Can a mother forget her child?

I heard on the news this morning about babies being forgotten and left in a hot car to die.

My first thought was how can a mother forget her child?

In truth, I believe it could happen to any of us. Our lives are busy. Mothers are challenged to get everyone out of the house in the morning and still arrive at work on time. It is possible to skip a step in a daily routine and think you have done it, in this case dropping the baby off at the sitters.

I understand there is technology available that might help prevent this tragedy. For example, a pad inserted under the car seat cushion sets off an alarm on a keychain, warning the parent that the child is still in the car. Evidently other technologies have been available for a while.

The question is, if the technology is available, why isn’t it required by law? Why hasn’t the govenment acted to protect our tiny citizens? My question is, if the technology is available and it would save lives, why haven’t the auto makers acted without government intervention?

Both the government and auto makers say that parental vigilance is the best prevention. I agree. For example, it is suggested that you set your briefcase in the backseat so you have to open the back door before leaving the car. Good idea! But would using an alarm system make parents less vigilant, depending on an electroic device rather than common sense? What if the alarm failed to go off? Who would be held responsible for the life of the child – the govenment, the auto maker, or the parent?

My heart goes out to the families who have lost children in this way. No matter who is blamed legally, the parent ( or the child’s care giver) will feel the guilt of this tragedy for the rest of their lives.

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