More About the Guy Who Videotaped the Baby Waiting in the Car and Screamed at the Mom


Last week, I ftfbiesfzr
wrote about the viral video of a man shouting at a woman for letting her baby wait in the car
while she ran a short errand at Target. One commenter commented on a comment (how’s THAT for modern life?) and I thought it bore repeating. She was dumbstruck by the way the comments on the original video condemned the mom not for what DID happen, not for what was even anywhere near LIKELY to happen in the course of a short errand on a mild day, but what MIGHT have happened under far different circumstances. Wrote OUR commenter, Beth:

I loved (read:  hated) the comments that compared this to a child forgotten in the car who died from excessive heat.

Can people really NOT think critically any more and realize that there is nothing alike about these two situations?


To which I replied: They cannot, and that is exactly our problem today. Many people (including politicians, and police) cannot see the difference between the almost perfectly safe and the outrageously dangerous. That is thanks to a couple of things:

1 – We only hear about the times a situation like this turns tragic, not the millions’ more times absolutely NOTHING happens, so our frame of reference is already totally off.

2 – We are cautioned, continuously, to make a wider and wider “fence of safety” around any activity that could, at its very worst, go wrong. So if it is unsafe to let a 3-year-old walk to school, we bump up the age to 7, 9, 11. If it is perhaps unwise to have a whole class go on a field trip with just one extra parent, we bump it up to one parent for every three or four kids. If it is dangerous to let a child wait in the car for an hour, we caution against a wait of five minutes, and then five seconds. In other words, we go from sensible precaution to wacky, over-the-top precaution, believing that we keep making things safer — when they were already safe to begin with.

All we are outlawing is convenience and common sense. – L


NEWS FLASH: A baby does not automatically die when a parent leaves the car for a brief errand on a mild day. Can we please get over this weird superstition?

NEWS FLASH: A baby does not automatically die when its parent runs an errand on a mild day. Can we please get over this weird superstition?


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60 Responses to More About the Guy Who Videotaped the Baby Waiting in the Car and Screamed at the Mom

  1. Melanie February 29, 2016 at 10:57 am #

    While I get what you are saying, the truth is the people cannot live in this state in regards to everything. I believe the most important influence on this issue is money from lobbyist groups. Consider how 11,000 children were injured by laundry pods in a year. I imagine a lot of parents no longer use them, and many may ask friends and relatives to keep them out of reach of their children, but as of yet there is no hyper-emotional ad campaign or calls for legislation. Why? There isn’t a group throwing money at the issue. When these “not even a second” stories run, the data is almost always provided by kids and cars. They lobby our government, they send propaganda to our police stations, they provide articles for our papers and tv news stations to run. They are waging a war and using smart tactics to make it seem like they are the reasonable voice in the room. I believe the car seat just released at Walmart that sounds an alarm if baby is left in car is probably a good outcome of this advocacy, but it’s time to admit their shame campaign against ever leaving any child in a car was disastrous and has had irreversible negative impact on families without changing the statistics on children dying in hot cars even a fraction of a percent.

  2. Tonia February 29, 2016 at 11:15 am #

    Absolutely agree! I’ve left my kids in the car for five minutes while I ran in the store and I will continue to do so! It’s not against the law here.

    It’s the same thing as leaving them alone at home, where there is also no law regarding what age is appropriate. It’s up to the PARENTS to decide, as it SHOULD be! As long as it’s not a hot day kids will be fine for a few minutes.

  3. pentamom February 29, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    I was part of a Facebook discussion a little while ago about “Do you leave the kids in the car when you go put the grocery cart away?” I was amazed how many moms said they just didn’t feel safe doing it. I didn’t feel like being that person that particular day, so I didn’t raise the obvious question, “If you lock the car, what can happen in 30 seconds, that couldn’t happen with you dragging the kids to and from the cart stall?”

    It’s gotten to the point where leaving your kids in the car even for a few minutes has a significant risk of some busybody messing with your life, so if I still had younger kids, I’d be very picky about what situations I did that in. But it blows my mind that anybody thinks there’s any kind of risk to strapping the kids in and putting a cart away, never out of line of sight of the car.

  4. Efitzsmith February 29, 2016 at 11:38 am #

    Calling out others for perceived wrongs is the magical amulet people wear to ward off their own personal incompetence.

  5. Rachel February 29, 2016 at 11:44 am #

    I leave my kids in the car for super short things: renting/returning a Redbox movie, using the ATM, returning my cart, etc. I don’t leave them if I am going in somewhere, although with 5 kids it would be nice to be able to run into the store, pick up diapers and check out without dealing with unloading and loading 5 kids, but the necessity to either wear the baby or push around a cart.

    What is ridiculous is that my three school age kids walk nearly a mile to and from school everyday, but leaving them in the car for 5 minutes is asking for drama.

    I also ALWAYS strap my little ones into their seats before I load up the things I need in the car, or unload my purchases. I figure they are safer strapped into a car seat than they are following me back and forth or roaming the house unsupervised while I load/unload the car. Which doesn’t sound very Free Range, but it works well for me.

  6. Brooks February 29, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    Oh, Lenore. Just wait till I send you the new walk home from school rules from my daughter’s school. I’m waiting to see how the kids’ protest goes before forwarding.

  7. Jessica February 29, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    It’s as if even if you have thought through the possible risks and decided they’re acceptable, you’re still a horrible parent. The idea that a parent is accepting of the possibility (however miniscule) of their kid getting abducted, or hurt, or slightly uncomfortably, is the worst thing in the world. My husband and I have been looking at new construction for our next house and every builder we’ve spoken with says they no longer do bi-fold doors (which we love for the space they save) because children get their fingers pinched in them. I get the strangest looks when I reply, well, they only do it once. Apparently, the horror of even one pinched finger, let alone all of your children having to experience it, is so awful that we must no longer install bi-fold doors, ever, and the fact that I, a mother, am okay with them feeling that pain so they learn not to do it again, is worse. Kids heal, they learn, and they get better. A pinched finger is not the end of the world, and neither is a few minutes alone in the car.

  8. lollipoplover February 29, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

    I went to pick up a prescription on my Friday lunch break and had the misfortune of standing in line behind a mom with a very sick baby who was barking like rabid seal and crying angry, red tears from being dragged out in rain and cold. I’d have paid a 100 bucks for a face mask and can of Lysol. The elderly couple behind me was equally horrified (and likely dead by now).

    It’s now Monday and I called out of work as I’m home with the death. My daughter is also home from school with this plague. She never gets sick. Her championship basketball game is in 2 days. She probably won’t be able to play. I have a work trip this week that I won’t be able to go on…this SUCKS!

    If only this mom kept that baby in the car. If only this mom kept that baby in the car. Why can’t parents use common sense and leave a contagious baby in a warm car for 5 minutes to pick up a prescription? What gives parents the right to spread disease and illness because the act of leaving a child in a car is erroneously perceived as a dangerous act? NO, it is common sense and basic courtesy.

  9. Ang February 29, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

    Just this weekend I had a sleeping toddler and my kindergartener in the car, and I needed to run a quick errand. Rather than leave the sleeping toddler in the car alone, I stayed in the car and sent the 5 year old into the store to run the errand. Went off without a hitch.

  10. E February 29, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

    @lollipoplover — since the baby was clearly “very” sick, it’s possible they were fussing and unhappy even before they left the car. And talk about inviting people to wonder why a parent left a distressed kid in the car shrieking! Maybe we shouldn’t judge so harshly (or at all) and let the parent decide what’s the best thing to do.

    I can’t really imagine leaving a sick baby alone in a car while I went to a pharmacy (unpredictable wait times).

    You could always walk away and return when the sick baby was gone.

  11. En Passant February 29, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

    Ang February 29, 2016 at 2:38 pm:

    Rather than leave the sleeping toddler in the car alone, I stayed in the car and sent the 5 year old into the store to run the errand.

    You didn’t win. You escaped by mere chance. Any “protect the children” loon in the vicinity could immediately claim “mother abandons child to wander around in store”, and call the cops.

    Thus, like the laws of thermodynamics, the first of three iron rules of moral panics driven by loons with support from power hungry government agents:

    Rule #1: you can’t win.

    Cops would at the very best (for you) thank the loon for calling them, waste a boatload of your time questioning you; tell you not to do it again, and write you up as a criminal suspect in their police report:

    Rule #2: You can’t break even.

    Loons can be anywhere, anytime. When they feel the need to satisfy their gnawing hunger for self-righteousness, they will act upon anything that their warped perceptions can possibly construe as a dangerous evil. They cannot be identified by sight until they act:

    Rule #3: You can’t get out of the game.

  12. Coasterfreak February 29, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

    Re: the sick baby in line at the pharmacy. Although I’m sure things are different elsewhere, pretty much every major pharmacy in my area (HEB, CVS, Walgreens, etc.) has a drive through window. I rarely go inside any more. This way I don’t have to encounter the sick people if I’m not sick, and I don’t have to expose others to my sick germs if I am.

    Strange thing is that although I rarely see more than one car at the pharmacy drive through at a time, I always see lines of 5 or more people waiting inside to be helped. Given that if I go to McDonalds, I always see a line around the building for the drive through, but nobody inside, I have to wonder what it is that keeps people out of the pharmacy drive through.

  13. E February 29, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

    @Coasterfreak — where I live some do have drive thrus but most do not. As far as why there isn’t a big line — I’m just guessing the demand for Rx meds is < McDs. Plus not every person with an Rx is ill or contagious. They might go in and pick up a few other things while they are there.

    We were in a (non drivethru) Pharmacy recently but it was for an Rx related to dental work. There's no reason to sit in a car (even if it had one).

    I just hate reading about "the Moms should have done this…." which is exactly what people react to when parents live kids in their cars and people get annoyed and say things like "no common sense or decency". I thought the idea was to allow that the parent knows best in most every case.

    My kid had croup — once so bad that the Dr on the on-call phone asked to get in the car and drive to the ER (though before we ended the call, he finally was able to calm down and the coughing subsided). There's no way in hell I'd have left that kid in the car when he was sick. I'd have loved for someone to suggest I had no common sense or decency.

  14. Michelle February 29, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

    “Calling out others for perceived wrongs is the magical amulet people wear to ward off their own personal incompetence.”

    I don’t agree with the incompetence part, but the magical amulet part is right on. This is all magical thinking. “If I do this and this and this, nothing bad can happen to me.”

    The last time I got into this conversation on Facebook, an acquaintance of mine insisted that if she ever saw my kids in the car, she’d smash the window and pull them out. She did not see how this made HER a danger to my kids. Apparently her office actually had a speaker come in and hold a class teaching all of her co-workers that it is ALWAYS dangerous and illegal to leave your child in the car for EVEN A MOMENT. I sent her a link to the actual law in our state (which says you can not leave a child younger than 7 in the car for longer than 5 minutes, unless they are accompanied by someone who is at least 14), she just insisted that the law must have changed, because the person at her office said so. Then her husband jumped in saying that I must think it’s ok to put a baby in the oven, and I gave up.

  15. Michelle February 29, 2016 at 5:16 pm #

    @Jessica, wow. At least two of my kids got their fingers smashed in regular, standard doors, and my nephew smashed his finger in a car door so badly that he had to get it sewn back on. Should we now ban all doors??

  16. lollipoplover February 29, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

    Yes, of course, it is all my fault for not walking away from the germ explosion emitting from a miserable baby spreading contagious disease in a large public supermarket pharmacy line on senior citizen’s discount day. What a fool I am to allow myself (and my family) to be exposed. This mom had the baby in an infant carrier but baby started wailing just as she was checking out(perhaps it was the loud intercom announcing stretch breaks for employees?) and mom took baby out of the seat and held her over her shoulder so she could fire her cough (uncovered, of course) right in my face… yes, my bad. I should have just left with my germs and come back another time. How stupid of me.

    And I have the flu, not croup, as does my daughter now, my husband (he came home from work early with horrible aches and chills) and my mother-in-law, too. She was over for dinner on Friday night and spent the entire weekend in bed, unable to walk without feeling dizzy. We are most concerned now for my father-in-law as he has cancer and a weakened immune system. This virus could kill him (and all of us had our flu shots, btw).

    But who am I to tell you not to spread illness within your community. I guess you have every right to do that, common sense and decency be damned.

  17. Agent0013 February 29, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

    If someone starts ranting at me and recording on video the interaction about leaving a kid in the car I would feel justified in physical violence upon them for their actions. They are threatening me and my family with attack by police and child protective services. Therefore it is simply self defense when I stop them. If they end up bloodied on the pavement and their phone is smashed into small pieces then the threat has been neutralized. I win, they loose. Go ahead, I dare someone to try it.

    In case you couldn’t tell, these stories of busybodies really irritate me and I get rather angry thinking about it.

  18. Michelle February 29, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

    Re: baby in the pharmacy, I agree that we should let parents decide on that one. If you’re worried about getting sick from the baby, move away. When a very small child is sick and miserable, their only comfort may be that they are being held by a loving parent. I know that when my youngest was little, she was clingy at the best of times, and when she was sick there was no putting her down. A small baby doesn’t understand that she might get people sick. She doesn’t understand that Mommy will be right back. She just knows that she’s miserable and now she’s been left alone crying and wanting her mother.

    That’s my perspective. I think another perspective could be just as reasonable and understandable about it being a quick errand and better for the baby in the long run to be able to stay in the car, and that she won’t remember being left to cry for just a minute, etc. I wouldn’t judge a mom for leaving her baby in the car, but I’m also not going to begrudge a baby the small comfort of being held during a short and absolutely necessary errand of getting her medicine.

    I recently had to go to the pharmacy while I was very sick. Everybody in my family had the flu. Not a bad cold. The real, full-on, can’t get out of bed for two weeks, flu. I had it, and I felt like I was dying. But there was no one else to get the medicine. And yes, our pharmacy has a drive-thru, but the problem with the drive-thru is that you can ONLY get your prescription. You can’t also get the over-the-counter Tylenol that was keeping my kids’ fevers at bay. You can’t get a couple of bottles and some Pedialyte for my toddler who refuses to drink ANYTHING when she’s sick, and last time she ended up in the hospital from dehydration so we were desperately trying EVERYTHING. (We even tried the popsicles! No go. Luckily this time she was the least sick of all of us. Yay, flu shot!) At McDonald’s, you can order anything off the menu while you go through the drive-thru, so it’s not really a comparison. So while I was dying at the pharmacy counter, I made sure to cover my cough. I stayed far away from the little baby in the stroller. I applied hand sanitizer. I did the best I could to get my prescriptions and go home where I could be sick without spreading it around.

  19. Papilio February 29, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

    You should organize a Leave your kid in the car day. Just have as many people as possible show up at whatever store with large parking you have there and have them all leave their kid(s) in the car (of course the kids should at least LOOK under 16). Then film the busybody when they discover kid after kid after kid left in a car :-E

  20. BL February 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

    ” Then her husband jumped in saying that I must think it’s ok to put a baby in the oven, and I gave up.”

    Of course! Cars and ovens, same thing, no difference.

    And putting a baby in a crib is the same as putting a baby in a wood-chipper!

    Logic for dummies.

  21. ChicagoDad February 29, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

    This is a great comment thread!

    I especially like Jessica’s “they no longer do bi-fold doors…because children get their fingers pinched in them. I get the strangest looks when I reply, well, they only do it once.”

    And from Efitzsmith, “Calling out others for perceived wrongs is the magical amulet people wear to ward off their own personal incompetence.” So true!

    En Pasant’s 3 rules are right on the mark.

    And I look forward to a report from Brooks on the new “walk home from school rules” at her kids’ school.

    Love it!

  22. Meg February 29, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

    On the baby in the pharmacy: While I loathe sick folks being out in public, I also wouldn’t leave an ill infant alone in my car, for a variety of reasons. Frankly, I gave up trying to track down the source of my illnesses some time ago. It could have been the baby who got you sick, but it could also have come from one of a million other places this time of year.

    Back to the topic at hand…..There is a particular frenzy about kids/babies in cars. I had two different fb friends start threads this week about people they had witnessed leaving babies alone in cars. Both were full of comments along the lines of ,”OMG. You should have called 911. People like that need to be reported to CPS….” and on and on…I have only recently started leaving my almost 11 year old alone in the car, primarily because I don’t want to be confronted by a parking lot vigilante! I’m sure I’m not the only one!

  23. James Pollock February 29, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

    “If someone starts ranting at me and recording on video the interaction about leaving a kid in the car I would feel justified in physical violence upon them for their actions.”

    The court probably doesn’t see it your way (YMMV). Escalating a non-violent situation into violence generally makes you the bad guy.

    A simple, and undoubtedly heartfelt, “What the hell is wrong with you?”, and continuing on your way, is probably the best response.

  24. Beth February 29, 2016 at 10:28 pm #

    “And putting a baby in a crib is the same as putting a baby in a wood-chipper!”

    Pretty sure the militant co-sleeper/family bed proponents on the mommy boards DO think this!

  25. Donald February 29, 2016 at 10:28 pm #

    “Can people really NOT think critically any more and realize that there is nothing alike about these two situations?”

    I’d like to answer that one. Unfortunately it would be a bit long winded. I’ll try to keep it short.

    I’ll start with shortened version of how the brain works. Then you can see why an 8 year old waiting in a car for 2 minutes can be believed to be the same thing as a baby that’s forgotten in a car for 6 hours.

    The brain works by associated memory. I give a simple example of this on my blog about a toddler learning to balance.

    The balance organ in the ear may say that the toddler is leaning to the left. At the same time, the left foot feels more weight on it than the right one. Meanwhile the eyes see that the horizon is indicating that the toddler is leaning left. These 3 things happen at the same time. Therefore the brain connects a ‘rode’ called balance that link these 3 things together. The toddler is still not very good at balancing because the road ‘balance’ is only a one lane highway. He’ll be good at it when it becomes a 500,000 lane road.

    An infant that dies in a car is tragic. However it an excellent news story and it makes great click bait. Therefore a person seeking out drama like this can easily build a 10,000 lane road. This is such a good road that even when a child of any age is seen in a car, the visions of a baby that gets cooked to death automatically come up.

    The brain does not only work on electrical impulses, it’s bio-chemical as well. Within seconds, the hypothalamus produces the neuropeptides or neurohormones that enables the brain to experience the emotion that is called for. As with any chemicals that produce emotion, these too may become addicting if used too often.

    “Can people really NOT think critically any more and realize that there is nothing alike about these two situations?”

    They certainly can. The real question, is do they want to? They may want their daily fix of outrage, fear, or self righteousness. This can be like asking a smoker, “Would you like a break to go outside and smoke a cigarette?” They sometimes say, “Na, I’ll eat an apple instead.”

  26. JKP February 29, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

    All these people obsessed with the miniscule danger of leaving a child briefly in the car are totally ignoring the danger of bringing the child through the parking lot. Especially if a parent is wrangling multiple kids across the parking lot, the danger (while very small) is still greater than the danger of leaving the kids briefly in the car.

    And where the kids are left in the car matters. Parked at a gas pump is a guarantee the parent is coming right back. No one leaves their car parked at a gas pump for hours. The attendant would want you to move your car to make way for other customers. Parked outside a pharmacy, convenience store, fast food restaurant also suggests a brief errand. Unless the parent worked there and forgot their child, in which case there is enough foot traffic, someone is bound to notice the child in distress.

    Every time a child died in a car, the parent forgot (thinking they already dropped the kid at daycare and then heading to work) or didn’t know the child was there (kid climbs into car by themselves). I would be worried if I saw a child in a car in my office parking lot, because it’s just a sea of office buildings with no retail for many blocks where massive numbers of people pull in at the same time, work all day, and then leave at the same time. It’s possible a parent could leave kids in the car to run in and pick something up at the office quick, but it would be concerning enough to investigate further in case a child was forgotten (maybe not rush to call the police right away, but instead see if the owner of the car could be paged).

    If they want to prevent more kids from dying in overheated cars, they need to face why this happens and address the real cause: the way the brain automates our daily routines. Instead of putting so much focus on not leaving a child in a car, not even for a MOMENT, which will not save the children who die because they are forgotten, instead the focus should be on teaching parents to start a new routine where they check the back seat for their child EVERY SINGLE TIME they get out of the car, whether by putting their purse or briefcase back there or using the back door lock button instead of the front to lock the car or something that automates a back seat check every time they get out of the car. Once that is an automatic routine, it will be a sort of muscle memory that will hopefully catch any of those lapses and only take another second of time. It will be something funny to laugh about when the kids are grown and you still find yourself glancing in the back seat before you lock up the car (like how my mom still throws her arm out and whallops me in the chest to keep me in the car seat even though the car has seatbelts now and I have boobs. ouch.)

  27. James Pollock February 29, 2016 at 10:59 pm #

    “If they want to prevent more kids from dying in overheated cars”

    Intel developed a technological solution, a baby car seat that calls your phone if you leave the child in it and the temperature gets high. (Locally, the parent of a hot-car-baby is employed at Intel, and the incident occurred in their parking lot.) Not sure if these are related.

  28. Dirge March 1, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    It is also the way we as a society deal with tragedy now. There is a “Never Again” mindset that when a bad thing happens, we must make sure it never happens again, no matter how ridiculous it is to think that. It is easier to have that mindset than to accept the fact that there is a little risk and danger in the world.

  29. E March 1, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    @lollipoplover — never said it was your fault, said you had an option. The Mom had an option and made the decision that was best for her and the baby at the time too.

    That’s what this forum is ALWAYS saying. Let parents make the best decision they can at the time for their own kids.

    I wasn’t suggesting the baby or you had croup, just relaying my own experience with a sick kid. If the baby was running a fever, it’s not at all shocking that the Mom wanted to get whatever meds the Dr prescribed and didn’t want to leave her sick kid in the car when she was going to a pharmacy (you can’t predict how long that will take, so suggesting it was just a few minutes is just making something up).

    I’m sure she didn’t want to get you sick any more than she wanted whomever’s germs that got her own baby sick.

    If we’re to suggest that parents shouldn’t be judged for leaving their kids/babies in the car alone, I think you have to give parents who chose not to do that the same benefit of the doubt. It’s ridiculous that instead of saying “how dare a parent leave a sick baby in car alone without knowing how long it will take”, you’re fine with saying “how dare a parent bring a sick baby into a store instead of leaving it in the car”.

    She didn’t take the kid to child care or to a social gathering — she was standing in line at a pharmacy.

    I hope your family members all recover quickly.

  30. Becky March 1, 2016 at 11:00 am #

    Thought I would chip in and mention, slightly off-topic, that we’re just about done finishing our basement and our contractor put bi-fold doors on one of the closets, so you can still get them and find people to install them. 🙂

  31. Roberta March 1, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    I’m just struck by the fact that it is considered creepy for an adult to film, photograph, or even look at a child in public – UNLESS – the purpose of doing so is to actually cause harm to the child’s family through harassment and public shaming.

  32. E March 1, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    @Roberta — great observation!!

  33. pentamom March 1, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

    Looks like you can even get the doors at Lowe’s.

  34. Backroads March 1, 2016 at 1:41 pm #

    I am personally horrified by hot car child deaths. I stick my purse in the back seat and I have stickers of my kids on my steering wheel. I also leave them in the car for quick errands.

    Society needs to learn there is a spectrum.

  35. EricS March 1, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

    It’s what I like to call selective fearing. People pick and chose what to fear and uphold. But as soon as it’s inconvenient for them, or they don’t believe in something that affects their views directly, they will ignore actual real dangers to their children.

    The example of putting children in cars at all is a perfect one. More children die or get injured in cars while the parent is driving, than anything else…put together. But people will NEVER, EVER voice out “ban cars!”, or “make laws preventing children from being strapped in cars!”. They will always find an excuse to make things better for THEMSELVES, not the children.

    Another great example, especially in the U.S…. guns. In a 2014 report, research has found that about 100 children die every year from accidental firearm discharge, or careless use of a firearm. Usually by a family member, a friend, or themselves. In the home or in their car (talk about irony). Yet, over the last decade, there has been nothing to curb gun violence and accidental deaths. Most Americans scream foul when anything even remotely grazes the second amendment. They will literally kill to keep the second amendment as is (ancient and outdated), than protect their own children. Some would even argue, they ARE protecting their children by having the second amendment uncontested in this day and age. But quickly dismiss the deaths of children by firearms. Likes it’s no big thing.

    Ignorance, arrogance, and stupidity is what drives most people today to think like this. And they perpetuate the issue by teaching the very same mentality to their children. If they don’t accidentally kill them driving, or playing with their guns first.

  36. Kathy Johnson March 1, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    Oh my goodness! The baby in this car seat IS in grave danger! And not from an abduction, but from suffocation. As I learned last night at a shiny new state mandated “Safe Sleep” training for child care providers in Missouri, babies will die every time they’re allowed to sleep in a car seat, swing, bouncy seat, or with a blanket anywhere in the vicinity. You must wake them up immediately. Also, mobiles are no longer safe because they may fall down and strangle the baby as it sleeps. How dare you show a baby looking so peaceful while doing something so dangerous? Other babies may get the wrong impression!

  37. hineata March 1, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

    @lollipoplover – that flu sounds horrendous ! My sympathies…

    That said, and I do understand you feeling cross with Mum and baby, it is pretty impossible to tell where you picked it up from. Could have already been incubating it.

    I sympathise with Mum too. The one time I wouldn’t/couldn’t leave El Sicko in the car was when she was ill (which, dammit was much of the time!). One thing I did do was make sure she had a wrap lightly around her face, to stop just that kind of ick spraying others. Mum could’ve /probably should’ve done the same, but if it doesn’t happen often she possibly wasn’t prepared.

    Hope the family is better soon….that sounds like a death flu!

  38. Vaughan Evans March 1, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    One woman told me that a child’s range- was once 2 miles-then 1 mile, then 1 block, then within his yard, then within his house.

  39. Jessica March 2, 2016 at 8:38 am #

    Not saying you can’t get bi-fold doors, but that in new construction, builders don’t use them and look at us like we have three heads when we ask about them because the children. Part of me thinks it’s a liability thing, though I would hate to think someone brought suit against a builder for installing bi-fold doors because their kid got his or her fingers pinched. More likely, it’s a pre-emptive thing, but still, the reasoning is a bit ridiculous. I’m sure for the place we’re getting this summer we could even ask for them, but the headache of arguing that our kids will not be forever maimed if they do, maybe, get hurt from one, is not really worth it to me, especially if I have to do it with everyone who’s involved with the design process.

  40. pentamom March 2, 2016 at 11:06 am #

    Tell them not to install doors, and find a sensible local handyman who will do it for you afterward.

  41. Rivkacatholicaspie March 2, 2016 at 12:08 pm #


    “Do you leave the kids in the car when you go put the grocery cart away?” I was amazed how many moms said they just didn’t feel safe doing it. I didn’t feel like being that person that particular day, so I didn’t raise the obvious question, “If you lock the car, what can happen in 30 seconds, that couldn’t happen with you dragging the kids to and from the cart stall?”

    30 seconds: Not enough time for the car to get overheated. So the most likely possibility is some scary guy kidnapping/hurting/committing some crime. He could try that with the baby in a car, or with the baby in our arms. As I’m sure you’ll agree, we’d have a far better chance of fighting him off without a baby in our arms.

  42. pentamom March 2, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    Right. But not only is it harder to fight off a guy with a baby in your arms, it’s pretty much impossible for someone to break into locked a car and get away with a strapped in kid in 30 seconds, and also pretty much inconceivable that anyone would try while you’re watching.

    And that of course ignores the whole issue that I’d be pretty much incapable of fighting off any determined healthy adult male, or particularly strong woman, baby or no baby, so my mere presence within 18 inches instead of 20 yards doesn’t matter a hill of beans anyway. And that’s probably true of most, though of course not all, women.

    Anybody who’s going to try to steal your kids out of a locked car in a public place in broad daylight while you’re watching is either not going to be able to do it, or is going to get away with it regardless. But outside of vanishingly small possibilities, no one is going to try it anyway.

  43. E March 2, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

    @pentamom….this is going OT but your post reminded me of the ‘debate’ that is brewing various places (my state is one) about transgender individuals and what bathroom they can/should use and if it should be legislated.

    I did have to laugh when there was a comment section on a local TV article. Someone suggested that if people were allowed to go into the bathroom of which they identified, then they could ‘dress up like a woman, go in and assault a woman…then the victim would be unable to identify the perp because he’s looks like a man’.

    As if that method is unavailable today and someone wanting to assault someone in a public bathroom is waiting for legislation to make it easier? The criminal is waiting for permission to commit a crime in disguise? It’s hard to even process, lol.

  44. JP Merzetti March 3, 2016 at 1:25 am #

    At risk of sounding like the same old broken record……
    our car culture has truly become the ball and chain (read: 10 tons) around our collective ankles.
    This just didn’t happen when I was a kid.
    And the world then, was full of 1950’s classics. We all loved those cars.
    So what was different, then?
    Sorry to say it…..but pure common sense went for a nickel a pound, in those days.

    And really – it is not just kids (of any age) that are being infantilized, now.
    Adults…parents…..are bearing the brunt of that incessant dumbing down.
    I think the only recourse is to just get smarter…..and fight back.
    It’s not a very nice thing, when the people running a society are dumber than a brick.
    But if the “bricks” scare us into non-action, then they win.
    And we all lose….including the kids.

  45. pentamom March 3, 2016 at 8:01 am #

    E — I don’t get the commenters point about making it harder to identify the person. In fact, the whole idea that allowing biological men into women’s private areas because they might dress up as women and get away with it is dumb. Yes, that could happen now.

    What isn’t dumb is the idea that the way these laws are being implemented in some places, you’re not even allowed to question an obvious man walking into a women’s private area because that might be discrimination. It’s not helpful to analyze the dumbest commenter’s dumbest argument against something, to determine whether there might be valid ones.

  46. E March 3, 2016 at 9:27 am #

    @pentamom — perhaps that’s why I didn’t mention the actual debate/issue at all. I was merely using another example of people saying “this could happen” when “things can happen” no matter what.

    I was commenting on how people get so caught up in the fictional conjured scenarios, they lose perspective and common sense.

    The scenario of an assault taking place in a bathroom has little to do with the transgender laws. Yet people actually use them to take a position on the issue.

    The scenario that has to do with child abduction has little to do with whether or not there are laws that say you can’t leave a child [this age] in a car for [this long] [above|below] [this temp].

  47. E March 3, 2016 at 10:02 am #

    And just to further my response.

    >> It’s not helpful to analyze the dumbest commenter’s dumbest argument against something, to determine whether there might be valid ones.<<

    If that were true, would this website exist? Is it not the point of this FR movement to take people on the fringe of reason and try to reel them back in? To help stem the tide of illogical thinking?

    There are valid child safety concerns (wearing seatbelts, using car seats for example) but we continually talk about how kids in a car does not equate to danger. Or leaving kids alone while you go to the store or take a nap.

    But people with conjured up "danger" get attention, whether they are talking about parking lot or bathroom safety.

  48. That_Susan March 3, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    @lollipoplover, I’m very sorry about the severe illness that you and your family are going through, and I imagine that feeling so lousy is the explanation for why you (at the time of your posting) didn’t have it in you to cut that poor mom any slack. I wouldn’t have left my sick baby in the car either, but I’m certainly not bashing any moms who feel comfortable doing so. I’ve also never needed to take my sick children into pharmacies; I have a husband, so he’s always gone to pick up any medicine that was needed, sometimes in the middle of the night.

    I’m guessing that this mom may not have the support I’ve always had. I certainly can’t imagine deciding to drag a sick child into a store if I had any other option. Heck, I used to give my husband grocery lists so he could pick up the groceries on the way home from work, ’cause even though I was a stay-at-home-mom, it was just too much work for precious little me to take small children along on major shopping trips. He still does most of the shopping even today, as our daughters are turning 16 and 11.

    So, thanks to my awesome husband, I never really had to deal with all those “sleeping baby/need to make a quick run into the store” dilemmas. I really feel for the parents who lack that support and feel like they’re always having to juggle their way through each and every moment of each and every day. And I hope you’ll see this mom a little differently once you’re feeling better. 🙂

  49. lollipoplover March 3, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

    “I imagine that feeling so lousy is the explanation for why you (at the time of your posting) didn’t have it in you to cut that poor mom any slack.”

    When did it become socially acceptable to bring sick, contagious children and/or adults in public places to spread deadly viruses? Cut her some slack? We have 3 drive-thru pharmacies in our overdeveloped commercial district and this very supermarket offers curbside service. I had to use it last year when I had a severely sprained ankle and gladly paid the surcharge to have my online order loaded in my trunk.
    But I should be a better person and have sympathy for someone who pats the back of her coughing baby into the faces of the customers behind her in line?

    I am on day 4 of the worst flu of my life. Days 1-3 I could not leave my bed, had the worst full bodyaches and chills, and have a throat that feels like it’s coated in knives. I am so glad you have an awesome husband. Mine is also a really good guy and an great partner but unfortunately he has severe diarrhea from this virus I unknowingly gave him and is totally polluting our bathroom. I won’t leave my house as I don’t want to spread this flu to any other human being on this Earth. I myself have been vomiting and now have the dreaded diarrhea. True love is sharing a bathroom when both of you have diarrhea. Seriously.

    When did it become a good parenting practice to bring your child everywhere with you when they have a highly contagious communicable disease? The sick are supposed to be isolated, not dragged in crowded supermarkets. The flu has claimed the lives of 14 children so far this season and who knows how many adults. It is a serious public health risk yet I should cut her some slack? Sorry if I lack compassion, but I am very high on Theraflu and dehydrated and I still can’t understand why anyone thinks it’s OK to bring sick kids in public places when there are 3 drive-thru pharmacies within 1 mile of this supermarket. Maybe once I can get out of bed I will see the light but for now I think spreading disease is very selfish.

  50. E March 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

    I’m not trying to belabor this issue — but it comes down to this. You can’t give the Mom with the kid in the car at Target the benefit of the doubt without giving the same to others. That’s Lenore’s whole point right? Parents aren’t perfect and most of the time they are absolutely doing the best they can.

    Perhaps her insurance encourages her (financially) to use a specific pharmacy chain (mine does), perhaps her partner was not in town or available and she really wanted to get her child meds asap because the baby felt as crappy as you do now. Maybe she just didn’t realize there were drive-thrus available or maybe the drive-thru didn’t allow her to get whatever else she might need (OTC drugs, diapers, fluids, dinner…).

    Maybe she didn’t have as many choices as you are projecting onto her. She was at a PHARMACY. Not a church, not a school, not a playground, not a restaurant, etc.

    I raised my kids hours from any other family member. There is no one I could have left my sick child with if my spouse was not available to help.

    I’ve had the flu twice in my life. It’s horrible. I have no idea either time where I got it from.

  51. Catherine Scott March 4, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    Am traveling in South America at present and am struck by two things: the sensibly comfortable and relaxed attitude of the people and the obsession among some of my fellow travellers with pointing out ‘risks’ eg holes in the pavement (around trees where people aren’t likely to walk). Honestly. Get a life.

  52. Another Katie March 4, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

    Lollipoplover, it sucks to be that sick but you’re incredibly hostile about this.

    I’m not leaving a very ill infant or young child alone in my car in the scenario you describe. First of all, the wait inside can be very unpredictable – you could walk right up and get your script, or you might wait for 20 minutes. Second, our kids have illness induced asthma that started in infancy for both of them, and particularly if it’s a respiratory bug there’s no way in hell I’m leaving them unattended when we’ve seen them go from fine to full-blown wheezing in a matter of seconds and neither of them can use their rescue inhaler independently yet (although our 5 year old is close).

    Also, I’m on guard for busybody strangers like the guy who made the video referenced by Lenore, who would call the police or CPS on me and make life miserable – can you imagine how the social media peanut gallery would crucify a parent who not only left a baby in a car, but a SICK baby?

    You may have already been incubating whatever illness you have prior to your “exposure”, or maybe you were exposed to whatever one of those kindly senior citizens may have been harboring. You’re oddly hostile about this towards a stranger who for whatever reason felt like bringing her sick child to wait in line to pick up a prescription. Perhaps she needed to speak with the pharmacist about the prescription, maybe she tried to go through the drivethrough and they told her she needed to come inside to handle an insurance matter, maybe she needed to buy pseudoephedrine for herself. I’m pretty sure she didn’t find the experience to be a picnic, either.

  53. James Pollock March 4, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

    “I’m on guard for busybody strangers like the guy who made the video referenced by Lenore, who would call the police or CPS on me and make life miserable – can you imagine how the social media peanut gallery would crucify a parent who not only left a baby in a car, but a SICK baby?”

    Yes… MUCH better to expose multiple people to contagious disease, rather than expose yourself to Internet strangers thinking bad thoughts about you.

  54. pentamom March 5, 2016 at 9:01 am #

    Nice move, James, skip right over the parts about being involved with the police and CPS, and make it all about her fear of social media.

    At least I never again have to ask myself, “Did James just misunderstand, or is he deliberately representing the argument selectively?”

  55. Joanne March 5, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

    Lollipoplover, if your area has drive-thru pharmacies the mom should have used one – you too should have used one as prescriptions are for sick people, be they contagious or not, just like waiting rooms in doc’s offices germ exposure is a risk you take – as a mother of 7 ages 1-15, I would’ve covered the infant seat in a blanket draped over the carry handle to protect others from the baby’s germs and the baby from other’s germs

    Your commentary on this mom is harsh – consider that she’s likely sleep-deprived and not thinking as clearly as she could be – also, what mom wants to drag out a sick baby, or kid of any age for that matter? If she had someone to leave the baby with she likely would have – I do not agree with leaving a baby that is that sick crying and miserable in a car alone especially when you have to go out of sight to run your errand – a well or even mildly sick child is one thing, a baby is quite another

    Slamming this mom is wrong – her choices could have been better but you should’ve realized the risk you take as far as germ exposure in going to a pharmacy, that’s just plain common sense

    As far as the original story, leaving a baby in a car at Target is not what I would choose to do no matter how quick the errand – if I did see a baby and was that concerned, I may keep an eye on them until the parent returned but taking a video and screaming at the parent is obnoxious – I agree with other commenters that it is a case of an insecure, judgmental person tearing down someone else to make themselves feel better

  56. Beth March 5, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

    Joanne, why wouldn’t you assume that the mom, knowing her child far better than you do, made a reasoned decision that was right for her and her child, and why WOULD you assume that she needs you to stand watch over her child?

  57. lollipoplover March 5, 2016 at 7:58 pm #


    Huh. Insecure and judgmental? Actually right now I am sad and scared. My father-in-law, who has cancer and is on chemo, contracted this influenza from my family (we unknowingly passed it on to my mother-in-law before we were symptomatic) and is now hospitalized in serious condition.

    This isn’t about parenting choices. I don’t mean to come across as harsh or judgmental. This is a very basic public health issue. Please educate yourself on CDC recommendations for how to prevent the spread of illness:

    Stay home when you are sick. Same for sick kids. I know, I know, not all of us have the choice and yes, this was a pharmacy (inside the largest and busiest supermarket in our area). But more and more I see sick kids out with parents while they go about their errands. I guess these parents have the right to bring their sick kids with them everywhere they go as they know best? Where do you draw the line with contagious illnesses?
    Do you keep them home with the flu?
    What about measles?
    Chicken pox?
    Whooping cough?
    Or just bring them with you everywhere because hey, you’re kid’s already sick and to hell with the elderly and immunocompromised, they’re just going to die soon anyway?

    Sorry that I thought a highly contagious child would be better off isolated in a car than in a congested supermarket for a prescription pick-up. Obviously from the negative comments, many parents feel very differently.

    I just hope I don’t have to go to another funeral this year. That is all.

  58. James Pollock March 5, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

    “Nice move, James, skip right over the parts about being involved with the police and CPS, and make it all about her fear of social media.”

    Nice move, p-mom, skip right over the valid point because it doesn’t fit your preference.

  59. That_Susan March 8, 2016 at 11:53 am #

    @lollipoploer, I’m so sorry, it sounds just awful and I hope you guys see the light at the end of the tunnel very soon!

    If there are three drive-through pharmacies in your town, I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to her not to use one of those — but her situation may be like my husband’s; he has many health issues and has all his prescriptions phoned into our neighborhood Walgreen’s, which has no drive-through. He has Medicaid and everything’s lined up with that Walgreen’s so that he only has to pay $1.00 to $3.00 for each prescription. It could be that she has a similar situation, and when she was having it phoned in, it didn’t occur to her to ask them to change the location to a pharmacy with a drive-though.

    Still, that doesn’t make things any easier for you and your family at the moment. I hope your father-in-law’s okay!

  60. Katie March 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    @lollipop joanne and others

    You do realize not everyone drives or has a car right or even if they do decides to go pollute the environment for every task?

    I’d highly suggest instead if someone is going into an environment where people are likely to be sick (aka a pharmacy) and if one is concerned about it they can wear a mask out (and even gloves) . Also, if someone is coughing and you don’t want to risk it, get away from them, even if you have to go to the back of the line and wait a few minutes longer. In fact, dictating who can and can’t be in a public place is very helicopterish of you, especially when they need to be at that place to get better or get there child better.