Archived Story

A parenting lesson not to forget

Published 9:45am Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Most of us could not turn on the television, read Facebook, follow Twitter posts or carry on a discussion without the topic of the young father who left his 22-month-old son in a locked car for more than seven hours.

The child died from the extreme heat that built up inside the vehicle.

One cannot imagine what that child felt and suffered before he died. The outside temperature was 88 degrees and the vehicle was probably over 115 degrees.

I cannot imagine how this young child suffered before becoming unconscious and before his tiny heart stopped beating. Whether the father is guilty of manslaughter or negligence, nothing could possibly change the suffering he encountered on that fateful day.

While the father will have his day in court, I think back now of leaving my two sons in the car while I ran into the post office or ran back into the house to get something. While they were not going to be left over a couple of minutes, I think now what could have happened if I was not able to get back to them.

We also could wonder how someone could forget their child inside of a vehicle, but so many of us lead busy lives and are juggling such a tight schedule that our mind is going in a hundred directions at one time.

However, nothing is more important the welfare of an innocent child. Our job, committee meetings or that significant cell phone call should never interfere with or take our attention away from keeping a child safe.

I remember turning the rearview mirror when my children were young so I could see them and know that they were OK. As a parent, I think very little time passes each day that your thoughts do not wander to your child.

Even with mine being 25 and almost 21, I think about what they are doing and especially at times when I know they are traveling I worry about their safe arrival.

The concern for your child and being a parent never goes away as long as you have breath inside your body. No matter your age or the age of your children they are forever on your mind and their welfare, health and happiness is never far from your thoughts and prayers.

So many times, we take our blessings for granted and if we looked back at what could have happened, it creates a scary scenario.

Being a parent does not come with an instruction manual, but there is one lesson we should never forget: children or pets should ever be left in an unattended vehicle.

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