Forgetting Your Baby in The Car: Could it Happen to You?

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Did you hear about the Colonie, NY man who left his 1-year-old son in the car for eight hours in frigid weather last week?

Reportedly, the distraught father only realized his mistake after a call from his wife.

Police say the man forgot to drop off his son at daycare and left the child strapped in the car seat when he parked outside his office on Tuesday.

When he received a call from his wife at about 4 p.m. inquiring about their child, the father immediately called for an ambulance and the baby boy was checked out at a hospital and discharged shortly after. Police say the baby did not suffer any injuries despite the low temperatures.

Police have not stated if the father will be charged.

This story reminded me of the overwhelmed mother, Brenda Slaby, who appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and shared her deadly mistake.

With summer vacation on her mind, a dentist appointment and a change in the normal preschool routine, the busy mom-of-two accidentally forgot about her 2-year-old Cecilia in the car.

“A good teacher friend of mine—sometimes I think it was a blessing it was her—was on her way home, and she walked by my car,” Brenda said. “She ran into my office and she said, ‘Brenda, your baby’s in the car.’”

But unfortunately it was too late.

Cecilia died of a heatstroke after being left in the car for nearly eight hours. Outside, temperatures had reached 100 degrees.

So how could this happen? Surely you’d remember your baby is in the car?

This is what I remember thinking to myself when I first saw Brenda tearfully tell her story to Oprah in 2007. At that time I was a new mom to my baby boy and I was the “perfect” mother, doting on his every need and carefully planning out each day.

Well fast forward a few years, and add two more children, and I can understand how this could happen.

Honestly, I’d like to think I’m not that overwhelmed. But truthfully, I can see how this tragedy could occur. With swimming lessons, art class, preschool drop-offs and first grade pick-ups, life can quickly get overwhelming for most moms.

And when there’s a change in the carefully-crafted schedule, I can understand how you might forget something – even as big as leaving your baby in the car.

This is such a good reminder for all of us to take a breath, live in the moment, and gather ourselves. We’ve become such a busy and overwhelmed society. It’s important to live in the ‘now’ and stop focussing on the future, or perhaps the past, and enjoy the precious moments with our kids.

What do you think? Can you see yourself making a huge mistake like this?

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