How to Respond to a Well-Meaning, Misguided “Never Leave Your Kids in the Car” Campaign?

 Readers kzfkyyefhk
— Let’s help this woman and then incorporate the good ideas into our own crusades against advice and/or laws that are based on fear and catastrophizing, rather than reality and compassion. – L.

Hi Lenore, I recently read your book and have been following you on the blog and twitter for a few weeks now. Thanks for opening my eyes and arming me with knowledge to fight back at certain attitudes.

Every day I wake up to the news on a local commercial radio station in Calgary (Jack FM). For the last few days I’ve been aware that part of the news (traffic or weather) is sponsored by Calgary Parking Authority, who are partnering with fire, police and EMS services and their message is “Don’t leave your kids alone in the car, even for a minute. If you see kids unattended in a car call 911 immediately.” While well intentioned, I can’t help feel that their message is bringing attention to a “fad danger” rather than a statistically significant safety issue and encouraging people to call 911 regardless of circumstance.

Here are links to their campaign webpage and media release: “This message will be heard on Jack FM, Kiss FM, Virgin Radio & Shine FM during each station’s morning, mid-day and afternoon drive shows from Thursday July 31st to Thursday August 14th.”

I’m looking for your advice is on on the best way to constructively have a conversation with the organizers of the campaign about how and why they chose this message and what the alternatives could be. It may be coming to an end soon, but I could see this being an annual thing, and I’d like a shot at convincing them to switch tack.

Thanks for any assistance you can provide. — Troubled in Canada

Lenore here: Thanks from me, too. I am running out of patience with a society so bent on obsessing over an extremely rare problem and ignoring the big, hard ones.

UPDATE: Here’s a Public Service Message one of you just sent in that I would LOVE to hear on the radio:

Please reserve 911 calls for TRUE emergencies and don’t overburden the system with judgemental parenting police calls. If you’re worried, GET INVOLVED. 
It takes a village,  but not a village of assholes. Think awhile before you dial…911.


Warning! Ignore what you know about reality. It is wrong!

Warning! Ignore what you know about reality. Fear the worst all the time!

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129 Responses to How to Respond to a Well-Meaning, Misguided “Never Leave Your Kids in the Car” Campaign?

  1. Christine August 14, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    That is insane.
    An awareness campaign about leaving kids or pets in locked cars with windows up in the summer makes perfect sense but a campaign about never leaving any child for a short time in a cool, properly vented car is unnecessary.
    My state (Connecticut) just started a campaign to remind parents to check the back of their car before locking and leaving it. An 18 month old boy died from heat exposure when his feather accidentally forgot he had the child in the car when we went to work for the day. It was so heartbreaking for her family of course and also the local community.

  2. Christine August 14, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    Ok, so I clicked on the link to read the press release AFTER I submitted my comment. (is this my first day on the internet !? What’s wrong with me?)


    So the campaign is really about summer and hot vehicles, so I think I’m confused? Where is the over-reaction? Is it about the positioning “even for a minute”?


  3. Uly August 15, 2014 at 12:04 am #

    It might be from the “if you see any child of any age at any time in any circumstances, call 911 immediately” vibe.

    I will say what I always say. If you see a child and genuinely believe they are in danger, then by all means you should take whatever steps you feel are necessary. Really, don’t let us stop you. But use your best judgment. Absolutes like “never, ever, for any reason, under any circumstances, at any age” aren’t encouraging people to use their best judgment, they’re just fear mongering.

    Children dying in hot cars is a tragedy – but it is one that is still extremely rare, and not on the rise either. And the vast majority of those cases aren’t children who were deliberately left in a car for a few minutes while Mom ran into the store (or whatever), they’re children who were *forgotten* in a car. (And the occasional deliberate murder, I suppose, but honestly, people who want to kill their kids won’t be deterred by this ad.)

  4. Wendy W August 15, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    Lenore, do you have statistics on the ages and circumstances of kids who have died in cars? I know I’ve seen some at one point, but it’s been years since I read your book and don’t remember if that’s where I saw it.

    The stories I’ve heard of have all been either babies forgotten, or children locked in trunks when playing. Has a preschool or older child EVER died in a car or been kidnapped from one (parental custody kidnappings don’t count) or been injured while waiting in a parked car?

  5. SKL August 15, 2014 at 12:29 am #

    How many deaths do they have in Calgary from children intentionally being left in cars? I mean, it’s very rare in the northern US states, so it must be more rare in Canada. They are even using US statistics to scare Canadians. What are the Canadian statistics? I cannot find them.

  6. Warren August 15, 2014 at 1:01 am #

    Well in a quick search there is no law on the books in Alberta as to any age limit when a child can be left unsupervised.

    And after searching I can find one death of a three year old girl, last year. And that is it for Alberta.

  7. hineata August 15, 2014 at 1:12 am #

    @SKL – that’s hardly surprising, about using misplaced statistics, I mean. As I mentioned years ago here, there was an ad in our pharmacy for some kind of weird safety device. I am not sure why the pharmacist, usually a very sensible chap, had it in the shop – the salesman probably caught him on a bad day. Anyway, the front breathlessly mentioned the 800,000 kids who go missing every year…..

    Now, we would be lucky to HAVE 800,000 kids in this country. It was news to me that they all go missing every year. Somehow I still had kids to teach, more’s the pity!

    Anyway it seems to be par for the course to misuse statistics. I imagine in Canada you’d be lucky to have days hot enough to broil a child. Maybe someone needs to point out that kids are safer in vehicles than they are being picked off by bears or moose in the parking lot. Or being run over by Zambonis (which I gather, from Weird Al, that all Canadians aspire to drive 🙂 ).

    Right at the moment in Wellington, kids are much safer remaining in vehicles – allow a toddler to step out alone and they’ll probably wind up being blown into the harbour :-).

  8. no rest for the weary August 15, 2014 at 1:21 am #

    I had a looooong back and forth with one of the “org”s that wrings their hands about kids killed in cars. The whole “never and not for a minute” thing was justified by talking about the OTHER dangers inside a car, like the automatic windows.

    But electric windows only work when the car is on with the keys in it, I’d guess, so if kids are getting injured by windows when they are left unattended in a car, it must mean they were left in a car that is stationary, but powered.

    I’m noticing a kind of unfortunate “this leads to this leads to that” kind of experience with kids and cars these days, and I am tracing it all to the stranger-danger paranoia, which has nothing to do with heat stroke.

    Here goes:

    In the 1970s, a lot of cars had A/C, and a lot didn’t. A lot had power windows, and a lot had cranking windows. These days, nearly all cars have A/C and power windows.

    When I was a kid in the 70s and was left in a cold car in the winter, the car was turned off, I had a winter coat on, and it was for a brief period of time. I would notice the car was getting colder the longer it was turned off, but I never froze to death. No one ever left me in a car with the engine running to keep the heat on, and of course the windows were rolled up, but the doors were not necessarily locked.

    When I was a kid in the 70s and it was sunny but not hot outside, and I got left in the car, the car was turned off, and I was left in charge of the cranking windows (we never had power windows in our family cars). The idea was if I wanted more air, I could roll them down. The doors were not necessarily locked.

    When I was a kid in the 70s and it was sunny and hot outside, and I got left in the car, the car was turned off, and the windows were all rolled down. I can’t remember if we parked in the shade or not; I know for certain that most places we parked didn’t have shade options necessarily, so sometimes it must have been in the full sun. The doors, of course, were not locked ever in this situation.

    So. Fast forward to the 21st century. When we leave a kid in a car (baby, toddler, child, middle schooler), it seems that there is a given about locking the doors of the car.

    If you start with that, you start with locking the doors of the car, and insist on no “hull breach” between the child and the outside world, things get a lot more complex as far as climate control goes. If there’s any chance it will get hot in the car, and you’ve got the doors locked, of course all the windows are up too. And then the only thing you can do to keep the kid comfortable is have the car running.

    In cold weather, then, because there is a kind of assumption that a kid in a locked car with the engine running is a solution in the summer, then that would extend to the winter, with a preference for having the heat going to keep the child comfortable, although it’s not likely to be necessary if the child was playing outdoors at recess that day in the same coat.

    If the car is running, there’s a whole other mess of variables to contend with. Power windows being one variable. If the keys are in the ignition, or if you have a push-in lighter (do they have those anymore??), I guess an unattended and perhaps unprepared child of a certain age and temperament could get into trouble. The vast majority won’t, but I’m guessing the stats on kids these days getting injured in non-heat-stroke-related ways (i.e. “See? Kids are getting INJURED IN UNATTENDED CARS WHEN YOU RUN A QUICK ERRAND!!!) are nearly universally in a car that is running.

    None of this adds up to many injuries or deaths. Probably not nearly as many injuries and deaths that happen in parking lots and roads when you take the child out of the car and attempt to go where you’re going.

    But whatever injuries and deaths there are, unrelated to hyperthermia, have got to be partly linked to this obsession with locking the kids into the cars and leaving the engine running.

    We lock the kids into a car to… keep them from getting out? No. A child in a locked car, if they are mobile, can unlock the doors and get out.

    So we lock the kids into a car to… keep “bad people” from “getting” the kid?

    Yeah. That’s why it’s happening. The cultural assumption is that the kid is vulnerable to PREDATION when he’s alone in the car more than he’s vulnerable to anything else, so locking the doors to keep the “bad people” away is your first step to “safety,” right?

    I don’t think so. I think the first step toward making the child more vulnerable actually comes when you lock the doors, especially if it’s hot outside. Locking the doors and rolling up the windows to keep a child safe from predation is absolutely misguided. There is no evidence that strangers are taking children out of cars when the windows are rolled down.

    There is, however, evidence that strangers are going bananas and breaking windows and calling the cops when they see a child in a car with the windows rolled UP. And they panic MORE if the doors are locked. And then they feel even MORE alarmed because the ENGINE IS ON and THAT’S SO DANGEROUS because it’s attractive to thieves.

    So. I’m going to venture this: the first step to fighting back against this “no kid ever alone in a car no matter what” hysteria is to open up the car in hot weather. Don’t crack the windows, ROLL THEM ALL THE WAY DOWN. Take your keys with you if your kid is very young. Leave the doors unlocked.

    If a bystander comes upon this scene, what are they to say, exactly? That there are a bunch of “predators” “everywhere” and this is “endangerment”? Let them call the cops. They won’t have to break any windows, they can converse easily with the child inside. The child who is fine, absolutely fine. The car cannot be put into gear if it’s an automatic transmission. The windows can’t be operated to strangle him. The child is fine.

    Then it becomes a pure FICTION that the child is in more danger inside the car than outside the car, and that FICTION can be exposed, if need be, in a court proceeding. If no child ever has been abducted from a car in a parking lot while his mom picked up the dry cleaning, then the whole “what if” thing can be illustrated as a form of anxiety disorder, not a reason to arrest parents.

    Can we please stop locking our kids into the cars? We do not need to do this. It makes things more complicated, and more dangerous (even though none of it is particularly dangerous anyway). Stop locking the doors, and take the keys with you. Leave the windows down unless it’s the dead of winter and the wind is howling or it’s pouring rain.

    And then let’s see what happens.

  9. Uly August 15, 2014 at 1:24 am #

    “Has a preschool or older child EVER died in a car or been kidnapped from one (parental custody kidnappings don’t count) or been injured while waiting in a parked car?”

    Oh, there’s at least two or three kids every year who get kidnapped while sitting in a car. Or, rather, there are at least two or three sets of car thieves (usually teens out for a joyride) who are startled when their car turns out to have a kid in it.

    I’ve never heard of one of those cases ending too badly, though. Usually the would be car thief panics, realizes that kidnapping is a whole new level of bad that they do NOT want to be involved in, and ditches the car (and kid) somewhere safe and it’s all over, kid unharmed and returned to parents, within hours.

    LOL, there was one I heard of that sticks in my mind, the kid in the backseat was seven, playing on her game system, barely even noticed when the car started moving. When the teens found her they panicked, took her home, and let her play on their playstation for a few hours while they continued to panic. Eventually they smartened up and returned her to a parking lot only a couple of miles from where they’d found her.

  10. SKL August 15, 2014 at 1:30 am #

    I think that before laws or official policies are proposed regarding kids left in cars, they should be required to provide a report comparing the statistical danger of the kids in cars to the statistical danger of kids in the parking lot or wherever else they would be if they were not secure in their car seats.

    And they should never be allowed to take a kid away for something like this unless they can prove one or more of the following: intent to harm, a long period in the car (certainly more than 15 minutes) and serious physical harm to the child.

  11. Warren August 15, 2014 at 2:22 am #

    Let’s be honest, here in rural Ontario, we have to, really have to lock our kids in the cars. The area is teaming with predators. Wolves, coyotes, bear, and various birds of prey all just waiting for an easy meal.

    Those are the predators everyone is worried about, right?

  12. BL August 15, 2014 at 4:17 am #

    “How to Respond to a Well-Meaning …”

    No, they are not well-meaning.

  13. MichaelF August 15, 2014 at 4:56 am #

    ” I am running out of patience with a society so bent on obsessing over an extremely rare problem and ignoring the big, hard ones.”

    Ah but rare ones you can say you DID something, especially politicians, who can then say they stopped it because that rare thing did not happen since. If it did, there would be no mention, or an excuse…yet they did something! It’s like low hanging fruit, its easy to do and have and you have shown action.

    The hard stuff is hard, its too complicated to deal with so lets ignore it until we really have to.

  14. Michelle August 15, 2014 at 6:39 am #

    Uly, the closest I’ve heard is cars being stolen with the baby inside, but since I’ve heard people expressly afraid of that exact scenario, I think it counts. It happened in my city two months ago:

    Mom left the baby in an unlocked, running car, in a bad neighborhood, in the middle of the night, while she ran into a gas station. The baby was found abandoned in a field a few hours later, totally fine, but honestly lucky to be found (not a high traffic area). From all accounts she was a good mom who made a bad decision, and I was glad she got her baby back. Still, the solution is simple: don’t leave your car running and unlocked, with or without baby inside.

  15. BL August 15, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    “Still, the solution is simple: don’t leave your car running and unlocked, with or without baby inside.”

    I’ll go with that. I’m shocked at how many times I’ll park at a convenience store and see the car next to me is still running. I don’t know if they’re locked, but sometimes they’re convertibles so it doesn’t matter. Usually there’s nobody inside. Or sometimes a dog.

  16. Jen August 15, 2014 at 7:15 am #

    @no rest: Hull Breech — that’s hysterical!

    Sad to say, you are absolutely correct. When I leave my elementary aged daughter in the car, that is exactly what I do. . .windows up, doors locked. She knows she can get out of the car and come in to wherever I am. However, the protective shell isn’t to keep her from predators but to keep her from “well meaning” people and police. The message is, even if the police come by, “do not open the door–tell them your mom will be right back.”

    Lately, if possible, I leave myself in the car and send her in. I wonder what the rules are on that.

  17. lollipoplover August 15, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    The message is very clear:

    Don’t leave them in cars, leave them OUTSIDE the car.
    Heck, I’d even give mine a kickball and some cones to set up a game in the parking lot if I saw this sign. Safety first!
    Because the ticking bomb timer of *even a minute* makes being inside the car far more dangerous, right?

    The public service message SHOULD be:

    Please reserve 911 calls for TRUE emergencies and don’t overburden the system with judgemental parenting police calls. If you’re worried, GET INVOLVED.
    It takes a village, but not a village of assholes. Think awhile before you dial…911.

  18. Brian K August 15, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    If you go to the White House’s petition , you will unfortunately find several petitions related to kids in parked cars. One wanting to make it legal for people to break car windows if they find a child alone in a parked car, another to make kids alone in parked cars illegal in all states. The others were just variations on this theme.

    In good news however, none were close to receiving the minimum number of required signatures needed.

  19. Dirk August 15, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    Lenore didn’t provide any information on how to respond to the campaign.

  20. Dirk August 15, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Hey Wendy,

    There are annual reports with data and maps for the US here:

    Other info can be found here:

  21. Dirk August 15, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    Wendy W. Sure…here is one…kid died in about an hour…

    A Fishers woman was charged Thursday with felony child neglect after police found her 16-month-old daughter left alone in a hot SUV last week.

    Meg Trueblood, 30, is accused of leaving her daughter for at least an hour while she went shopping Saturday afternoon.

    According to the probable cause affidavit, Fishers Police were called to the scene outside Simply Chic on East 96th Street at around 3:30 pm after someone noticed the child inside the SUV.

    The responding officer went inside the store and asked if anyone there owned the SUV, but he could not locate the owner. He went back outside, smashed the window and took the girl out of the SUV and into the store.

    Police say the temperature inside the SUV was 124 degrees, and the temperature outside was 102, with a heat index of 107.

    The little girl was limp and unresponsive, and began to go into seizures as the officer and store employees tried to cool her down. During that time, Trueblood identified herself as the girl’s mother.

    A store employee told the officer that Trueblood had been in the store for around an hour. The employee said she was helping Trueblood find a dress because Trueblood told her she was meeting a man later that night.

  22. Phoenix August 15, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Dirk, that’s a 16 month old. Wendy asked if a child had ever been left and died. She specifically said preschool or older, which would be at least age 3 and possibly 4 depending on how you define it. I also have never seen such a story of a child past toddler age dying. There may be some, but I think the point is that babies are at great risk for more than a few minutes, but that when I got nasty looks for leaving my fifth graders in the car the other day to run into the gas station for a couple of things, that was completely unfounded.

  23. Phoenix August 15, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    Okay, I looked at the link that had the data. Since 1998, there have been a handful of deaths for kids past toddlerhood, but after age 6, it’s all 1-2 in that period. Also, since a large number of the deaths are from kids playing the car (nearly 30%), my guess is that at least some of those deaths, if not the majority, are more like household accidents than like parents leaving a child in the car to run an errand for those ages.

  24. Suz August 15, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    Re: Dirk
    The data presented in your first link was very interesting. It seems there is a breaking point between children aged 0-3 and those age 4 and up. 87% of all heat related vehicle deaths since data collection began were children age 3 and under. The statists show that every other age group had very low impact numbers.

    Putting aside for a moment how it could be that a 13 or 14 year old could die of heatstroke in a car (there must be more than meets the eye here, since the average kid of this age is capable of adjusting their own circumstances to prevent this), it would seem that it might be most logical for these fear-mongering campaigns to alter their approach to something that targets that 87% group. Perhaps saying “NEVER leave a child under age 3 alone in a car…” is a more defensible position.

    Then again, I think that since this data relates to heatstroke, you must further modify that statement to read “… if the ambient temperature is north of 70 degrees”, since they indicate that moderate temperatures can create warm car conditions.

    Without such specificity, they are making statements that are not grounded in statistics at all. And that is the root of the problem.

  25. Dirk August 15, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    Phoenix, if you got dirty looks for leaving your 5th graders in the car while you went into a gas station…I am surprised. I find it hard to believe. I wonder if you just feel like that happened and are sensitive to the idea. Because that is weird and not the norm.

  26. Nicole August 15, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    People tend to remember the “don’t do this” and forget about the why. Even though it is a summer campaign specifically because of hot weather, it’s likely to turn into a general mindset of “leaving a kid in a car is dangerous- I don’t know why, but it is.” I would suggest that they be urged to clarify two things. First, what is a child? There is a big difference between leaving a baby strapped in a 5 point harness and leaving a 12 year old who should know how to open a door if it gets hot. So, be specific. Second, emphasize the reason- extreme heat. People need to know that the danger is that a car can reach extreme temperatures even on what seems like a mild day. The other change in message that might be much more helpful is the idea to check for your children. Because most of the very rare tragic deaths have come not from a parent leaving a kid on purpose, but from leaving a sleeping child in the back seat on accident. Ultimately, though, people need to realize that there have been an average of 38 hot car deaths (in the US) per year since 1998, meaning that it is extremely rare.

  27. Dirk August 15, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    13 and 14 year olds? What are you talking about? And yes preschoolers and babies are way more at risk, for what risks there are, of course. But it has happened to 5 and 6 year olds to. Of course the number of kids is small because it is so rare to happen.

    Here is a more accessible info sheet on those things…

  28. kate August 15, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Have we lost all sense of perspective? Obviously one should never leave an infant in a parked car on a 90 degree plus day. This does not mean it is unsafe to ever leave an eight year old in the car on a fifty degree day. Here in the northeast, heatstroke is pretty unlikely 10 months of the year.

  29. Suz August 15, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Dirk: yes, the page you provided includes data on deaths of kids up to age 14. Did you read your own recommended sources?

  30. mystic_eye August 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

    Here’ my suggestion:

    First off get a map of the police division borders and non-emergency numbers for each. Call around to the local precincts and arrange to talk to the community liaison officer. Try to get them on board.

    If you can get them on board arrange community meetings with them where people in the community can voice any actual safety concerns they may have (aside from kids in cars). You want the police to stress not abusing 911 (ie if a kid is old enough to get out of the car and can communicate through the window that they are just fine then it’s not an emergency). Try to get some actual safety stats for various dangers in the community. Getting people out and together can help a lot. Also, if you really want to get a lot of people out to your community meeting spread rumors that they are cracking down on off-leash dogs or proposing getting rid of off leash areas. Sounds strange but dog people will actually show up, also dog walkers are actually one of the things that really keep a community safe (the police usually have stats on that). Yeah it’s a kind of a dirty trick to start a false rumor but sometimes it’s worth it.

    If this work you’ve hopefully now got the police and community behind you, with a more focused view of community safety to put pressure on the politicians to stop fear-mongering and to actually do some good.

    If that’s not going to work, the police aren’t on your side, etc the alternate route is to get people to use those non-emergency lines to just start reporting everything even remotely dangerous particularly kids in cars until they get the point.

  31. Karen August 15, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    Actually, I have read that deaths from babies left accidently in cars HAVE increased in the last decade. This is because, with the advent of passenger seat airbags, parents can’t put their kids’ car seats on the passenger seat next to them anymore. A baby in the back seat in a rear-facing car seat is out of sight of a distracted parent exiting their car, thus an increased chance of accidentally forgetting. Given that reality, a “check before you lock” campaign makes sense, but not the “never, ever, for any reason at any age” campaign.

  32. SKL August 15, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    The older kids who died in cars were mostly kids who were playing outside and climbed into the car and either fell asleep or could not figure out how to get out.

    A 14yo girl was taking a nap in a car in the morning before school. She had driven with her brother who needed to be in class an hour earlier than she did. The car had doors that could not be locked from the inside. I don’t think they know whether she tried unsuccessfully to get out, or simply didn’t wake up. She was in there all day and was discovered dead at the end of the school day.

    A lot of kids who die in cars are dead because of safety measures. Doors that kids can’t open, rear-facing seats in the back so parents are more likely to forget the kid is there. The number of heatstroke deaths increases as they introduce new safety rules.

  33. John August 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    Quote: “Don’t leave your kids alone in the car, even for a minute. If you see kids unattended in a car call 911 immediately.”

    Apparently Canada is emulating the USA in our obsession with over reaction regarding kids. Now perhaps I’m picking the fly shit out of the pepper here but how do you define “kid”? I’m assuming the term “kid” is synonymous with “child” meaning any person under the age of 18. With that being the case, if “my 17-year-old son” decided to wait in the car while I popped into the doctor’s office to pay a bill, some nitpicky anal retentive person could call 911 and I could end up with attorney’s fees and a court date. I’m sure any Judge would drop the charges in a case like that BUT it would definitely be a waste of time, money and stress on MY part!

  34. hineata August 15, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    @John – interesting you should say that. One woman on another blog about this sort of thing was mentioning that sometimes her sixteen year old liked to sit in the car and read while she ran errands, so she thought maybe it was ok to sometimes leave kids in cars.

    My mind exploded at around that point, so I can’t tell you whether she was castigated for leaving her child in that incredibly dangerous situation…..

  35. Dirk August 15, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    @ Suz Fri Aug 15th 2014 at 12:02 pm, yeah of course I am certain that 13 and 14 years have died in a car from heat stroke or what have you and can clearly see that they represent less than 1% of all events and I agree with what you said that those individuals probably had more going on (maybe they got locked in the trunk or where drinking illegally or something). I was incredulous because no one is worried about 8th graders getting heat stroke in cars, even the crazy people are talking about babies and youngsters up through elementary school.

  36. SKL August 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    Sorry, in my comment about the older kids dying in cars, I meant the doors could not be UN-locked from the inside. Big difference, sorry.

  37. EricS August 15, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    Well said no rest for the weary.

    In the 70’s, I and all my friends were left in our cars as well. I guess the big difference between us, and the children of this generation, is that we were TAUGHT at very young ages the do’s and don’ts. As well as the “why”. For me, the “why” was explained because I was conditioned to question things I didn’t understand. And my parents were caring and competent to explain for me.

    When were left in cars, while our parents ran in to pay or buy something in a relatively short period of time, and we got either antsy or too hot to stay inside the car, we just got out of it. Found a shade to sit under, and wait. This was anywhere from 15-20 min. Sometimes, it was up to an hour. But we were always fine. And we are talking kids from as young as 4 to 8 years old. 9, 10 and up, most kids were knowledgable in the ways of street smarts. I would equate our level of street smarts, and common sense smarts at age 9, to todays 15-16 year olds. That is a huge difference. In fact, in my experience, my 8 year old nephew, is more street smart than some 16 year olds I know.

    It’s not the age, it’s not the era, it’s not even circumstances. It all has to do with the mentality of the parents and adults, and how they are “teaching” their kids today. In past generations, kids were taught to be self sufficient, and guided to learn on their own. These days, it’s all about “protecting” them, at all costs. Even if it means sheltering them. Which is never a good idea in the long run. And when it comes to children, it’s ALWAYS about the long run. What they learn now, is what they will use in their future. It’s harder to break bad habits once they’ve been set in for years. Then to condition them early so that they learn very few bad habits, or bad way of thinking (ie. fearful, paranoia just like their parents) as they get older.

  38. Warren August 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    Why are you linking stories from Indiana, and giving US stats for a story for Calgary, Alberta. In case during all your searching you didn’t come across it, that is Canada, and Indiana is not one of our provinces.

    Do your normal research, and you will see there has been Only one death, in over a year, in Alberta. And that was not from a parent doing a five minute errand.

    Knock off the bs. What happens in Indiana, Florida or Katmandu, is not what happens in Alberta.

  39. hineata August 15, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    @SKL – yes, especially about the doors that can’t be unlocked from inside. Just ridiculously dangerous. How would you get yourself out in an accident? I didn’t think that sort of thing existed here until the girls reminded me of when they inadvertently got left behind along with their friend in friend’s family’s late model SUV , while the rest of us went off in other cars sightseeing. They couldn’t get the back doors open, and were only discovered when they finally gave the front doors a go and triggered the car alarm. (Friend’s father adores his car, and they were afraid to damage the interior by climbing around in it, plus I think for the first while they found the situation just funny 🙂 ).

  40. Kim August 15, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    I just heard an interview this morning on our local public radio station discussing the same thing. The guest actually encouraged people to smash a car window if they see a child alone in a car. They will not be charged with a crime. So if someone is concerned, instead of waiting to see if the parent arrives within minutes, they are encouraged to break and enter your car? Can you imagine running into the library or going into a convenience store for a minute to come back and find that your car window is smashed because someone heard on the radio that they are legally allowed to do this? I would argue that a child is safer in a car than walking across a parking lot. There was nothing mentioned in the interview about how old the children should be before a parent can leave them in the car for a few minutes.

  41. Marcy August 15, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    ARGH! The toddler did NOT die in that Fishers case. Something smells fishy about that story anyway, I would like to know if the kid was neglected regardless of location.

    Personally, if the weather isn’t hot and I leave my kid or kids in the car, I leave the windows up and instruct them to stay in the back of the van where the windows are privacy tinted so potential busybodies won’t see them. I have the van locked, but the doors will open from the inside if someone needs to get out.

    I have once or twice left my kids on a hot day (Nova Scotia hot, so around low to mid-80s) with no shade. I parked as far away from the store entrance as I could so busybodies would not be likely to wander by. I left all the windows rolled all the way down. I instructed my 8 year old to take his little brother to a designated shady place if he felt it was getting too hot. I told him not to get out of the van for any other reason and especially not if an adult told him to. Not even a police officer. He was to stay put and tell anyone that I would be back in a few minutes.

  42. SKL August 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Yeah, because being terrorized by a stranger busting the window to drag you out of the car is so much better for children than sitting and reading for a few minutes.

    So what are we supposed to teach our kids now – that it is OK and only for their own good if a stranger busts a window and drags them out of the car?

    What happens if my kids bust the SOB’s nose and dig his eyes out? Will I go to jail for that? 😛

  43. Maria August 15, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    What’s the problem here. There have been numerous deaths involving infants and toddlers who have been either left or forgotten in cars–if you don’t do it, ignore it. But there are enough idiots who leave kids and pets locked in cars. Further, how is leaving a child unattended in an hot car, making them independent or self-sufficient. Actually, it’s really quite stupid to leave a child in a car for a variety of reason, namely here in NY there are car jackings all the time, so ppl don’t do it. Sometimes I really think the point here is not to parent at all because a lot of this is has nothing to do with raising independent kids

  44. Steve August 15, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    We need to find organizations to back commercials that show how stupid worst first thinking can be. The ads should be hilarious, spoofing the Worst-Firsters and bringing much needed attention to this kind of thinking in so many venues.

    Imagine a scenario that compares the idiot mom and dad who base their entire lives on worst-first thinking with the sensible Free Range parents next door. In fact, Lenore, this could be a great TV comedy show sponsored by companies that have an uphill battle promoting the safety of their own products or services. Perhaps companies that have had product recalls. So many of those recalls are often based on worst first thinking.

  45. Maria August 15, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    @eric, oh please with this 70s crap. I was a 70s child growing up in NYC and my parents left us alone from 7 years old. Yeah, we are fine, but that doesn’t mean it was safe–I had friends who set their house on fire, who almost had their baby sister fall out a window, etc. While I agree that things have gotten somewhat paranoid, leaving a toddler in a locked car isn’t one of them. Most of these kids are stuck in car seats and can’t get out. Back then, we had no car seats, so we got out. We also had locks that came up by hand, now you need to turn the car on, and if the child lock is on, you are doomed. So keep things in context, what’s changed is really the cars–you can’t get out. And these parents are us, the 70s kids, so maybe many of us realize how stupid our parents were.

  46. bmommyx2 August 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    As a busy mom in So. Cal. this is a major source of stress for me. I have two young kids in car seats & my youngest is a runner & has no fear so out of safty concerns I often leave him in the car if I am going to be 5 or 10 minutes. Just the other day I observed from a distance someone walking away from my car & making a comment to another person in the parking lot. I feared that they were going to call the authorities or report it to someone or confront me. I will admit it was a warm day, the windows were all the way down on one side & three inches on the other. My 3 yr old son was sleeping & had a bottle of milk & my 7 yr old was playing on his tablet & had a bottle of water, I was parked just outside of the pharmacy doors & I was in about 5 minutes. After running several errands with cranky kids & needing to stop one more time the last think I wanted to do was wake up my son & have him scream & run amok in the store & parking lot. Once a week I stop at the dry cleaners. I park right in front with the windows down & I can watch the whole time. If I take him out I can’t ensure his safety navigating the parking lot with a handful of clothes & he will dart out without fear & cars buzz through like it’s the Indianapolis speedway. Everyday we have situation where we have to make judgment calls especially as parents & 99.99 % of parents want what is best for their child I we as a society have to learn to trust that. That said people do make mistakes & there are bad parents who leave their kids in a hot car while they go to the bar, but that is not the norm. Being a parent is stressful enough without feeling the glaring judgement of strangers or the people we know well intentioned or not.

  47. Buffy August 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    “Actually, I have read that deaths from babies left accidently in cars HAVE increased in the last decade.”

    Accidentally. The key word is ACCIDENTALLY. No parent running in for the drycleaning, paying for gas, getting money from at ATM is not going to somehow forget that a)they drove a car to that location and b)that their kid is in it. Maybe those deaths have increased, but it’s not due to errand running, and it has nothing to do with preschool and up kids waiting in the car with a book or an Ipad.

  48. Kristin August 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    Why does the lady need to respond to the campaign at all?

    Most of us don’t need these warnings. Alarmist? Maybe. It’s a huge problem here in the US. If it saves some lives, what harm does it do?

    As a parent you have to filter out which advice you will use and which is useless to you. There are a lot of extremes- you get the helicopter parents and the opposite- people who are so “free range” it’s negligent. Why not just take a middle of the road approach and keep your kid safe while giving them freedom too? Not everything needs to be so radical.

  49. Dirk August 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    You’re right Warren. Alberta has no laws about abandonment, children in cars, etc. So what would happen when they call 911?

  50. Dirk. August 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Again, I agree with Lenore. It is certainly ok to leave a child in the car for a single handful of minutes, but I would also suggest you stay in sight of the car to prevent a Kim Brooks situation (since 19 states have some laws against it).
    I would love to hear her actually clarify her position though with more details!

  51. Dirk. August 15, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    I don’t really care at all about this campaign. I do think the worry over its existence is weird through. Who cares…

    But if you have a complaint it is with Alberta Health Services EMS! Why not give em a call! (Stu is the guy attached to the campaign linked by Lenore…)

    Stuart Brideaux
    Public Education Officers
    Alberta Health Services
    Emergency Medical Services – Calgary Zone
    Public: 403-955-9606
    Media: 403-955-9668

  52. Beth August 15, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    @Kristin, this is a “huge” problem here in the US? Leaving a responsible and/or competent kid in the car during a quick errand?

    You do not appear to understand this site at all if you think that something this benign is a huge problem.

    And hey Dirk? If you don’t care about this campaign, you don’t have to comment (gosh, there’s a thought….), much less comment multiple times.

  53. SKL August 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    The bad advice to not leave kids in the car (ever ever ever) does not bother me as much as the advice to call 911 if you see a kid in a car. It’s the second part that you can’t ignore if you’re a parent wanting to run a quick errand without kids in tow.

    And Dirk, I am now wondering what “for the last time” means, when you have repeated your now very well-known position about a dozen more times after saying that.

  54. Dirk. August 15, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    This isn’t a huge problem anywhere. I find it weird not only the way the kidsincar brigade paint the picture but the odd persecution complex here on this sight about the response. Their is no epidemic of people getting in trouble for leaving their kids in the car. Millions and millions of parents are currently doing this and proverbially less than 0.00001 percent have any negative experiences.

  55. Havva August 15, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    I saw a discussion recently about a 7 and a 12 year old in a hot car. There was a lot of ‘not for a minute’ types. But most people seemed to agree that if the kid is grade school age, the child isn’t in danger and well meaning stranger should leave it be. It’s good to see that the statistics Derik pointed to confirmed that was a substantially safe position.

    As for the safety features leading to deaths thing. It is probably time for child safety locks to go. When those got started very young kids were loose in cars and I’m sure many exited while in motion. But now kids that young are in 5pt harnesses.

    Maria you are however incorrect about needing modern cars to be on to unlock them. The vast majority of cars still have manual ways to unlock them from the inside. The BMW that killed the 14 year old purposely disabled that when the car was locked from the outside. That is not common in car design and that model of BMW has trapped adults too. That design ‘feature’ ought to be recalled and made illegal. There is a reason building code won’t let jewelry stores set up security to trap people inside. Cars shouldn’t be allowed to do that either.

    But you may well have a point that kids old enough to get out safely on their own, should not be left buckled into a 5pt harness. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the 9 six year olds who died in hot cars were kids still using a 5pt harness or who’s parents still had the child locks engaged.

    As for leaving a young kid in the car like bmommyx2 stated, sometimes leaving them in the car is for their own safety. I’ve certainly wanted to leave my daughter in place on icy days when the car would be in site the whole time. Looking at stats.
    I dug a little in Derik’s links I found that for children 14 and under. 262 died (2007) and 92,000 (annualized from 2008-2010 data) landed in the emergency room from “front over & back over” accidents basically parking lot and driveway accidents NOT speeding car vs pedestrian. Compare that to 43 dead in 2013 (a particularly bad year), or the average of 38 per year, and less than 500 per year visiting hospitals for heat stroke. And keep in mind that in only 18% of those cases did an adult know the kid was in the car.

    So I think that a strong case can be made from a *safety* perspective in favor of leaving kids in the car. I would love to study Calgary’s front over and back over accident rates before and after this campaign. Considering that in all of the US about 8 kids per year die of heatstroke who were intentionally left in the car. Since Canada is colder than the US… I’ll wager this campaign will save 0 and kill several.

  56. Dirk. August 15, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    Do people really have child safety locks on their cars still? Don’t you have to turn them on yourself? To the locked setting I mean.

  57. Dirk. August 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    And Lenore never said anything about how to Respond to a Well-Meaning, Misguided “Never Leave Your Kids in the Car” Campaign…

    Do you even read this comments…?

    Come one speak! Explicitly say what is reasonable on leaving your kid in the car Lenore!

  58. SKL August 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    Havva, I totally agree with you on the relative dangers.

    Dirk, my car is a 2003 and it has child safety locks. I would have to engage them. I do not know whether parents are encouraged or discouraged from using them nowadays. I used one when one of my kids’ car seats was shoved up against that door, when she was a baby/tot. Once she was big enough to know not to open the door while whizzing down the freeway, I turned it off.

  59. Dirk. August 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    I remember my grandfather had them on a car when I was a kid, they were a total pain in the rump.

    I assume that maybe my vehicles have come with them but I certainly wouldn’t want them on.

  60. Arianne August 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    I don’t even know what to say about this.

  61. Havva August 15, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    The problem with putting “not for a minute” front and center in the campaign is that in the US maybe 8 kids per year would be saved by that advice assuming their parents would follow it. Meanwhile it is displacing the advice that could help the rest of the kids.
    That advice being:

    Make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car.
    (Keep a stuffed animal in the carseat and when the child is put in the seat place the animal in the front with the driver. Or place your purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.)



    On Derik’s child safety lock question. ‘Most’ cars still have it according to Wikipedia. My car and my husband’s car certainly do. Yes someone has to turn those on, but somehow my mom got trapped by it. Our best guess is that our then 2 year old turned it on (she loves all the parts in the door jam) and the switch isn’t that difficult. It may have been on for months before we found out.

  62. Warren August 15, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Really, calling out Lenore?
    Get off your soapbox, and mind your manners. Lenore, has updated the story above if you took the time to read instead of yapping.
    Lenore, has asked for our opinions. I have never known her to claim to know all the answers.

    I do believe an apology is order. Or a slap in the back of the head, and then you apologize.

  63. Donna August 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    Dirk, my 2007 car has safety locks. I would have to engage them, but they exist.

  64. Donna August 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    Dirk, I think that you can safely assume that Lenore supports the actions of the people whose stories she posts. That means that she supports being inside a store buying head phones for your kid (a la Kim Brooks). She has posted other similar stories as well. You can look them up. You do love internet research. I’m sure if you were to look them all up that you would find that Lenore is much closer to us than to your “must only be gone for a couple minutes and stay within view of the car at all times” stance.

  65. SKL August 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    I think Lenore’s point is that parents are usually in the best position to decide these things for their own children.

    The time that happened to me, I ranted on an internet forum. I had all kinds of people saying “but what if it was hotter than you thought” “but what if the kids strangled themselves in the power windows” and 100 other things. Hello, I am the one who was there, I know what time and temperature it was, I know what features my car has, I know how my kids behave, and I know how long it takes to drop off a FedEx. I didn’t ask Lenore for permission to leave my kids in the car, because I had all the necessary information right there. The only thing I didn’t know was that some witch in the vicinity thought it was a police matter for school-aged kids to sit in a car.

  66. Jill August 15, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    Clearly, humans need to evolve to the point that we develop pouches like marsupials, so we can carry our children safely tucked inside our abdominal flaps until they turn eighteen, at which point they will be set free, to stumble through the world wide-eyed and completely unprepared for anything more challenging than playing video games.
    Hold on, aren’t helicopter parents doing a version of that now, minus the pouch thing?

  67. lollipoplover August 15, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    “If you see kids unattended in a car call 911 immediately.”

    There should have been 30 911 calls after our son’s soccer game last week. It was hot and humid with thunderstorm clouds looming. Worse, the no-see-ums and mosquitos were eating us alive. The bug spray we used seemed to act like vitamin water to these blood suckers. And our town has 2 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus. Most parents let the kids go wait in the car. My car had 4 little girls watching a DVD. And they stole all of my gum.

    Could they have been kidnapped? Possibly. But their singing of Frozen songs loudly and off-key would ensure their quick return. Call 911 on these kids? Let it go….let it go…

  68. Jill August 15, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    @arianne, the story about the woman being arrested for cursing in front of kids convinced me that the world has gone insane. I know disorderly conduct laws are deliberately vague, but this just takes the cake.
    When I was a wee tot, I used to play underneath some shrubbery behind my house, where the man who lived on the other side was frequently outdoors, doing handyman-type projects that usually made him quite vexed. He used to let loose with some of the most creative cursing that has ever been spoken by an angry man who managed to shoot himself in the thigh with his own nail gun. The air is probably still blue over his back yard from his cursing,fifty years later.
    Were my tender ears harmed by his language? Not a bit. Did my mother call the police? Nope. Because calling the police was what you did when someone had broken into your house, not when a child hears swearing.

  69. Mike In Virginia August 15, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    I agree there is a difference between leaving a 10 year old in a car on a cool day for a short time and leaving a toddler in a car on a hot day for a long time. The problem is when, as result of a few parents exercising terrible judgement, the “rule” becomes NEVER leave any kid in a car for any reason. And what’s worse is when that zero tolerance attitude gets codified into law.

    But for those asking why you would ever leave a baby in car, there is a simple answer. When the baby is asleep and you need to go inside the store to pre-pay for your gas. Of course, I would never have to do this because I use a credit card at the pump, but I hope you can see why these laws, like many laws, disproportionately hurt poor people.

  70. SKL August 15, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    Mike: and they also disproportionately hurt single parents and their kids.

  71. SteveS August 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    I am not sure what would work best. In the past, I would have suggested a campaign based on logic and statistics. Unfortunately, from what I have read, these campaigns aren’t really all that effective. I remember reading reports from consulting firms that suggested “emotional” arguments had a greater influence.

    Taking this into account, It may be more useful to have ‘real-life’ examples of people whose lives were ruined or negatively impacted by busybody or an overzealous response by authorities. Ideally, this will be a situation where people can easily see that the child wasn’t at risk or in any kind of actual danger.

    The “dial 911 no matter what” response sounds a lot like zero tolerance school weapons policies. They may have sounded ok at first, until we started seeing kids getting expelled for accidentally leaving a nail file in their bag.

  72. Karen August 15, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    What I can’t figure out: if we’ve developed alarms that go off if you’ve left your keys in the car, or left the door ajar, or not buckled your seat belt–shouldn’t it be possible to develop something that would beep if you’ve accidently left your baby in the car? I’m thinking something embedded in the buckle of the car seat and a corresponding thingy that the parent carries in her pocket or purse. If the two components are more than 5o feet apart the component in the parent’s pocket beeps until the buckle is disengaged? I’m not an engineer, but that doesn’t sound like it would be too complex. Or are potential manufacturer afraid that if one failed, they’d get sued?

  73. Mandy August 15, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    We have a 2-year-old who has opened the door of the brand new honda while we were driving, so we engaged the safety locks. My husband forgot and while cleaning the backseat locked himself in. In our driveway. Fortunately he had the key in his pocket and was able to use an umbrella to push the starter button, roll down the window, and open the door from the outside. My toddler would have just climbed over the seat and let himself out the front door, but hubby didn’t want to get the seats dirty.

    But what if grandma had locked herself in? She would have been trapped for sure. Another scary feature is that it’s not necessary to engage the brake to start the car. If the 2-year-old got it into his head, he could start the car, put it in gear, and roll it into the street. Of course my neighbors would intervene– they all know him, so they would bring him home for correction. I seriously doubt they’d call the cops. So far he’s never escaped, but we’re researching door alarms for the house because one day he will try.

  74. Warren August 15, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    If they are after market, that parents can buy, I have no problem with it.

    But do not make it mandatory on vehicles, just like the idiots wanting back up cameras mandatory on vehicles. I am not having the price of my new vehicles go up, because people commited murder or accidently forgot their kids in the vehicle.

  75. Michelle August 15, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    Regarding leaving mom in the car while the kids run the errands, I actually have a story about that! (Does it ever seem like I have an anecdote for every occasion? :-P)

    When my oldest was 6,we were returning a video to Blockbuster (so, many years ago!), and she wanted to do it. This was years before I heard of FRK, and I was nervous and watching her like a hawk as she walked the 10 feet to the drop off, so I didn’t notice a cop walk up behind me. I jumped a foot when he knocked on my window.

    And he reamed me out for not noticing him approach, because he “could have been a carjacker.”

    So, no, it may not be safe to leave mom in the car alone. She could be carjacked! In broad daylight. From a busy strip mall on a busy street. And then how would you feel?!?

  76. Warren August 15, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

    Oh and Dirk,
    “Come on speak!”.
    In person, that would have probably cost you a chiclet or five.

  77. Jen (P.) August 15, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    <<>>. You think it’s weird to be concerned about governmental authorities encouraging people to call 911 whenever they see any child of any age unattended in a car for any length of time? You think it’s weird to be concerned about advising people to involve the police in situations where they are absolutely not needed, possibly taking them away from places where they are? Yesterday you were haranguing everyone about there not really being an epidemic of parents being arrested under dubious circumstances. Well the kind of attitude and misinformation on display in this promo is why those unjustified arrests are happening more and more frequently, but you think people should just ignore it – what, because it hasn’t affected them directly yet and this is just one little public information campaign? What would it take for you to recognize the problem here?

  78. Jen (P.) August 15, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    Ha! Sorry for the italics. I shouldn’t try to type on my iPad.

  79. mystic_eye August 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    Child safety locks only lock the doors when the engine is on. Even then either you’re a kid that can’t get out of a car seat or you’re more than likely a kid that can get into the front seat and out or possibly reach the key and turn the engine off.

    Sure “not all kids”, there are kids that aren’t going to be able to climb into the front for a variety of reasons. And of course there have been kids “trapped” on school buses after being forgotten despite the fact that there’s usually 10 different ways off a school bus in case of emergency, all clearly marked.

  80. Arianne August 15, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    @ Jill, I know, right??

  81. Michelle August 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    Child safety locks must work differently in different cars. In my van, if that little button on the inner edge of the door is switched “on” the doors can only be opened from outside. Whether or not the engine is on or the car is moving. They can useful for little ones who aren’t in 5 point harnesses anymore and like to jump out of the car as soon as it’s parked. I appreciated having the option of using them.

    Are there really cars that won’t let you out, even through the driver’s side door? Really?

    With all of this encouragement to break windows, what happens when someone sees a baby doll lying in the back seat?

  82. Warren August 16, 2014 at 12:59 am #

    I don’t know of any car, suv or truck that can trap someone inside.
    The only way that happens is people panic, and or there is an electrical malfunction, and or people do not know how to work the locks.

    To actually make a vehicle, as a manufacturer, that can be used to trap a person inside is illegal, not to mention financially idiotic.

  83. parent in alberta August 16, 2014 at 3:27 am #

    @ Michelle
    “she was a good mom who made a bad decision”
    You don’t provide the path or rationale to how you arrived at the ‘bad decision” part and what decision on her part exactly was bad, and maybe you have a reasonable explanation. But without it, I don’t think I can agree with your conclusion.

    The mother had a right to be at the gas station, and had the right to go inside. A child has a right to wait in the car….
    This mother and child were victims of a criminal offence. Theft is such to my knowledge. And so is abduction (though this particular case does not seem to be one of these).

    So let’s say, you are a woman leaving dinner with friends late evening, in season when it gets dark by 8 or 9 pm and you are walking to take public transit home or to get home on foot all the way (that does not really matter, and neither does the time 8PM or 2 AM after last call), and you are sexually assaulted. Should we say: “You made a bad decision. It is your fault. You are responsible. You should never do that again. Ever. You should always be with a friend or husband, as sexual assaults happen in daylight too.”
    But then, criminals have shoot-outs in most unexpected places and by-stands get caught in the cross fire. How do you protect yourself from those bad guys?
    We can go on and on. And very soon, you will not be able to leave your house without being labeled as one making ‘bad decisions’.

    The point is, it is not any citizen’s duty to hide, to think of ways to evade possible encounters with people who chose to be criminals, or to be with their child at all times in case a criminal happens to be around. Risk avoidance is not an answer.

    It would not surprise me if a 14 y.o died in a hot car. It would have to be the child who has never been left unattended by an adult and through that has not learned much through those 14 years, as a result of his parents and caregivers doing everything for him – making all the decisions, as a result of not experiencing making of mistakes, etc..

    @ Kristin and @ Dirk.
    There is a need to respond to the ads/campaign. Because this is propaganda, which makes general public believe that it is against the law to leave an under 12 y.o. at home alone, that it is an offence to leave a child in the car, et.. etc. . – none of these are laws in Canada/Alberta, and most importantly as other people here stated: it is important because it absolves people of thinking and being objective and rational.
    It happens subtly and eventually the authorities such as police and child welfare don’t just act out of their own arrogance in substituting these overly simplified statements in place of law, but they actually may start believing that it IS law.
    And the issue is not how many parents get in trouble. But rather that it is perversion that even a single child be harmed as a result of apprehension by the very government which is tasked with protecting him/her. And that is what I was told by no other than Calgary Police and Calgary Child And Family Services Authority – that my children will be apprehended, no investigation.

  84. Emily Morris August 16, 2014 at 8:03 am #

    If I spotted a child in a car and I had reason to believe that child were in danger, I would be doing whatever it took to get that child out, including breaking a window. No law woukd have to encourage me. I like to imagine a society would do the same, without fear-mongering encouraging it or fear of lawsuits discouraging it. Just sensible people sensibly looking out foreach other. How better would the world be if we had pro-community PSAs instead of ones of fear-mongering and judgment?

  85. Beth August 16, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    The point is, it is not any citizen’s duty to hide, to think of ways to evade possible encounters with people who chose to be criminals.”

    I love this so much!

  86. CrazyCatLady August 16, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    How to respond? Just like this: yesterday, I saw three kids sitting in a car when I went to pay my electric bill. There was one about 12, one about 3, and a toddler sleeping in his seat. I went inside, waited behind the mother and her friend who were adjusting their account. Then I paid my bill and left. About the same time I was leaving the other car was also leaving. That is it. The whole transaction was about 5 minutes from when I got there – not sure how long the other women had been there.

    I didn’t confront the mother, I didn’t call the cops, the kids looked okay so I didn’t say anything to them, just smiled at them as I went past.

  87. Amanda Matthews August 16, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    @Martha “how is leaving a child unattended in an hot car, making them independent or self-sufficient. ”

    The way it makes them independent and self-sufficient is by teaching them to recognize when they start to get hot, and take action; rolling down windows, getting out of the car if necessary and safe, calling for help if necessary. It is all about them NOT needing a parent by their side 24/7, NOT needing a parent to regulate their body temperature for them, etc.

    My 2009 car has child safety locks… which could actually be dangerous if turned on, because one of the doors in the back is messed up, and the lock does not lock/unlock by any electronic method, only manually. So the only possible ways to unlock it is that one of the kids get in the opposite door, climb over, and unlock it; or I have to start the car, roll down the window (which doesn’t roll down without the key in the ignition), and someone unlocks it manually from outside. Reaching back there from the front seat doesn’t work, because no one can reach it. The rolling down the window method means I’m inside the car while the kids are on the curb or in a parking lot; which works for me, at the age my kids are now, but it’s easy to see how that could be unsafe. An adult climbing over the seats would have to remove the car seats to fit.

    I can imagine a million possible situations where the other door is not accessible or the keys are not in the ignition and that door needs to be open, but can’t if the child safety locks are on. I imagine that in a serious crash the child safety locks would malfunction. But, it’s just imagination, so I don’t start a campaign against child safety locks or anything.

    “What I can’t figure out: if we’ve developed alarms that go off if you’ve left your keys in the car, or left the door ajar, or not buckled your seat belt–shouldn’t it be possible to develop something that would beep if you’ve accidently left your baby in the car?”

    Actually you know what, I’m pretty sure the technology for this already exists. My passenger front seat has a sensor, where the seatbelt alarm will go off if there is someone in the seat but the seatbelt is not buckled. It only goes off if there is someone in the seat, though (Well, someone or some heavy groceries) meaning it can sense a certain amount of weight.

    It shouldn’t be too difficult to put those in the back seat and tare them with the child seats on, so they go off when there is a baby/toddler in them but not when they are empty.

    Most likely the only thing stopping that from happening, is the very small chance that they will fail at JUST the wrong time, someone will die and the company will be sued.

    Of course, I’m not saying these should be mandatory. The seatbelt thing in my front passenger seat only ever annoys, not helps, because it goes off when I’ve got GROCERIES up there (any PERSON in the seat knows to buckle their seatbelt already).

  88. JP Merzetti August 16, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    I’d love to see every single die-hard fear-mongering idiot and all of those appear joyful to go along with the ride (the kind who dial 911 before they even think) to be quickly and adeptly taxed 10% of their annual income. Immediately.
    And what to do with that cash windfall?
    Hire a half-million specially trained traffic cops. The ones who catch every bozo out there who drives in such a manner as to endanger children in cars. And if the bozo happens to have children in THEIR car? Surrender their privilege to drive, for life.

    And oh, the hue and cry and crapstorm that would result from that.
    But seriously. What truly does create real and present danger to kids….gets a shrug. Oh well – that’s just what we do. That’s just how we drive. That’s just the way it is…

    Because society would break down and crumble, without kids in cars. We recognize the necessity. But we don’t collectively, as a society, adjust accordingly.
    This leading cause of accidental death, injury to kids just goes on, unabated. It never quits.
    And do the ‘fearies’ show up at every accident scene?
    No. The problem is too big, too pervasive.

    And pets?
    The new “kids” of the 21st century. Welcome to bedlam.

  89. Warren August 16, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    So you would smash the window? What criteria would you use to come to the conclusion that window needed breaking?

  90. Tamara August 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    I live in Alberta, though not Calgary, and I’m dismayed to hear this ad is even being played. Who on earth thinks up these campaigns and based on what criteria? I can’t find any further deaths from being left in a hot car for the past while other than Warren’s, either so I can only assume this is being done in response to the media’s own hype – they’ve convinced themselves it is a real problem. We had a truck stolen with a baby left inside here not too long ago – from the woman’s own driveway, I believe, while she was running groceries into her house. The baby was left on a doorstep once the truck stealers realized they had also stolen a baby and was fine but that is the only incident I can recall.

    How does this warrant a full-on Public Service Announcement?
    Who decided this campaign was necessary and why?

    I would start by asking those questions of the organization who is promoting this campaign.

    All part of the ‘Save EVERY child at ANY cost’ diatribe going on. There is something to be said for natural selection. I probably shouldn’t have said that. It is actually the parents who require some natural selction….

  91. SKL August 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    Kids n Cars is behind this, and the last time I was at their site, I noticed a large “donate to the cause” button. Cha ching.

    I did mention this Alberta thing on a mom forum which includes Canadians (and folks around the world). One of the Canadians came on and said, well, it does get really hot up here sometimes, so I agree with the ad. Sigh.

    Based on what I’ve seen, it seems most of the moms would leave their kids at home alone for hours, years younger than they would leave their kids in a car for 5 minutes. I really don’t understand this. Maybe it’s just because it’s easier and busybodies are less likely to notice a kid alone in a house. But why does “anything can happen in less than a minute” apply to one situation and not the other? I mean, think of all the things a kid can get into while at home alone. And even if the kid is perfect, there are things that happen. Cars and trucks drive through house walls. Drive-by shootings. Burglaries. Why, about a month ago a rural house blew up because the toilet was running and the well fumes came up through the pipe. I kid you not. A lot fewer things can happen in a car, and yet … “never, not even for a minute”?

  92. Shadow Flurry August 16, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    Could we all just pretend to live in a make-believe world for a moment, one in which we don’t have killing blistering heat 24/7/365 in every location?

    Because, if we pretend that, we don’t have the fallback of “heat”, and we’d actually have to come up with terrible things that COULD ACTUALLY happen during a 5-minute errand. Or even a 10-minute errand!

  93. MommaVisiting August 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    A person called the police on a friend when her children age 8 and 11 were seen alone in a car right in front of a store on a comfortable day. They were happy and quiet. Their Mom went in for ten Minutes. Police arrived but she was not charged. However, whenever police are called your life could spiral out of control.

  94. Emily Morris August 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm #


    Yes, I would smash a window to get to a child if the car door were locked. If the child were showing signs of heat exhaustian or heat stroke (clammy skin, red skin,sweat, etc) upon observance or I had reason to believe the child was forgotten (parents don’t return or car was parked outside of a house and parents dont return in a matter of minutes) or the child is visibly distraught with signs of screaming a while… yes, I would smash a window.

  95. Emily Morris August 16, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    Now, I suppose I could track down the car owner with the keys, but if I felt time was of the essence I would just skip that. If the owner sued me for breaking his damn car, I would paint a picture of him as the neglectful parent who secretly wants his child dead. Because anyone who is more concerned about his car when I did the most efficient way of getting into a locked car without a key deserves to be destroyed by the media.

  96. SKL August 16, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

    I wouldn’t try to bust out a baby just because she was screaming. Babies scream for all kinds of reasons, most having nothing to do with actual imminent danger. In fact, screaming is a pretty good indicator that the baby is NOT on the verge of death.

    There could be a time when it would seem necessary to bust a window. But in my experience, the cops show up in minutes if they hear there is a kid in a car on a summer day. Why not let them try their nice door jimmying tools? Much better than going and finding something big and hard to break a window with, terrorizing the baby and causing the family even more trouble.

  97. Emily Morris August 16, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    I never said I advocate smashing a window first. But I’m not ruling it out as an option. Cops only show up in minutes if they are close by, if your community has a local police force. I think I can determine when a broken window is unnecessary and when it’s the most prudent option.

  98. no rest for the weary August 16, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    Methinks there are a whole lot of humans in North America who are longing for a sense of power, purpose, and meaning in their lives.

    There are lots of constructive ways to get that, but calling cops or smashing windows on cars ANY TIME YOU EVER SEE A CHILD ALONE IN A CAR seems like a very tragic way to try to get a sense of influence and purpose in your life.

    I get the sense that certain people are salivating for the chance to be heroic in this way. I don’t think people walked around in the 1970s rubbing their hands together, dreaming of the moment they might “save” a child from… anything. Much less being bored in a car waiting for Mom to come out of the bank.

  99. jessica August 17, 2014 at 1:23 am #

    @wendy w … in the interest of being fully informed, yes it has happened, but extremely rarely. We had a horrific occurrence of a 6 year old being dragged to his death during a botched car-jacking (mom ran in to pick up a pizza). It was over a decade ago. So as not to be written off as urban legend

    However, not a reason for the current hystaria

  100. jessica August 17, 2014 at 1:24 am #

    @wendy w … in the interest of being fully informed, yes it has happened, but extremely rarely. We had a horrific occurrence of a 6 year old being dragged to his death during a botched car-jacking (mom ran in to pick up a pizza). It was over a decade ago. So as not to be written off as urban legend

    However, not a reason for the current hysteria

  101. Andrea August 17, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    The day I believe that leaving a child in a car should be a crime is the day that serving a child grapes or hotdogs is a crime. Because more kids die doing that than sitting alone in a car, hot or otherwise.

  102. vas August 17, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    Well, if the “whatifs” have such weight, they should be contrasted with other “whatifs”. What if a child once taken out of the car, pulls out her hand and throws herself under another car? What if there is a drunk driver at the parking lot who runs the child over? What if there is a collision? What if the parking brake fails and the child is run over by the parent’s own car? What if someone opens fire in the parking lot? What if there is a person with Ebola virus in the parking lot and she touches the child? etc etc. Certainly taking a child out of the car is very dangerous.

  103. SKL August 17, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    vas, the big difference is that if you take your kid out of the car, nobody can say you did it because you are too lazy and selfish to leave her in the car. It’s more work, therefore it is automatically better parenting.

  104. Papilio August 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    @Warren: “Oh and Dirk, “Come on speak!”. In person, that would have probably cost you a chiclet or five.”
    You think Lenore can punch that hard??? 😀

  105. Emily Morris August 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    It’s not about what is better for the child, it’s about what makes you look like a better parent. This is all subject to thr latest fads and pop values, of course.

  106. SKL August 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    Papilio: never underestimate a mother. 🙂

  107. Papilio August 17, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

    @SKL: This has nothing to do with her being a mother…

    …Steroids…? 😛

  108. Warren August 17, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    I was thinking more along the lines if Dirk said that in my presence.

    So you would paint the parents in a completely negative light? Should they do any research, and found your comments here, they could paint you as a vigilante just looking for an opportunity to play hero.

  109. Warren August 17, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    So when a mom goes into a pharmacy to get meds for her kid, that has redish tones, clammy and sweating with a fever, you are going to smash the window? When a child is throwing a tantrum and works themselves up to the point of sweating and turning red, and dad chose to let the kid scream it out in the car, instead of the coffee shop, you are going to smash the window?

  110. vas August 18, 2014 at 3:32 am #

    SKL, I see your point. It reminds me of a Russian Army joke (may be relevant for other armies as well):

    – Soldier, take the spud bar and sweep the parade ground! – But it would be cleaner with a broom! – I ain’t need no “cleaner”, I need you to get tired.

  111. vas August 18, 2014 at 4:09 am #

    SKL, I see your point. It reminds me of a Russian Army joke (may be relevant for other armies as well):

    – Soldier, take the spud bar and sweep the parade ground! – But it would be cleaner with a broom! – I ain’t need no “cleaner”, I need you to get tired.

  112. Dirk. August 18, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    Donna, Clearly Lenore doesn’t look too deep into these stories. Many of them are weak. Like the one about the parents getting arrested for letting their kids go to the mall (the two older children (12 year olds both) ditched the 8 and 7 and 3 year olds to go try on clothes in a different part of a department stor), or the story of the day care owner who left as Lenore would put it a “9 year and some younger kids” in a car (she left out the the other kids were a 6-month-old, a a 1-year-old, a 6-year- old, an 8-year-old and that she had in fact left these kids whose parents were paying her to provide day care in the car while she did her personal food shopping. Oh by the way the babies were screaming their heads off because, you know, they just love being left in the car for 20 minutes–by the way that was how long it took for the store and the cops they called to find her still shopping in the aisles, who knows how long she would have stayed in the store), or the story about the prostitute and low end pornography star who gave her 9 year old to a babysitter to drop of at a gas station so a person she found on craigslist and never asked for his last name where he lived or any additional information that his first name (which she got through a text), so this random could drive her son to Grandmas (most likely because she had a bench warrant out for her arrest and she was going to jail). I am not even sure it is Lenore posting the stories, maybe it is an intern. At any rate clearly no one is actually vetting these things to see if they are worthwhile examples. Lenore posted the mall one without saying that the 12 year olds ditched a 3 year old in another part of the store, she never said that the day care worker left a 6 month old and 1 year old in the car and was doing her personal food shopping at the time, she never mentioned that the craigslist mom of the year was going to jail at the time and that she never did anything beyond text the dude she found on craigslist for an ok and his first name. Instead, taking the quickest route, she simply posted more fad danger fakery that the world is out to get you. All three of the parents deserved to get whatever came to them for doing what they did above, and there are many more examples on this site. They only hurt free range…

  113. Dirk. August 18, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    Warren, in person Lenore would disappoint you. Because she wouldn’t agree with you I bet. If you carefully read what she says on the car issue for example, it is clear she means only for a short period and that you need to be close to the vehicle. She doesn’t actually mean leaving a 9, 8, 6 and 1 year old and a 6 month old in a car while you go food shopping is ok… The phrase she uses repeatedly is “a few minutes.” A few minutes. A few minutes. A few minutes. A few minutes. A few minutes.

  114. SKL August 18, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Dirk, personally I don’t see what’s criminal about letting a couple of babies hang out with a 9yo for a short time period. When I was 9yo I was my baby brother’s babysitter for hours every day. Unless the 9yo has very concerning tendencies, he can sit in a car with a couple of babies for a while.

    I agree it sounds bad when you say she was a paid babysitter, but I’d have to know more before I judged. Possibly the kids’ parents asked her to go to the store and it was part of her job. My paid babysitter regularly leaves my kids in the car when she shops for us. My kids are now 7 but she leaves them with her developmentally disabled adult daughter. So passers-by would not realize they were essentially with another child the same age. I am perfectly fine whether she leaves them or takes them in with her. Each has its own set of “safety” issues, none of which I worry about.

    As for the lady letting a stranger drive her kid, I’ve been doing exactly that all summer long and I dare you to call the cops on me.

    The fact that some of these parents have irrelevant facts in their personal history has no bearing on the safety of these choices. Maybe that is why Lenore doesn’t focus on people’s private history and instead focuses on the specific actions discussed here. The same decision doesn’t suddenly become different if the mom is a skinny white lawyer who spends her free time volunteering for children’s charities.

  115. SKL August 18, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    In other words, Dirk, your views on parenting are not in line with the general sentiment here. It isn’t just Lenore you disagree with. In this particular community, you are kind of out there. I am not sure why you find it profitable to come here and ream us out many times each day, but I doubt it will change any minds.

  116. Lea August 18, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    I leave my kids in the car, often. They are 8-13. I worry about busybodies but not their actual safety. I’m guilty of the leaving the car running. Sometime the kids like to listen to the radio or watch a movie with the air on, if it’s hot. Just as often they stay in the car with the windows down and the car not running.

    Sometimes I have made my kids come in when they have wanted to wait. Not because I fear fr safety reasons but because of busy bodies and the need to call police for anything and everything.I don’t like that it’s even a consideration when deciding if my 11 year old can stay in the van and read rather than go into the grocery store with me. She stays home alone, goes to the store by herself, but campaigns like this one have left society with the false perception that the car is dangerous for kids to be alone in, ever, and sadly it colors my decisions at times.Thankfully, more often than not, I don’t give into the concern of what if an over reactive busy body sees them.

    I don’t think busybodies calling the police was ever a consideration for my mother or my friends mothers, when making parenting calls (from wait in the car, go to the park by yourself, stay home alone to ride your bike to the pool or store alone). It just wasn’t a consideration. I’d like live where a little voice in my head isn’t constantly wondering if a stranger is going to make my day really bad because they disagree with my parenting call.

    I’ve had a friend harassed, by a stranger, for leaving her middle school aged kids in the van, while she briefly, shopped. They wanted to read and not shop. Windows down, nice day and they were perfectly capable of getting out of the van and walking into the store.

    People are crazy and frankly, I don’t want the village helping me parent, because the village contains a lot of over reactive, worst first thinking, logic less, idiots.

    Someone asked what happens when a person mistakes a doll in a car, for a child. This is what happens.

  117. Warren August 18, 2014 at 11:22 am #

    You really believe that, don’t you?
    Funny I have never once thought or read that Lenore put any such limits on anything, even waiting in the car. I was always under the impression that Lenore wants a world where responsible parents can make parenting choices for themselves, without fear of prosecution. Where we can assess the risks for our own kids, and not have busybodies and the state overrule us, arrest us or shame us.

    You on the other hand are a piece of work. It appears you actually have no understanding of freerange parenting, or parenting at all. You are capable of nothing more than repeating articles, and repeating yourself like a broken record.

    I will defend Lenore and freerange kids against people like you, always. As you are only here to stir the pot, without actually adding anything to debate.

    Your vast list of examples are idiotic. All of which can be defended, but seeing as how that would only feed more lengthy and irrelevant posts by yourself, I will not go thru them.

    Maybe one day when you are all growed up, have a family of your own, and know something of parenting, you can come back and join in. For now, go back to playing Minecraft in Mom’s basement.

  118. Dirk. August 18, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    Nope. You guys are the knee jerk against helicopter parents. You have swung too far.

  119. Dirk. August 18, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    PS. There is no epidemic of people getting arrested or having run ins, all made up hysteria. No one is out to get you. Good luck on getting old and screaming at the wind.

  120. SKL August 18, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    Dirk, I kind of can’t wait until it happens to you. Not having your kids taken away, just a nice talking-to by the cops who were alerted by an anonymous busybody to your legal but, to some people, questionable parenting choice.

    Where are your kids right now, Dirk? Are you looking at them?

  121. Papilio August 18, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    @Warren: Yeah, i figured, but this was funnier (and also more logical, since it was *their* conversation).

    @Dirk: “Nope. You guys are the knee jerk against helicopter parents. You have swung too far.”

    So start your own blog. Take action, Dirk. Be the only one on the whole wide web who tells the truth and nothing but. Be the middle ground that Lenore isn’t.
    (And don’t forget to buy a superhero costume.)

  122. Warren August 18, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    I can see how some may think we are overreacting. The problem is when fighting this type of battle, you do not have the luxury time.

    All the paranoid masses, those afraid of being judged by the paranoid masses, and the politicians catering to those paranoid masses have a headstart. They have the power to pass new laws that further strip parents of rights.

    And you damn well know once a law is put in place it is near impossible to have it removed.
    Case in point the govenor that veto an unanimous house vote to lessen the sex offender registry.

    Also if you take each story one by one, each topic one by one, it is not that big. If you put them all under one heading of Parental Rights being stripped away by society and the state, then yes it is growing to epidemic proportions. Only a blind man in denial cannot see this.

    My kids are basically no longer kids, but I fear for them as parents. And it is a valid fear.

  123. Max August 19, 2014 at 12:54 am #

    Personally I am against locking any children alone, either in a car or at home. If a 6 y.o. wants to stay in a car while you are shopping, it’s ok as soon as he can leave the car and call you. If a child is not autonomous enough to stay alone unlocked, you must take him with you.

  124. Dirk. August 19, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    SKL One is at camp, the others are at home with their grandmother.

  125. Dirk. August 19, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    @ Warren Mon Aug 18th 2014 at 3:35 pm

    An eloquent response. That was perhaps the most well written post I have have ever seen here.

  126. Donna August 19, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Dirk, then clearly you don’t like Lenore’s website and should just find better things to do with your time and a good counselor. People who spend the copious amounts of time that you do visiting websites that they disagree with just to heap negativity on them need serious counseling. I am not talking about occasionally disagreeing with Lenore or commenting on articles for general consumption, but visiting this website many times a day just to state how much you disagree with what is said is seriously pathological.

  127. Dirk. August 19, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    You need to read:

    Stephanie Armagost, An Innocent Mistake or Criminal Conduct:
    Children Dying of Hyperthermia in Hot Vehicles, 23 HAMLINE J. PUB. L. & POL’Y 109, 111

    In it she estimated that in 2001 178 children had died from heat-related causes in automobiles. Charges were filed in only sixty-five (37%) of these cases, despite the fact that a child had died.

    She asserts that since 1980, charges were filed in only 36 percent of cases where a child had died and that convictions resulted in only 14.6 percent of cases.

    I find it hard to believe that those numbers are higher for children who did not die.

  128. Dirk. August 19, 2014 at 11:48 am #

  129. Beth August 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    I live in Edmonton and we have the same campaign happening, and yes Dirk, there is an increase in charges and arrests. The police are trying to “make examples” so even when the case is thrown out for lack of justification it still goes in the police records, and if that parent needs a background check for a job or volunteer position they show as having an offence against a child.