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03 July 2002 @ 06:50 pm
you'd think people would know by now...  
Survey: how long would you give someone who has left small children in a car in the sun before you call the cops? I was just coming back from a lovely lunch at Zibbibo when I noticed that the car next to me had what looked like a 2 and a 4 year old in the back and no adults in sight. I had seen the car pull in next to mine from down the street, so I knew they hadn't been there very long, but my car was roasting when I got in, and as we all (should) know by now, it doesn't take long for a car to heat up and small children are much more vulnerable to temperature than adults.

I didn't want to be a complete asshole, but nor was I inclined to drive off and leave them there, so I decided to give 5 minutes and then call the cops and ask them how long I should give 'em. A mother or a reasonable substitute came back out of a shop just as the deadline ticked over.

Mind you, leaving small children in an unlocked car is asking for disaster on many levels. Not just the someone wandering off with them problem, but the older of the children was certainly big enough to wiggle out of his car seat and either fool with the car brakes or wander off. But I wouldn't normally call the cops on those grounds, heatstroke I will.

Apart from that little mini drama, we had a nice day wandering around Filoli. The house is mostly just pleasant, in that stately home way, but the gardens are fabulous. For all the wedding planning folks, they hold weddings there, though it looked sized more for small weddings than large.
 
 
 
marieofroumania on July 3rd, 2002 06:55 pm (UTC)
Funny you should mention that, I just did a story on a CDC report released today. Here's my copy.

A STUDY RELEASED WEDNESDAY BY THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL SAYS CARS ARE A LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH AMONG CHILDREN... BUT NOT THE WAY YOU MIGHT THINK.

THE STUDY SAYS AT LEAST 78-CHILDREN UNDER 14 WERE KILLED BY CARS LAST YEAR. MOST DIED IN ACCIDENTS... BUT OVER A THIRD OF WERE KILLED BY HEAT EXPOSURE AFTER BEING LEFT IN THE CAR IN HOT WEATHER. THESE FINDINGS COME LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER A MICHIGAN WOMAN ALLEGEDLY KILLED HER TWO CHILDREN WHEN SHE LEFT THEM IN A CAR FOR THREE HOURS. SHE HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH MURDER. BROOKE BINKOWSKI, CNN RADIO, ATLANTA.

Maybe the word will get out.
Lauratavella on July 4th, 2002 09:32 am (UTC)
Yeah. I just looked at the car and thought "Don't these people pay any attention to the *news*?"

Nice story, congrats on your first piece!
Lovely Poetlovelypoet on July 3rd, 2002 07:19 pm (UTC)
Five minutes is about what I'd give them.

Possibly less depending on the age of the children.
Lauratavella on July 4th, 2002 01:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, an infant would have made me even more likely to call right away.
chicksrus on July 3rd, 2002 10:21 pm (UTC)
Hard to tell, really. I would want to sick the cops on those parents right away. Stupid parents should know better than that. It's always in the news, how kids die after being left alone in a car when it's hot out. The inside of the car usually is much hotter than the outside, so if it's about eighty outside, it's probably a hundred degrees inside. Poor children.

You did the right thing and waited for the person to come out of the store. Not many people would have done what you did.
Lauratavella on July 4th, 2002 10:41 am (UTC)
Well, I'd like to think that other people would have. I certainly couldn't have driven off -- could you imagine hearing on the news later one of those kids die in car stories and knowing you could have stopped it?
Karenkaren51 on July 4th, 2002 04:22 am (UTC)
5 minutes *max*
Everyone who drives a car knows that they heat up in the sun. There are stories every summer about kids who died after being left in cars. The Humane Society does a good job educating us about leaving animals in cars. People who are too stupid to put all these things together deserve to have their children taken away. Or at least to have the fear of god put into them.

A particularly upsetting story appeared in the Washington Post just this week. Thirteen kids... what were they *thinking*?
Lauratavella on July 4th, 2002 11:10 am (UTC)
Re: 5 minutes *max*
Jesus fucking Christ. He can't spell his own daughter's name, much less spare a thought for her as she's baking and dying? And trying to shuck off responsibility onto his other kids.

Please tell me they are going to put this asshole on trial.
Karenkaren51 on July 4th, 2002 03:06 pm (UTC)
Re: 5 minutes *max*
The trial begins November 18th. You'll be happy to hear that 50 members of his church came to his hearing in support.

This is the third time this year that he lost track of one of his kids. He left a 3-year-old in a video store and the child who died in the car was found running down the middle of a busy street in Manassas a few months ago.

From an earlier story in the Post: "Kelly's lawyer, Carroll A. Weimer Jr., said the family is disappointed by the charges and does not believe Frances's death is a crime.

"The family has suffered a great loss, and they're continuing to suffer," Weimer said. "This is a tragic, tragic accident. We expect Kevin to be found not guilty of the charges.""

The *family* has suffered?
Jen Davis-Wilsonjendaviswilson on July 4th, 2002 09:50 am (UTC)
Filoli does weddings!?
Last I had checked, Filoli's website specifically stated they did not do weddings. Did you see one happening there?
*tries not to get too excited*
Lauratavella on July 4th, 2002 01:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Filoli does weddings!?
Aw, damn. We were fooled by them calling one of the gardens the 'The Wedding Place' and it being set up for a processional. Sorry, didn't mean to spread misinformation!