I first want to say I am happy the baby is safe and sound. I never wish harm on any child, or adult for that matter. Unless of course, the adult has done harm to others!
My question is why….
Why was the child left alone in the car in the first place? Almost every gas station has “pay at the pump” so PAY AT THE PUMP! If you do not want to be bothered by getting your child out of the car and then back in, DO NOT LEAVE THE AREA! It’s as simple as that. Yes, it is sad that the day of walking away for a few minutes and everything being ok is gone. People have to start taking responsibility for their own actions! Don’t leave your child in a car and then wonder why something happened to your child. It’s not rocket science people!
My question is WHY…..
The other part of my question….IF you MUST leave your child in the car while you ran in to pay, WHY did you leave the vehicle in a position to be taken? Did you lock your doors? Did you take your keys? Did you leave the windows down all the way?
It would seem to me that; IF you rolled the windows down (ventilation), but locked the doors, and took the key, there would not have been time for a car jacking. They would have tried the door, locked…dang it, move on to the next vehicle. If they had enough time to pop the lock AND Hotwire the car, HOW LONG was the parent inside “paying” for gas??? This is summer!!! You shouldn’t have been away from your child that long! I don’t think anyone of legal driving age has the excuse “I didn’t know what could happen” when they leave a child or an animal in a hot car. Ignorance is NOT bliss!
My dogs love to travel in the car with me. The minute it starts hitting 70+ degrees out, I think before they go with me. Will I have to stop and get out and leave them? What is the high temp for the day? I know dogs are not children but I’m going somewhere with this. I THINK about the steps BEFORE I leave the house.
I travel with my dogs, sometimes even in the summer. That takes even more preparation. Here are my steps when I stop to get gas and / or use the restroom when I’m traveling with them.
1. Leave the windows down while I’m pumping gas. Talk to them. Make sure their heads can get out the window but not their bodies. Not always an easy task when one is 100+ pounds and the other is 18 pounds but I’m checking it and gauging the windows at that time. All windows EXCEPT the driver’s side window is down pretty far.
2. They have a water source. It used to be a big bowl, but the mastiff would tip it over. Now they have a double-sided cooler I had in my basement that I never used. It’s high enough to hold water and heavy enough to keep from tipping.
3. I lock the doors and take the key.
4. I set my timer on my phone for 5 minutes. If my timer goes off and I am not walking out the door yet, I put stuff down (if buying snacks, etc), go out, check on them, go back in and finish the transaction. I make sure to set my timer again as I go back in.
Does all that seem extreme, probably to some but I don’t care. I am the one responsible for their health and well-being, just as a parent is responsible for their child’s health and well-being. All these steps may sound like a lot, but in reality, they take 20-30 extra seconds (other than having to run back out after five minutes). If these same steps were being followed by parents that don’t want to take their child in to the gas station or corner store then we would have less incidents where a child dies or is taken in situations like this article. Proper planning and forethought is all it takes. Of course, I don’t recommend letting your child stick his head out the window! 🙂
Parenting, be it to two-legged babies or four-legged babies, isn’t easy. We make decisions for them all the time that we then look back on and say…. WHY did we do that? We can’t plan for everything ahead of time, but just stopping and thinking about all possible scenarios for a few seconds and then acting on it would probably stop a lot of the stupidity!
Have a great day all!