Infant left in car in Concord

This is my first non-Cal Bears post in a while.  I’ve been in a rut blogging wise since most of my blog readers are Bear fans.  I’ve got some plans in place to change how things are organized and better split out the two sets of blogging.

But yesterday there was an article in the Chronicle about a man who forgot to take his 11 month old son to daycare and left him in the car while he worked.  He wasn’t discovered until 7 hours later when he was dead.

Obviously this is a tragic situation.  Many have asked how it is possible to forget a child in the car.  In many ways I can understand both sides of that.  On the one hand, I can’t imagine doing it.  On the other hand, I know how life can be and how it is easy to get in auto-pilot.  Along those lines there was an interesting comment in one of the articles about the incident:

But the number of deaths began a steady climb in the mid-1990s as campaigns began encouraging parents to put car seats in the backseat because of airbag-related child deaths — which since have been nearly eliminated.

It always amazes me how often we as a society forget how tightly inter-related things can be.  We move all kids into the back seat for safety reasons, and then more kids die because they’re forgotten in the back seat.  In this case it is safe to assume that more kids were dying from airbag injuries so it was probably still the right decision to put kids in the back seat.  That said, it amazes me how often we forget that new laws have unintended consequences.

The other thing I wanted to note was the large number of individuals who assert some eugenic solution to bad parenting, either in general or in this particular case.  It’s amazing just how prevalent the “people need to take a test to be a parent” ideology comes out.  Occasionally those comments are people exagerating, but I’ve found more and more, as can be seen by the very specific implementation ideas they put forth, the proponent is all too serious.  When one adds in those who think this father’s punishment should be sterilization… it just sickens me how many people have not learned from our past about the dangers of Eugunics.

One Response to “Infant left in car in Concord”

  1. Brian Says:

    Funny, I had been thinking something similar, although I had not heard the tragic news of this child.

    My godson always sits in the back seat when I pick him up. I’ve talked about being disturbed by it before and it was particularly notable as he sat in the back quietly and played his gameboy.

    Personally, I remember with great fondness riding in the front seat and talking to my mom. The back seat makes conversation much less convenient and natural. I drive a car which disables the air bag when someone small is in the front seat. And he is 9 now, so I had decided that I was probably going to let him sit up front from now on. Maybe I’ll check with his mom.

    But you are absolutely right that there are times when we try to get so specific in our legislation that we lose sight of what might be unintended consequences.