elmo and Big Bird and dozens of other items. The case is the latest in a deluge of product safety scares that have tainted the "made in China" brand.


Giggle Grabber Oscar the Grouch is among the toys being recalled.
Video More video


CNN's John Vause reports on why some Chinese products keep getting recalled.
Play video


Vice Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng repeated the government line that Chinese products were overwhelmingly safe, and called on foreign media not to hype the problems of a small minority of goods or companies."

BEWARE of these "safe" products, if more americans knew of the absolute lack of consumer protection laws in china and the lack of concern by communist officials towards consumer safety, they would boycott China in droves. We try very hard to be conscious of chinese made goods.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 2, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I'll fess up to being terrified I'll forget I have the little one with me. My husband and I have a pick-up and drop-off routine for day care. Sometimes we have to change it, and the days when we are NOT on routine, I have sometimes found myself heading the car toward work rather than day care, and get partway to work before I remember: I'm going to day care! If I can forget that, of course I'm scared I could forget my sleeping son is with me. I worry my husband could forget. I worry that the car will crash, that the bridge will fall, that my precious son will stop breathing in the night...all fears, all with some small basis in reality.

Posted by: Mommabean | August 2, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Well, if you are doing something out of your routine, you might miss something. My routine has always been to get on certain roads to take me to work. These roads are different roads than what I'd take to get to day care. Do you never ever go on autopilot? I do every morning when I go to work and every night when I come home from work. Even days when my child is home sick, I've driven home past the daycare, because that is what I do 240 days a year. I am not in the habit of dropping off. I am in the habit of picking up.

As for remembering a purse, I've been carrying a purse for 27 years. I've been a mom for 1. My mom always kept her purse in the backseat behind the driver's seat. When I started carrying a purse I did the same. I don't go everywhere with my kid (I usually don't take my kid shopping at all) and I go everywhere with a purse, so I go in-and-out with my purse probably 5x more than I go in-and-out with my kid (we tend to walk places). I can't imagine leaving my kid in the car for 7 hours, but I can see how it would happen.

Posted by: Anny | August 2, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

How about a corrollary, "were any of you knowingly left in the car as a child?"
-------

I usually demanded to be left in the car with a book when my mom went clothes shopping, which I hated. I remember sitting in the front seat pretending I was driving while other adults giggled as they walked by. Of course it was a convertible and no one thought anything of leaving everything in the car unlocked and exposed either.

Posted by: DCer | August 2, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

there have been lots of articles explaining how normal people can forget children in cars. It has nothing to do with stupidity or lack or love - we just say that because we don't want to face the small but real possibility it could happen to us. Sleep deprivation is often an issue with anyone caring for a small baby, but it also has to do with the way the brain functions - the power of routine to drive our mentla processes is much greater than we realize. A large number of these events happen in cases where having the child in the car is a break from a normal commuting routine (i.e. the parent who doesn't usually have the child is doing the daycare dropoff). Our brains aren't particularly good at remembering NOT to follow the routine. That's why engineers spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to improve the effectiveness of nuclear plant monitors, etc. I like the idea of baby alarms on key chains mentioned in one of these articles, or weight sensors in carseats.

Posted by: lurker | August 2, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but I have left my 5 and 2 y.o. sons in the car while picking up the dry cleaning. Our cleaners has a 5 minute parking spot right in front of the door where you can see into your car at all times. If that spot is taken, we drive around the lot until it opens up. Given that its a very busy parking lot and that most people don't pay any attention to the pedestrians, it has always seemed safer to do it this way rather than trying to get 2 kids and a ton of dry cleaning back to the car with only 2 hands. And I'm still not convinced it isn't safer.

On a tangent, while I have never unknowingly left my kids in the car, I have occasionally been so distracted that I forgot to buckle my older son's seatbelt before pulling out of a parking spot. Fortunately, my son let me know right away, and we never actually got out of a parking lot with an unbuckled belt.

That said, even with these experiences, I cannot imagine "forgetting" that your child was in the car. I try and try to empathize/sympathize, but I just can't help but feel that these people are too stupid to be allowed to raise kids.

Posted by: anon for today | August 2, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but I have left my 5 and 2 y.o. sons in the car while picking up the dry cleaning"

Dry cleaning is really bad for the environment!!!

Posted by: spike | August 2, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

One of the biggest points this article made was that this problem has increased since people have started putting their kids in the back seat for safety reasons. I'm surprised that isn't mentioned in any of these responses or the original article.

Of course you can forget the kid is there, especially if dropping the kid off is not part of your normal routine. Another article talked about devices for keyrings that engineers are designing to help with this problem. They beep if the parent walks a certain number of feet away from the car and the kid is still in the car (not quite sure how the device knows this.)

In stead of being so judgemental we should be thinking of ways to solve the problem.

Posted by: dai | August 2, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"Our brains aren't particularly good at remembering NOT to follow the routine"

Don't talk about my brain. Only talk about YOUR brain. YOUR brain isn't good at remembering to NOT follow the routine.

My brain is quite good at it.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Don't talk about my brain. Only talk about YOUR brain. YOUR brain isn't good at remembering to NOT follow the routine.

My brain is quite good at it.
--------

Well you forgot to sign a name to your post, that certainly is evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: DCer | August 2, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I agree with pATRICK. I have no respect for China and basically assume that anything I buy that was manufactured there is dangerous.

Posted by: StudentMom | August 2, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it is easier with an only child but I always talk to my daughter in the car. Always have. You cannot forget someone who you are talking to.

Posted by: 21117 | August 2, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I almost left my 2 year old son in the car. I just started a new job in a new town. I was still commuting 80 miles (1 way) because I hadn't found an apartment yet. My baby's father just picked up and left 2 days before. I drove 10 miles past the daycare before I remembered my son in the back seat. He was just being a good quiet boy. I felt sick for days thinking about what could have happened. It isn't that hard to forget when you are stressed. I think that the key is stress management. When sh*t really hits the fan you need to know that worrying isn't going to solve it, and you need to try to focus on what you are doing right NOW, rather than focusing on "what the hell am I GOING to do?"

Posted by: mom of 1 | August 2, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"Would it influence your opinion to know that the day Frances died, May 29, 2002, the Manassas engineer was watching 12 children alone while his wife and oldest daughter were abroad visiting a cancer-stricken relative?

Does it matter that when he returned home that day, he'd asked two teenage children _ both of baby-sitting age _ to attend to their younger siblings while he went back to school for another daughter who was late getting out of an exam?

Or that during the next seven hours, he was accosted by an air conditioning repairman with news that he was going to have to spend several thousand dollars on a new unit? That he fixed lunch, did laundry, mended a gap in the fence that the little ones were using to escape the yard, drove to the store for parts to fix his air conditioner, took a son to soccer practice and fixed a leaking drain pipe in the basement?""


No, it doesn't influence my reaction at all. I remember that case, and I still remain floored that the guy not only forgot to take his daughter out of the car, but also failed to notice her absence for SEVEN hours. That's a guy who shouldn't be entrusted with one child, let alone 12. There is no excuse at all for what he did. Everyone is busy; everyone has hectic days. It doesn't mean that you don't at the very least do a head count.

Plus, the article says he used the car at least three times after he left his daughter in there -- he went and picked up another kid, then ran some errands, then dropped another kid off at soccer practice. How can anyone contend that it's forgiveable for him still not to have noticed that his child was missing or still in her carseat? At the very least, the act of packing the other kids into the car should have tickled his brain.

Posted by: NewSAHM | August 2, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Don't talk about my brain. Only talk about YOUR brain. YOUR brain isn't good at remembering to NOT follow the routine.

My brain is quite good at it.
--------

Well you forgot to sign a name to your post, that certainly is evidence to the contrary.


Posted by: DCer | August 2, 2007 10:20 AM
--------------

I omitted my name on purpose - fool.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Anon for today at 9:57, I've left my kids in the car to pick up the dry cleaning. I also wait for one of the spaces that is right in front of the store, leave the windows in the car cracked, and lock the car doors. I agree with 9:57's post that it probably is safer for them to be in the car for 3-4 minutes rather than schlepping them out. Mine are ages 1 and 2, and it is impossible to hold onto both AND the dry cleaning (and our double stroller doesn't fit through the store's door).

On occasion, I've also left one or both kids in the car when they have fallen asleep and we've arrived home (really more when they were babies). Similar situation as the dry cleaners, I've checked up on them every couple of minutes, no danger of overheating (wouldn't do it in the summertime), safely in our garage at home.

While I am OK with these actions, I know others would call me an unfit parent. But we all make certain choices: as one example, I see parents taking young kids across busy streets all the time, and oftentimes not crossing at a signal light or crosswalk or dashing across before oncoming traffic. I certainly think those actions are riskier for young kids than my occasional actions of leaving my kids in the car for up to 5 minutes. So I've justified my behavior, at least to myself.

Posted by: also anon for today | August 2, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Did you hear about the woman who left her kid in the car and ran in just to "get an umbrella"? Her car with her kid in it was stolen.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

For those on this blog that seem to think that any parent that accidentally contributes to the harm or (God forbid) death of their own child deserves to have a harsh punishment from some court- you obviously don't understand that the worst punishment would be living with your own guilt!

No court could ever punish a truly loving and caring parent more than they would punish themselves. I can't imagine not having compassion for any parent who had live with such a tragedy.

Posted by: KBJ | August 2, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Mine are ages 1 and 2, and it is impossible to hold onto both AND the dry cleaning (and our double stroller doesn't fit through the store's door)."

Please put the dry cleaning in the trunk. The chemicals used in the dry cleaning process are not good for humans.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Coult the "parenting" blog institute the same sign-in requirement as the "on balance" blog?

Posted by: reston, va | August 2, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"Don't talk about my brain. Only talk about YOUR brain. YOUR brain isn't good at remembering to NOT follow the routine.

My brain is quite good at it. "

The is the most frustrating thing about being an applied behavioral psychologist. Everyone thinks they know human behavior just because they are a human.

Wanna get into a discussion of errors of commission vs. errors of ommission. Do you know the difference? Can you assure me that you have truely never made either type of error. EVER! I bet you have never, in your umpteen years of life, walked out of the house without putting on your deoderant. Never burned the toast because you were distracted. Never missed a turn on a route you drive daily. Even in routine, we make errors. No one is perfect

Posted by: Lurkerbee | August 2, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"Coult the "parenting" blog institute the same sign-in requirement as the "on balance" blog? "

Oh, yes, do. The "on balance" blog is ever so much better with the sign-in requirement. Postings have dropped and are dominated by a few people and cliques, soo high school. Just what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

Posted by: anonforthis | August 2, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Ummmm...can you really not see the difference between accidentally burning toast and leave YOUR CHILD in a car???

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I've always said the key to good parenting is head count. I think drilling it in to become automatic to always check heads whenever you leave or enter anywhere is a good way to go.

I feel badly for these parents and I don't think any of them are horrible people in general- but the reality is that they do hold the life of another person in their hands, and it is their responsibility and fault for something like this to occur. This isn't even a case of a kid walking off somewhere on his own. The kid is bound, helpless.

Posted by: Liz D | August 2, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"Ummmm...can you really not see the difference between accidentally burning toast and leave YOUR CHILD in a car???"
Neurologically, its the same.

Posted by: Lurkerbee | August 2, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"Coult the "parenting" blog institute the same sign-in requirement as the "on balance" blog? "

Oh, yes, do. The "on balance" blog is ever so much better with the sign-in requirement. Postings have dropped and are dominated by a few people and cliques, soo high school. Just what the Founding Fathers had in mind.


Well, i may agree with you. Seems keeping the trolls out also keeps some interesting anons out as well as some interesting posts.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 2, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Ummmm...can you really not see the difference between accidentally burning toast and leave YOUR CHILD in a car???"
Neurologically, its the same.

Posted by: Lurkerbee | August 2, 2007 01:02 PM
Please tell me you don't have children. Or a toaster.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Well you forgot to sign a name to your post, that certainly is evidence to the contrary.


Posted by: DCer | August 2, 2007 10:20 AM
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I omitted my name on purpose - fool.
---

ha! you doth protest too much. pardon me if there's no reason to believe someone would be such a lame troll as to post anonymously. I caught you. fess up.

Posted by: DCer | August 2, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Lurkerbee, the examples you give of things to forget are too trivial. A better one would be "Have you ever forgotten to put on clothes before you leave the house?" or "Have you ever forgotten to turn on the engine when you get in your car?" Like keeping track of your children, it is important and something that most people would consider VERY hard to forget, even if you are tired or distracted. ... and it's "neurologically the same" as the examples you brought up too ;)

Posted by: StudentMom | August 2, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Like keeping track of your children, it is important and something that most people would consider VERY hard to forget, even if you are tired or distracted. ... and it's "neurologically the same" as the examples you brought up too ;)

God forbid I should defend someone who leaves a kid in their car but do you ever drive the same way from work that you have a hundred times and not remember the drive?

Posted by: pATRICK | August 2, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

of course. Brains do go on autopilot, especially tired ones.

Posted by: lurker | August 2, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"Well, i may agree with you. Seems keeping the trolls out also keeps some interesting anons out as well as some interesting posts."

Nah- people just haven't bothered to register yet. I'm really sick of reading insults and catfights... it's kind of embarrasing for me to even be reading them. I did middle school once, and I have no desire to repeat it!

Posted by: floof | August 2, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

floof-

I agree with you! The cat fights are silly and do remind me of middle school.

Posted by: KBJ | August 2, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't, i will take the occasional idiot troll over, "I agree with you, balance is needed in male female relations, oh, i agree too etc. YAWN

Posted by: pATRICK | August 2, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"I don't, i will take the occasional idiot troll over, "I agree with you, balance is needed in male female relations, oh, i agree too etc. YAWN"

What he said.

Posted by: anonforthis | August 2, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

On Balance is boring. We all know it. I know it, you know it. Even Bill Kristol, our national hero, knows it. If you're not part of the "in crowd" over there, don't even bother. Leslie signed her own death warrant with respect to that blog. I give it another month until the WaPo comes to its senses and sends her back into oblivion. GOD BLESS DICK CHENEY!!!!! GOD BLESS SAMUEL A. ALITO!!!! GOD BLESS YOU, JOHN ROBERTS AND YOUR EPILEPSY!!!!!

Posted by: Baba Booey | August 2, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Let me give you the last few months of On Balance in a nutshell. "Daycare sucks". "No it doesn't." "Yes it does". "I'm Emily, listen to me, I'm so smart." And on and on and on.

Posted by: Baba Booey | August 2, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Babba Booey -- that's not fair, and there more than "Daycare sucks" On Balance. What about the Great Nursing Debate? And what Mona will do one day when she is a parent? And of course, Leslie's Cleavage Parade.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

For what people forget/don't forget:

When I was a few months old my mom locked me and the keys in the car. She panicked as she was in a German village, miles from my dad, in the days before cell phones. Luckily, with the help of the locals, they figured it out. She still tells the story with some panic. I know it's getting harder to lock your keys in the car, but those of us old enough have probably all done it at least once.

Anyone who attacks someone for forgetting something toast/kids/faucet which overflows the bathroom/passport is messing with the karma keepers. You're going to forget something important at some point and that my-brain-is-better-than-yours attitude is going to get you.

Also on a light note. We've all seen Home Alone, we know what can happen with head counts.

Posted by: Em | August 2, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

For those on this blog that seem to think that any parent that accidentally contributes to the harm or (God forbid) death of their own child deserves to have a harsh punishment from some court- you obviously don't understand that the worst punishment would be living with your own guilt!

No court could ever punish a truly loving and caring parent more than they would punish themselves. I can't imagine not having compassion for any parent who had live with such a tragedy.

Posted by: KBJ | August 2, 2007 12:24 PM

Oh, please. Our courts and justice system in part function to show what is and isn't acceptable to our society. It's not acceptable for us to make excuses for someone who accidentally or intentionally neglects his child. I feel bad for him, but punishment is essential to make it clear that, as a society, we take the death of a child as seriously as we do the death of an adult. Oops is not good enough.

Posted by: MN | August 2, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

For those on this blog that seem to think that any parent that accidentally contributes to the harm or (God forbid) death of their own child deserves to have a harsh punishment from some court- you obviously don't understand that the worst punishment would be living with your own guilt!

No court could ever punish a truly loving and caring parent more than they would punish themselves. I can't imagine not having compassion for any parent who had live with such a tragedy.

Posted by: KBJ | August 2, 2007 12:24 PM

Oh, please. Our courts and justice system in part function to show what is and isn't acceptable to our society. It's not acceptable for us to make excuses for someone who accidentally or intentionally neglects his child. I feel bad for him, but punishment is essential to make it clear that, as a society, we take the death of a child as seriously as we do the death of an adult. Oops is not good enough.

Posted by: MN | August 2, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Our courts and justice system in part function to show what is and isn't acceptable to our society. It's not acceptable for us to make excuses for someone who accidentally or intentionally neglects his child.

---------

But you've served on a jury, right? You absolutely determine guilt or innocence of a given charge often based on the level at which someone is guilty. Prosecutor says that you planned to do it, defendant says it was an accident and our justice system, our jury determines if the excuses are valid. Making these kinds of comments is not anti-the system, it's a big part OF the system

Posted by: DCer | August 2, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey, here is a hidden danger related to cars... when you let your 5 year old take the car keys by themselves to get something out of the car. Kinda ironic that a mother who lets their kid do that is now "informing" us of the dangers of cars.

Posted by: Go Stacey | August 2, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Please pardon the off-topic regarding OnBalance (maybe an OnBalance poster will be kind enough to relay the info. below over there).

Since the registration requirements started, I am not able to post to OnBalance. I searched the WaPost help documentation and found the following:


"No comments or comment entry box is visible on my page.


"Answer
"We are experiencing difficulties for some readers that are using Norton and McAfee pop-up blockers. We hope to have a fix in place in the next several weeks. Currently, if you temporarily turn off your pop-up blocker, comments and the comments entry box should be available (though you may need to reload the page).

"We realize that asking to turn off pop-up blockers can be a charged subject, but we are working on a solution to be implemented within the next several weeks. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Posted by: Marian | August 2, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"You absolutely determine guilt or innocence of a given charge often based on the level at which someone is guilty."

DCer - What you do is you absolutely follow the jury instructions given you by the court. They will tell you that, if the elements of the crime have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, you must find the defendant guilty. You may find that the state of mind of the defendant is such that the elements necessary for premeditated murder haven't been met. Juries apply statutes. The content of those statutes is up to us.

We have to stop thinking, though, that the life of a child accidentally killed by a parent is worth zero jail time because we empathize with the parent more than we care about the victim. To do otherwise would be abhorrent to us if the victim were an adult - say, someone's 70 year old mom - and a man forgot to feed her for a few weeks until she died. Hey, he got busy.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 6:16 PM | Report abuse

"We have to stop thinking, though, that the life of a child accidentally killed by a parent is worth zero jail time because we empathize with the parent more than we care about the victim. To do otherwise would be abhorrent to us if the victim were an adult - say, someone's 70 year old mom - and a man forgot to feed her for a few weeks until she died. Hey, he got busy."

Best. Paragraph. Ever.

Posted by: StudentMom | August 2, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

The last time I was ever left alone in the car (at about 3) I managed to get it into gear and it almost rolled out onto a busy street.

And we've had several cases, one really horrific (mom tried to snatch child out of car as the bad guy was stealing the car, child got hung up on the door framework and got killed being bounced/dragged outside the car while the thief was speeding away) of cars being stolen and children injured or killed. Kids don't need to be left alone in the car. Period.

Posted by: dragonet2 | August 6, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

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