Saturday, August 18, 2007

How dumb is dumb?

On March 17, 2007 a 3-year-old child died from hyperthermia in Hilo, Hawaii. Since then there have been 19 other hyperthermia-related deaths in the United States. The youngest, a 3-month old from Chandler Arizona was left in the car for around 2 hours after the father returned from running errands. When he arrived home, he simply forgot that his young daughter was in the car with him. The outside temperature in Chandler on that day in June was 108 degrees. Young Amberlee’s core body temperature was 109 degrees according to the responding firefighters.


That must have been some trip he took to excite him so much that he could forget his child was in the car. This was not the only case where the parent forgot to take their child. Not that they left them there on purpose (that happened also and may be even more heinous), they just plain old forgot that they had a child in the car.

The best one (if anything like this can be classified as best) happened in 2006. After leaving her 15-month-old son in her car for nine hours while she was working, a North Augusta woman returned to her vehicle, found her son lifeless, and then drove around for nearly two hours before calling police.

Eight of the twenty children were 1 years old or less. Ten were from Southern states (are they dumber down there?). Sometimes the parent is charged, sometimes not or police had not yet determined if charges were warranted. Now I’m sure the parents were grief stricken and I’m a compassionate person most of the time but idiots like this need something to make them think. I don’t know if incarceration would solve anything but they damned sure should have to perform some type of service related to the crime AND IT IS A CRIME TO LEAVE A CHILD OR PET IN YOUR CAR.

So what is the answer? NASA researchers have come up with a device called the Child Presence Sensor that will alert the parent that they walked away from their car with the child left behind. They believe it will help the "overloaded, exhausted, distracted parent or one confused by a change in routine, that might forget that they left one of their children unattended." I guess since they can’t seem to get a shuttle up without a problem they think they should become apologists for stupid parents. And oh by the way, how much of our tax dollars went into this research that has absolutely nothing to do with SPACE?

In their press release they noted that "Cars are inappropriate places for children to be left without adult supervision. A brilliant observation but so are swimming pools, shopping centers, grocery carts and a host of other places. What will NASA do about that? In fact according to pool safety experts, the leading death of children ages 1 to 4 is drowning. So there is an alarm for a pool and that is a wise thing to install. But a sensor to remind you that you have a kid in the car, give me a break. That’s about as necessary as a warning label on an electric hair dryer that it is not for use while in the shower or taking a bath. Anyone who does that deserves the result.

The Child Presence Sensor driver alarm, designed to hang on the driver's key ring, sounds ten warning beeps if the driver moves too far away from the vehicle. If the driver doesn't return within one minute, the alarm will beep continuously and cannot be turned off until it is reset by returning to the child safety seat. If people are so stupid or insensitive enough to leave a child in the car, how likely are they to purchase this thing. Just buying it is an admission of their stupidity (duh I’m so dumb I need an alarm to remind me I have a kid).


mielikki said...

Sadly, yes. This is now the era we live in, where people are so dumb that they forget they have their own child with them. They also do not supervise their toddlers, then back over them on a regular basis. My BP goes up just thinking about it. . .

Bubblewench said...

I was just commenting elsewhere about how people are basically stupid. And then I come here and read this. Proves my point.

Where we are buying the house, that pool alarm thing is mandatory, not only that but there is specific fencing and locks you must have around it as well. We were laughing at how 'severe' it was until we started of thinking WHY it was, and it makes sense. See - we're stupid too, we had to think about it.

DaddyKaos said...

Evidently here in good ole I o wa you don't have to protect a pool, no fence no nothing. There is an in ground pool just up the street from us just sitting in a wide open back yard. If for no other reason, I would want to keep the wandering animals out.

When we had our pool installed in Fresno, they could not plaster the pool until an approved and inspected fence had been installed.