this letter which is so perfect, I had to share:
Dear Free-Range Kids: Here we go again:
When this story first broke, it was that babies were found in the car, rescued, and rushed to the hospital.
Later, information emerged that the SUV had the air conditioning on, water and snacks for the kids, and a 9 year-old with the younger kids. Yet police still had to pry the door off and rush them to the hospital.
I only checked the news because we were on vacation in Ocean City, NJ and a 14 year-old boy went missing in a rip current near our beach and is presumed dead (after a scary Coast Guard search) . There was also another drowning in a local creek of a 15 year-old boy the same day. So we’re talking about 2 actual *child* deaths from swimming…but the kids in the air-conditioned car are the lead news story. – Ms. Sick of This
Dear Ms. Sick: Of course the kids in cars story leads, for two reasons:
1 – We are obsessed by kids in cars and think they are all in danger, no matter how short a time they are in there, and no matter how old they are. Remember that some parents have been yelled at for putting the child in the car and then returning the cart to the corral, as if even a MINUTE is too long for a child to survive.
2 – The kids in cars story involves feeling smug and superior to the person who left them. That is such a deeply satisfying feeling, the TV producers lead with it. It gives the viewers exactly what they want: Schadenfreude, while the children who actually died are just plain tragedies and we don’t have anyone to blame (yet). – L