Leaving a child unattended in a car (locked in vehicles on hot days) is THE most dangerous, stupid, irresponsible things that any person could do! How can people who do this not see the potential disaster and heartbreak it can cause.
Nothing is worth placing a child in such potential danger.
I do try to consider why an adult would do such a thing but I can’t get past that question to try to understand their thinking or lack thereof. I cant get past their selfishness and pure stupidity.. I just cannot fathom what they would consider an acceptable reason.....because there is not one!
It astonishes me the prevalence of it. It concerns me and is extremely worrying that it is becoming such a common news story that we seem to be desensitized to it.
Yet it was again in the news today with some shocking statistics. In an article I read that was specific to NSW there were almost 2000 kids locked in cars this year! 2000 is 2000 too many! That equates to almost 7 children a day in one state.
If those stats don't scare you I don't know what will as it is only a matter of time until another child dies from being left unattended in a car.
The stats didn't shock enough last January in Victoria when 53 children were left in cars between Monday and Friday in the heat wave of Victoria.
What will it take another death for people to stop and take notice to how dangerous it is. Well, it would appear apparently not. 22-month-old Noah Krespanis died in Victorian earlier this year and it sadly does not seem to have had an impact or influence the change required for adults to stop from leaving children in cars. This young child's death is unfortunately not the first and won't be the last in a preventable situation.
A temperature of a car can reach high temperatures inside the car even if it is not what one would consider hot outside. For example, a car can reach 46 degrees inside while it was just 22 outside.
There are what I consider a few non-negotiable ‘rules’ when you have kids and leaving a child in a car hits as one of them. There is also law which defines the fact that we should care for the child in our care....Parents, caregivers actually, anyone at the time that has parental responsibility has a duty, by law, to provide children in their care with the ‘necessities of life’, which includes providing financial support, food, clothing, accommodation, healthcare and access to education.
So if not in good conscious then it must be by following the law that as an adult the preventable dangerous situation of leaving a child in a car is a NO NO!
Never leave a child unattended! Pure and simple!
I can’t believe that common sense seems to fly out the window with these types of incidents. It amazes me that you bring a child into the world and at that point see their complete dependence and innocence and lack of judgment and complete reliance on you for all their needs, and despite that it doesn’t seem to cross their mind that perhaps, just perhaps, leaving a child unattended in a car isn’t the best or safest option.
I can’t believe that this is something I seem to be talking (ok, possibly ranting) about on such a regular basis.
Over the course of SK there have been SO many occasions where I have wrote articles, tweeted or blogged about this particular topic. I, like those at the forefront of trying to get the message through seem to be going blue in the face.
I remember tweeting about a mother who had left her 8 month old in the car in freezing temperatures to go hunting!?! Hunting I say. To me it doesn’t matter what the reason, but it does seems that if you add the reason into the article we might be expected to have an “ohh, well that’s why. I can see why now type of response”. Well no, that doesn’t happen. What happens is that we are too often left shaking our head in dismay and disbelief.
Some of the reasons I must say, while we are on the reasons behind why one would leave a child unattended in a car, are downright ludicrous. Let me give you just a few examples. And I only offer a few as there are SO many to choose from.
A man in Victoria previously had left his two sons, both under the age of five, in a car while he placed a bet at the pub.
A dad in Melbourne’s east left four children under the age of 10 unattended while he went into a bottle shop to buy alcohol.
Do you remember the baby boy who was left in the car and died in the front of the day care centre ?
Or there was the mum who left her child in the car to go shopping (can’t miss those Boxing Day sales!). That mother is being charged with an offence called ‘unattended child’.
A mother from Bendigo who was committed to stand trial on a charge of manslaughter after she left her five month old baby daughter in a car for 2 ½ hours (by mistake apparently… really? For 2 ½ hours!).
Shall I go with the many examples? These are just a few of the more publicised cases. Some cases are lucky escapes and some sadly end in tragedy.
What does that show us? That the message is not getting through?
More frighteningly is the question as to why? Why it is still happening in the first place, and apparently so frequently.
Thankfully, some progress seems to being made. And while the laws are not so clear in Australia, and vary from state to state as to the actual legislation and consequences, it does seem that there are consequences and people are being made accountable for such neglectful actions.
And some of those have already been charged and faced court...here are some previous outcomes.
Such as a dad from Rockhampton back in 2011 pleaded guilty to manslaughter after his 8 month old dies after he had forgotten it in the car and left it in the driveway. He received 4 years jail.
Another QLD dad is on probation (2 years) as he was so busy playing the pokies at the pub (for nearly 1 hour!) and left his 14 month old son in the car with the windows wound up,
A mum who left her baby in the car for 45 minutes to do a spot of shopping. She was fined $400 for leaving her baby in the car.
Then there was the dad who left his 4 year old son in the car while he went to a massage parlour. He was sentenced to 6 months jail.
A 31-year-old woman is likely to be charged for leaving her 9 month old son in the car while she did chores in a nearby unit.
A Blue Mountains mother has been charged after she allegedly left her three-year-old daughter in the back of her car with the windows closed while she went shopping.
So what is the law in each state?
NSW: Parents are expected to make reasonable decisions about their children’s safety with fines up to $22,000. This is in accordance with Section 231 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.
WA: if charged and convicted you can face jail for five years if they are found to have left a “child or young person” in a car without proper supervision, if they become emotionally distressed or ill. Penalty: a fine of $36 000 and imprisonment for 3 years.
NT: This year the NT Government refused to introduce legislation that will see the banning of children left unattended in vehicles. The Northern Territory is the only jurisdiction in Australia that does not provide specific legislation relating to children being left unsupervised. The police do have the power to remove children from cars and they have the power to potentially charge those involved, but sadly it appears only if there is an injury.
QLD: here there too are now jail terms of up to three years’ jail for the crime of “leaving a child under 12 unattended.
VIC: It is illegal to leave a child unattended in a vehicle under the Children, Youth and Families Act (2005). The penalties for leaving a child unattended in a car in Victoria include:
- A fine (currently $3,690), or;
- A maximum of 6 months jail
It is such as dangerous thing to do and I cannot fathom how parents can’t see that they are endangering their child if only for a moment while they go to the bottle shop or pay for the petrol.
One moment is as bad as one hour and each case of a child left unattended in a car is tragic with the potential for an even more tragic and deadly outcome.