Forgotten Baby Syndrome (FBS) is a term most parents have hopefully never heard. It refers to accidentally leaving a baby or young child in a locked car, often with tragic results.
Unfortunately, each year in the US, families experience FBS when their child dies after being left in the heat of a parked car. In fact, in 2019, there were 52 child deaths due to heatstroke in cars. This is more than a 200 percent increase compared to 2015. How could this happen? Were those parents intoxicated, mentally ill, or just grossly negligent?
The answers to those questions are usually no. On the contrary, the great majority of families who experience this tragedy are loving caregivers, devoted to raising children, and devastated by these accidents.
Forgotten Baby Syndrome is the medical explanation for how a parent can walk away from a car without realizing their child remains inside. Dr. David Diamond, a professor of psychology, molecular pharmacology, and physiology at the University of South Florida, Tampa, spends time researching the neurobiology of FBS. According to Dr. Diamond, each day people perform tasks that become routine, involving little conscious thought and are therefore governed by a part of the brain called the motor cortex. A good example is driving home from work each day using the same route. Eventually, we can do it seemingly without thinking. Dr. Diamond explains, “in effect, our motor memory frees us up to think about the future while completing the task at hand.”
Then there is the part of the brain responsible for making a clear decision, for example, to stop at the store on your way home from work. This is called the hippocampus, and it controls the cognitive portion of our brains. Dr. Diamond explains that in FBS, the motor memory part of our brain competes against the cognitive part of the brain, overruling it. In this example, that would mean leaving work with the intent of stopping at the store and then finding yourself in your garage having forgotten that you intended to make a stop elsewhere. This phenomenon happens as a normal part of our brain’s function and not because there is something wrong with our brain structure.
In the case of FBS, two things often happen. First, a caregiver varies from their normal routine. For example, a caregiver that does not usually transport a child to daycare may do so on this day. They then drive to work as normal, the motor cortex out-thinking the cognitive brain and leading the parent to completely forget their child is in the back. They go about their day with no recollection of their intent to drop a child off and looking forward to seeing the child in the evening.
To prevent these tragedies, we first have to think about them. Know that this can happen to anyone and be proactive each time a child is transported. Consider checking the back seat as part of your car exiting routine. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a Look Before You Lock campaign to remind people who transport children to check the rear of the vehicles before locking and leaving their cars.
You can also take off a shoe, and put it in the back with your child. This prevents the motor memory part of the brain from completely taking over and helps us to remember that we forgot to drop a child off at daycare.
Visit kidsandcars.org for a great list of resources for preventing FBS as well as other vehicle-related accidents.
Read Dr. Sara’s response to reader comments on FBS
- Forgotten Baby Syndrome is the medical explanation for how a parent can walk away from a car without realizing their child remains inside.
- So far in 2014, 13 children have died from heat stroke in a car.
- An average of 40 families experience FBS each year.
- Prevent tragedies by checking the back seats as part of your car exiting routine.
Yeah F this study; science, my butt! People need to slow down, they care enough to take them in the car but forget about the kids?! WTF?! Why don’t you just put them in the front seat so you could at least look at them when you get out, that’s if you’re not on the phone then you’d probably forget. These studies need to stop showing up as worthy news!
it’s extremely worthy if you travel with children! We’re discussing their safety to prevent harm is that not worthy enough for you? There are age recommendations regarding where children are placed in a vehicle, the safest is in the back. their chances of survival in an accident reduces significantly travelling in front seat. Thank goodness for scientist’s,.. imagine if there were more people with your mindset? … the death rate would increase that’s for sure. 🙁
Omg you need to put a sock in it and stop defending people stupidity is all and I would have hoped for you to reply. Detest my stupid comment yes, (even I know kiddos can’t ride in the front seat but for “these” people the benefits outweigh the risk for them or do you disagree) but yet you have nothing bad to say towards people with FBS?!?! PLEASE. Either your defending the babies or the stupid parents and to me it seems like the latter. Yes the scientist here for FBS are trying to figure this out and have pinpointed it to an abrupt change in ones usual schedule but like I said before they care enough to incorporate them in their schedule and physical pick them up and put them in their car and forget about them. And having people like you patting irresponsible parents on the back and saying you got FBS and possibly feeling sorry for them causes more deaths because you’re encouraging the fact that it’s something that’s out of the parents controls or hands. Are you serious, the fact that the scientists found this out is what the state needs to prosecute for involuntary man slaughter. A life was lost and they need to be held accountable for there actions! Do you agree Tania?
So you still believe these people have a choice to remember? Clearly you need to go and learn what exactly FBS is and how it happens because guess what? if you have a functioning brain that puts you at risk of becoming one of ” those ” parents too. And if it’s proven to be FBS that’s responsible for the loss of a child then no way should the person be punished. don’t you think its punishment enough to loose a child? Again – people don’t choose to forget, but in your case please don’t choose to be ignorant.
this is the most stupid thing ever
we thought about it a lot, and we got fear that we also could forget our child in the car! so we decided to train our son to get out from a locked car! and how to behave if there is no parents and the baby is in a locked car, he was 2, 7 years when we trained our son, maybe our experience could be useful for other parents too, so we are sharing it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVP4J8OOchQ
Even after being sleep deprived feom working 100hrs a week I didnt leaves my kids in the car because I “forgot” them. FBS is a bullshit excuse for a lazy, sorry good for nothing parent. The parents that leave their kids in a car and result in death should be put in jail. You killed your kid plain and simple.
Question: so let’s say your child’s babysitter left your child in the car because it was a day she didn’t usually care for your child and your child died. Are we as forgiving and compassionate then? No? Because it’s her job to care for your child? So who’s job is it when your child is in your care?
Read the article again chrissy. Perhaps a few times before you comment, don’t risk embarrassing yourself any more than you already have
Okay, so what did Chrissy H. miss? You conveniently forgot to include that in your reply. I love it when people call out someone for “mistakes” they make in a comment, but don’t want to bother telling them what their mistake was.
The point is if the babysitter picked up the child on a day she didn’t usually look after the child, chances are she wouldn’t forget because she’s on the drive she’d normally be on from where she collected the child from! Whoever has the child when this tragic situation happens is totally responsible for the wellbeing of that child, fbs isn’t putting the blame elsewhere, it’s merely warning you that it can happen to anyone and it’s real regardless of how much love and how competent you are as a parent. I was blunt with Chrissy and i needed to be diplomatic with my response so I’m sorry I wasn’t. The routine part the article is trying to describe is what Chrissy misunderstood and it’s easy to do so unless you read it a few times.
Look up how many people “forget” their babies in Winter. Then tell me this is a real thing. Seems seasonally convenient.
#notarealthing These are excuses.
will Dixie B. I think your comment should be here ,so that Tania pays attention
“Okay, so what did Chrissy H. miss? You conveniently forgot to include that in your reply. I love it when people call out someone for “mistakes” they make in a comment, but don’t want to bother telling them what their mistake was.”
The image accompanying this article shows a kid staring out the window of a heavy train coach.
I just love your comment lol. It should be “featured” thanks for breaking the heated comments even if it was for a moment.
Dixie I was simply providing a logical answer question you posed–“Why don’t these deaths happen in cold weather?” You have used it as evidence for your argument several times in the thread, and it’s weak at best.
Also, your second piece of evidence–“well these parents probably don’t forget their cell phones…” That only supports the theory behind FBS. These people don’t forget their phones because they are part of their normal routine. Having the child in the car is not.
The part of your brain that we call “autopilot” doesn’t have the abilility to take emotional value into account. All it cares about is completing the routine the same way every time.
Sorry for the trolling comment. I just feel like some people get on these articles just to criticize other moms and make themselves feel superior, and that’s just gets me fired up.
Methinks thou protesteth too much. You’re waaaaay too defensive in the face of an opposing viewpoint. Was my comment directed solely at you? No, but you’re acting as if it was. And you’re too defensive of mothers in general. We all have a right to our opinions without being told we are trolls or have feelings of superiority because we might criticize. We all criticize from time to time. It just depends on which side of the aisle we sit on that determines if we think the other side has a right to their criticism. Chill out.
Okay, I see. If someone gives an opinion that is contrary to the accepted norms as put forth in this article, it’s trolling, correct? So much for freedom of speech. How arrogant.
One thing to add–
The defense mechanism consuming y’all is called denial. You would rather convince yourself it could never happen to you than accept the reality of the anxiety we should all feel about malignant absentmindedness. You tell yourself you don’t have to worry about it because it “usually” happens to “bad parents” (My favorite are the people claiming to know statistics, i.e. “Most people who do this are on drugs,” etc). You think you are in far more control than you actually are, because life is less scary that way.
If you want to live in denial, go ahead. But keep your delusions to yourself and stop trying to obstruct the education necessary to prevent this from happening to more families.
Ummm, that denial can go both ways. Seems to me you are denying that gross negligence could sometimes be a contributing factor. You are denying that there could be instances where some parents simply want to get rid of small children that have become a burden for them. Don’t be so naive and accepting and always believing the best in human nature.
I can’t believe how many of you women are trolling this article. Does it make you feel better to proclaim to the world that you are too good of a mother to commit this tragic mistake? zNobody is making excuses to try to get these parents out of legal punishment (as if jail time even compares to the loss of a child), psychologists and public health officials are simply trying to prevent this phenomenon from occurring. All you ladies with your heads shoved so far up your asses that you think an infanticidal parent is a better explanation for these deaths are only contributing to the death toll. If you stigmatize this occurance, it only convinces well-meaning, LOVING parents that it could neve happen to them. Thinking it could never happen to you stops you from forming preventive habits like “look before you lock.”
Oh, and for those of you with no common sense, people DO leave their kids in cars in the winter, it just takes MUCH longer to die from hypothermia than hyperthermia. Cases that don’t result in injury or death do not get reported. If people self-reported these incidents, they would risk being called bad parents (I’m sure you trolls would be all over it), so we will never have a good statistical analysis of the occurrence rate. Thank you to those BRAVE women who came forward to tell your stories to the cowards who ignorantly think love for our children prevents us from making terrible mistakes.
I probably wouldn’t believe it either if it hadn’t happened to me when my youngest was about a month old. Thankfully it was a mild winter day and I realized my horrible mistake within 10 minutes. I, too, was out of my normal routine. My mother in law had offered to keep my oldest with her while I ran to the pharmacy. It was the first time I took the baby out without her older sister, and since she was a newborn, I was still used to carrying her around inside me. I entered the store and shipped casually, adding items to my shopping basket for several minutes, and then stood at the pharmacist’s counter to ask a question. As I waited for assistance, I admired the family photos taped up to the cash register. One was of an infant, and it jogged my memory. Where was my baby? And then suddenly the awful realization hit me that I had left her in the car. I remember in that instant feeling my breasts let down, like when you hear a baby cry. I imagined her strapped in her carseat, crying herself into hysteria because no one was there to comfort her. I drew plenty of attention to myself as I gasped loudly and legged it to the exit, where I made yet another horrifying discovery – I was about to run out of the store holding a basket of goods I hadn’t yet paid for as everyone in the store watched me. So I tossed it to the side as the automatic doors flung open and rushed to my car in full-on panic mode. As I approached, fumbling for my keys, I spotted her car seat hrough the back window. When I got close enough to see her face, I could see she was sound asleep, and had been the entire time. I thanked my lucky stars, and then drove to a different pharmacy. There was no way I was walking back into that store after the scene I made, and this time carrying a baby.
Okay, so if children actually die in hot cars in the winter, parents have even LESS excuse for the child’s death because it takes a LOT longer for the inside of a car to become hot enough to kill a child. Ot are these wintertime deaths because of the car getting too COLD inside? Either way, a child is dead because they’ve been supposedly “forgotten”. Same song and dance. I still don’t buy it. Sorry, psychologists.
The reply above and others that stand in disbelief that anyone could forget a child…I don’t understand that you show no compassion, no ability for empathy and exert such strong opinions based on what? You own love for your child and a lack of any open-mindedness. I am in my 60s and had my daughter in the 1980s. No cell phone. I was a stay at home mom. When she was about a month old I decided to take her to the grocery store for the first time. To prepare for our outing I put her down for a nap and took a shower. I got dressed and headed out the door. I got all the way down to the end of the block before I remembered her. I recall feeling horror and guilt at the time- because I had forgotten, in the ritual of taking a shower and dressing and going out on an errand (familiar routine that had never included a child before) that I even had her! I planned for this baby and she was and still is (she is 32) the light of my life. Forgetting about her wasn’t callous, it wasn’t hateful. It was that she was new in my life and I had not yet become accustomed to leaving the house with her and in the process of taking my shower I had slipped into something that was familiar to the way I always did things before she was born. I raced home. She was still asleep in her crib. I picked her up and sat with her in the rocking chair where I nursed her until I calmed down enough to go to the store. When my husband got home from work I told him what had happened and thankfully he didn’t judge me or berate me. He understood that this was because I was doing something in a way that had become routine before she came into our lives. He was a very smart person with a lot of compassion for human beings. And that is what I am…a fully human being- fallible and capable of forgetting the absolute most important person in my life. Please search your heart and see if there is any way possible to allow for someone else’s truth without the negative judgement.
sorry.. I don’t get it. no excuse. I am now a grandmother but I raised 3. a child 2 or older hollered mama ! every minute. when they don’t.. you go see what their into. I have not heard a reasonable explanation of why someone left their child in the car. did the forget their phone in the car as well ??? probably not. someone needs to have a voice for these babies and have ” care giver ” held accountable. even if it’s involuntary manslaughter. something !
I’m with Sarah D. Why does the FBS only seem to happen in hot weather? Why not in freezing weather? When was the last time you heard about a baby who died from hypothermia because they were forgotten in a car? Like she said, the parent follows the same routine in cold weather as they do in hot weather. I say it’s because the baby can die sooner in a hot car than in a cold one. I think it’s the new way people have found to get rid of children they don’t want to bother with any more, and they can conveniently cry, “I forgot my baby?? How could I forget my baby? I LOVE my baby!” And avoid prison time. Sorry, I know too-trusting bleeding hearts will say I’m being judgemental and insensitive, but I’d sure like someone to tell me why the deaths happen only in hot weather. Huh? How about it?
I agree with you. why it happens in the summer months is bc the car heats up faster with the sun heating up the car faster and little ones have a less intolerant to heat than adults. a painful way to go.
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU… IT IS SO SAS AND UPSETTING, AS A MOTHER MYSELF, TO EVEN PHATHOM THE THOUGHT OF LEAVING MY CHILD IN A HOT CAR…TO DIE!!!!! HONESTLY…. IT IS JUST ANOTHER EXCUSE FOR, A PARENT, TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER!!!!! MURDERING AN INNOCENT, HELPLESS, LITTLE PRECIOUS BABY, THAT CAN NOT DEFEND THEMSELVES IN THIS HORRIBLE HOT WHEATHER!!!! THESE PARENTS KNOW DAMN WELL THAT IT’S HOT AS HELL OUTSIDE!!!! YOU STEP OUTSIDE, EVEN BY YOURSELF, TO GET INTO THE CAR, AND YOU HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR DOOR OPEN FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES TO LET THE HEAT OUT OF THE CAR BEFORE YOU CAN EVEN TYRN THE KEY OVER JUST TO LET THE WINDOWS DOWN…. TWO MINUTES OUTSIDE AND YOU ARE ALREADY POURING SWEAT!!!!! (I’M BORN AND RAISED IN TEXAS AND IT GETS RIDICULOUS HOTTTT!!!!!) SO I KNOW DAMN WELL IF YOU ARE POURING SWEAT… YOU KNOW THAT BABY IS POURING SWEAT TWICE AS MUCH AS YOU ARE!!!!! THERE IS NO “RESEARCH STUDY” OR “FBS SYNDROME” THAT EXCUSES ANY ONE OF US….. MURDER US MURDER AND THE EXCUSES OF “I FORGOT MY CHILD” IS SO STUPID TO EVWN COME OUT OF ANY OF THESE MURDERS IT’S SO RIDICULOUS…. I BET YOU IF “WE THE PEOPLE” WOULD START HOLDING THESE “MURDERS” ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND “FORGETFULNESS” AND THEIR DEATH BE “LEAVING THEM INSIDE OF A HOT CAR TO DIE… JUST THE WAY THIER CHILD DID (OR THE CHILD THEY WERE TAKING CARE OF (CHILD CARE PROVIDER)… THEN LESS PARENTS /PEOPLE WOULD STOP LEAVING CHILDREN IN THESE HOT VEHICLES!!!!!!! (KNOWING YOUR PUNISHMENT FOR MURDERING A CHILD BY LEAVING THEM IN A HOT CAR AT 150° WHEATHER (THE TEMPERATURE INSIDE THAT CAR) …..LETTING THEM SUFFOCATE AND DIE… KNOWING YOUR PUNISHMENT AHEAD OF TIME… IS YOUR GOING TO SUFFOCATE IN 150° HOT WHEATHER… THE “STATICS”, OR, NUMBER OF CHILD MURDERS, IN THE SUMMERTIME… WOULD PROBABLY GO DOWN BY ATLEAST 50%… ATLEAST!!!!!!!
Please look up forgotten baby syndrome stories, read each tragic situation and keep finding more and more until you get it. After you’ve listened to people who witnessed the caregivers discovering their children in these cars and the calls to emergency in those moments then read the disclosures describing events leading up to these people “forgetting they had a child in the car” you’ll soon realise a common occurrence has happened. That common occurance where auto drive kicks in is part of our brain that we CANNOT control! If you REALLY want to prevent this happening to another baby whether it be your grandchildren or a neighbour’s baby you’d take the time and do what I’ve suggested. If you don’t I just hope to god your brain is abnormal and your basal ganglia, the brain center, which operates on a subconscious level ceases operation.
Tania… I THANK YOU for your feedback and I will look it up …. but I am entitled to my own opinion as you are yours…. Please don’t daily me for how I feel about a certain situation, SUCH as this one, but rather understand where I am coming from! I understand where separation anxiety comes from for one… with that being a way for a mother to forget her child, I get that or as one lady stated about being a foster parent having kids on and out her home and life, but come on now… once you become a PARENT AND YOU HAVE A CHILD I FEEL THAT THAT CHILD IS NUMBER ONE… THAT CHILD COMES FIRST NO MATTER WHAT…. THESE DAYS 99.9999999% OF PEOPLE DO NOT FORGET THEIR CELL PHONES… THAT THE #1 THING THEY GRAB…. SO WHY IS THAT CHILD LESS IMPORTANT THAN THAT ELECTRONIC DEVICE??? IT IS A HUMAN BEING… THAT IN SOME WAY, FORM, OR FASHION CAME FROM INSIDE YOU… IT CAME OUT YOUR BODY!!!! THE MOST PRECIOUS, OR SHOULD BE MOST PR3CIOUS, THING IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE AND YOU FORGET IT…. BUT I BET YOU DIDN’T FORGET THAT CELL PHONE… THAT’S WHAT I’M GETTING AT…. THAT’S WHAT UPSETS ME!!!! I HAVE A BRAIN AND A HEART THANK YOU … BUT WHERE DO THE “EXCUSES ” OF MURDER STOP AT??? CAUSE SUM USE THIS AS AN EXCUSE TO DO JUST THAT… WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO THEM??? DO YOU SEE WHERE I’M COMING FROM???
Your opinion is based on a huge lack of understanding of what forgotten baby syndrome actually is and how it happens. You still believe these people CHOOSE to forget their babies!! For crying out loud what gave you that impression? Dont say its your assumption because that alone makes your opinion a waste of time. STICK TO THE FACTS and base your opinion on what EVIDENCE is presented ONLY! We can all add pathetic little imaginings to stories and add opinions based on that but why bother? Its not what these warnings have stated is it? You are a worry, you commented before you did the research which shows you have no intention of ensuring your family don’t suffer from this horrific tragedy. Because guess what lady? Your understanding of this discussion is one of the main symptoms that most of the parents who lost their babies had WHEN IT HAPPENED TO THEM! GET IT??? you are certainly risking your babies and will until you realise it’s not about opinions, or love for your child being stronger than the love for your phone EMOTIONS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT OCCURES!! Read and learn the scientific workings of the brain in fbs. THAT IS THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING THESE TRAGEDIES AND ENSURING YOU dont become a statistic WHEN basal ganglia and Competing brain-memory systems are in function… The brain system at the cognitive level, processed by the hippocampus, tells us we we’re taking baby to daycare. The competing brain memory system, controlled by the basal ganglia and motor cortex, governs motor habits. “These motor areas compete with our cognitive areas to get us to do things without thinking about them. Can you please explain the brain process I just touched on thoroughly enough so that you can validate your opinions and match them with factual evidence please? Its really important you make yourself clear for everyone. Thanks. ( my intention is completely for your benefit, it’s not to upset u okay. )
I couldn’t imagine forgetting my baby Kristina, so I understand where you’re coming from trust me. But I did, and thats how i know. and i suffer the effects of that day every minute of every day. I’m desperate to prevent another tragedy, even just one. Xx
Wow Dixie, think about your last comment for a second….. The children only die in summer months- —But if what you’re saying is more likely and these parents a trying to rid themselves of parenthood by killing their child, don’t you think the child would be dead regardless of what time it happens??? A murderous intent will ensure the murder took place wouldn’t they?! If they’re not dying in cold months perhaps it’s because the child wasn’t intended to die!!!! It would take a long long time for a child to freeze to death in a car so what’s more likely do you think? I’d say the parent has had the chance to return to their vehicle due to time being in their favor and has either found the child and not reported their mistake because of fear of the likes of people like you that harshly decide the parents intent based on a made up horrible evil assumption and decide guilt is more likely and prefer their theory over trusting qualified specialists who spent years and years studying brain anatomy and mapped each section of the brain that have conducted tests with many other specialists over the whole world and successfully PROVED by evidence ONLY that they HAVE A CERTIFIED SOUND KNOWLEGE that is trusted with backing of a practicing certificate that only those deemed fit have earned ( the highest recognised degree “doctorate ” anyone can achieve to diagnose a syndrome. Yes Dixie you’re entitled to your uneducated opinion, but don’t you dare preach your vulgar imagination and contribute to another death because some naive reader takes the easy road and believes they can’t be capable of “murder” because they love their phone AND THEIR BABY.
authorities taking their babies off them. Because the last thing these parents want is to miss the love and joy of parenthood or maybe your right, they’re most likely plotting their next plan to ensure the next attempt to murder their baby is in summer- what’s another 6 months of parenting
Sorry insert between main paragraph and last paragraph. —- I meant to say reporting in cold months don’t occur very often because of the likes of Dixies harsh judgments and for risk of authorities taking their babies from them……
Ok so now there is a syndrome for killing your baby in the car in summer time with the heat. I have one question to contradict that theory! Why dont we hear about babys freezing to death in the winter time in vehicles? You do the same rutine in the winter as the summer right? Is it not quick enought murder? I call bullshit on every bit of it. People has fount a way to kill kids without having to go to prison is all…
This happens year round, unfortunately. The organization No Heat Stroke has the monthly stats.http://noheatstroke.org/monthly_stats.htm
This is ridiculous!!! It’s just another excuse for people who don’t want to take responsibility for their stupid actions! Get your head out of your ass, quit making excuses!! How anyone can possibly except this bulls**t is beyond me! And I agree with Shannon P… I bet they didn’t”forget” their cell phone…!!????????
amen. my thoughts exactly! it’s manslaughter ! (child slaughter)
One question. How long does it take for these “loving, caring, busy, hypnotized” parents to realize they forgot their cell phone?
You know how we can stop this crud? Make that stupid ‘you have to put the baby in the backseat’ law! If the kid’s not in your face, you’re going to forget about it. Ever since that stupid ‘baby seat in the backseat’ law was passed, there has been an upsurge in these ‘forgotten baby’ errors. I’m sure forgotten babies far outnumber the babies damaged by being in the front seat during an accident.
The way cars are designed these days makes front seat sitting very dangerous for babies and children up to age 10. The airbags, when deployed can seriously injure or kill a child. Back seat sitting, first in a carseat, then a booster, is much safer.
I disagree. 30 years ago.. child had to be on back seat.never a problem. problem is care giver more concerned about their cell phone and who they are talking to..
As a clinical psychologist myself, I’m very interested in this – especially where the intersection of using social media comes in. Given that car seats have been around quite awhile, and the recent explosion of this sort of thing, does it also have something to do with the parents paying attention to something else (like their cell phones)?
Interesting thought but according to noheatstroke.org, the number of hot car deaths has been relatively consistent since 1998. Like you, I wonder about increased distraction of the driver. I also wonder about frequency of trips in the car, fatigue of parents today compared to decades ago, and stress of parents today relative to generations ago.
Yeah, parents sure don’t forget those cell phones, do they? Way to prioritize, mom and dad!
I’m not sure this is a recent issue but distraction is a huge factor for all of us these days.
I call BS…its called lazy and selfish. my wotld, my routine, my blah blah blah…. selfish and lazy. period. and it gets the pior kids killed.
I LOVE this explanation… and I really think people need to read it to understand!!!!!
The greatest people in the world may have the most on the shoulders, so much going on in their brain, things that you think would make sense just don’t sometimes
Lisa, you should be ashamed. How can you ask a sane person to try and understand a child left alone in the car to die?
Lisa, at least, is trying to be understanding (and isn’t afraid to show her face). To shame the people who have done this, is to preclude understanding of the phenomena. Additionally, I fail to believe that every person who has done this is addicted to drugs or simply a bad parent. It’s an explanation that is too easy and condemnable. I don’t see FBS as an excuse to free the person of culpability – I see it as a turning point in our ability to stop it from occurring in the first place.
Good point, Clarissa. We want these cases to drop to zero, so if even one is preventable then it’s worth figuring out how to best accomplish this goal.
our job as care givers..
we all have stress ! is to be the care giver of a little human who looks to you for protection and not forget them due to your stress. we ALL have stress. not about ME ME ME ! when you care for a child. they come first.
The problem is they don’t report the statistics of hiw many of these parents are on prescription medications like Xanax. I gaurantee half if not more are on Big Pharma drugs.
I can’t believe the article just compared killing a baby and forgetting to go to the grocery store. If having a baby is not always on your mind, then your priorities are messed up. You don’t “zone out” you remember and you make yourself keep remembering. Could you imagine if someone says, “I got fired because I forgot to go to work?” If it sounds ridiculous, it is. You don’t get to make excuses after you’ve murdered a child. If you “forget” you have a child, you don’t deserve to have one. Case in point, he forgot, now he doesn’t have one.
If you look at the race of the majority of the perpetrators, they are white. If you look at how the media and the general public treat white crime and negligence, they try to frame it in terms of “mental health” issues and/or lend it some legitimacy by describing it as a legitimate health issue. In this case, the frame is attempting to justify or rationalize this gross negligence as the result of being “too busy” to remember you have a baby. White (and other) people tend to minimize their criminal behaviors for themselves and others of their race; this is an actual well-researched phenomenon unlike this BS pseudo-science.
Do you forget to eat? No, YOU do not forget a child in a car!
Of course people forget to eat! Wow??? People forget where they stashed their money people forget what exit there getting off on the freeway ect……
So you compare people forgetting where they stashed their money or forgetting which exit to get off on the freeway to forgetting their child? Anazing.
Agreed!!!!!!!! YOU DO NOT “FORGET” A CHILD CHILD IN A CAR…. EVER!!!!!!
NO ONE ‘forgets’ they have a child in the car! NO ONE! I may forge to take the last pan of cookies out of the oven… or forget I have the water sprinkler on outside in the flower garden but, I have never forgotten a child in a car! The most precious cargo goes in the house with me! And forgetting to drop the child off at daycare? Um… NOPE, I don’t buy that one either!
Do you really believe what you just wrote?
This is a reality in this happens whether you want to believe it or not
Sure, we all know it happens, but WHY is where the doubt comes in. I don’t buy this FBS baloney that is too full of holes to be credible. Like, why do the parents only “forget” their children in hot weather? You never hear of cold weather deaths because of children being left in cold cars. The parent follows the same routines in cold and hot weather, so…
I REALLY BELIEVE WHAT SHE JUST WROTE!!!! IT IS BULL AND JUST ANOTHER WAY FOR “SOCIETY” TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SOME.. NOT ALL BUT SOME.. of the younger generation here are saying what about ME.. I have stress..( like it’s new ). hummm. we ALL have stress
what a bunch of crap!! sorry excuse ….. stupid parents that don’t pay attention do this…. and then use this stupid thing as an excuse… no matter how tired you are, you don’t do that… sorry but if we are going to excuse “tired” parents by labeling them with a syndrome, than when are we going to learn to be more RESPONSIBLE…… smh
After yet another story of a child being forgotten in a hot car I was curious to see how often this happens and found several articles mentioning FBS. Of course I have judged these parents before, most people would. I must admit I am not a parent but I always thought that if I ever was, I would not do this, I wouldn’t be one of “them”. But the idea here is that this happens to parents who love and care for their child and live on a strict routine. It’s when this routine is disrupted that things like this happen. And even as a non parent, I have been victim to this “forgetfulness”. I take the same route everyday to work. It’s the same time of day, it’s the same road, same destination. Sometimes I manage to leave the house and get to work without even thinking about it. I swear I get to work and don’t even remember getting in the car, let alone the ride itself. I get to work and am surprised I’m already there! Other times, it’s the weekend and I’m driving someplace that uses the beginning of the same route I take to work. I’m supposed to turn right at an intersection to get there but suddenly I realise I just missed it because my brain “was going to work”. I’m so used to taking this route to get to work that my brain just sorta took over. In another example, I remember one instance when I was going to work as I usually do but instead of waiting until I was in the office to make myself a coffee, I decided to break off my routine and stop at Mcdonalds to grab one on my way in. I would put the coffee in the cup holder next to me, get to my office, park my car and get to my desk, sit, start the computer and start doing my morning routine just to realise it’s been half an hour and I completely forgot about my coffee in the car. Now don’t get me wrong! A forgotten child is much, much more important than a forgotten coffee but I can understand how, if say your spouse usually brings the baby to day care, every day, without fail and you’re in charge of bringing the oldest to school, every day, without fail and then that one day, your spouse has an early meeting and asks you to bring the baby and you start your normal routine with dropping the oldest at school, the baby is sleeping in the back seat, your brain is not used to seeing the baby there in the morning and suddenly you get to your office desk, start the computer and begin your daily morning routine and suddenly it’s been half an hour and “OH MY GOD MY BABY’S IN THE CAR!!!!”. This does not happen to everyone…….but it could happen to anyone. It takes one change to your routine mixed with a hard fixed habit and it could happen to you. And that’s the message of this article. This shit happens, it happens more often than we think because people don’t want to admit this has happened to them before (without consequence, thankfully). This needs to be spread out, it’s not BS, it’s real and it’s dangerous and no one wants to live it or lose a child to it!
One cannot compare a cup of coffee with a baby or any young child! Get real! That doctor is also a quack!
Then why don’t we hear about “FBS” happening in cold weather? Why only in hot weather? Parents perform the same routines in cold as well as hot weather. Yet, when was the last time you heard about a child freezing to death because of being forgotten in a cold car? Would the parent so quickly forget their cellphone? I mean, I’m really trying to understand this, but there are a few too many holes in this so-called syndrome.
That’s a great question. I can only speculate that part of the reason is that some of these deaths occur not when a child is left behind, but when a toddler accidentally climbs into a car when playing then is unable to get out. Warmer months mean more kids outside playing and sadly, less supervision near cars. Here’s a link to an organization that is studying how to prevent these deaths that totals deaths per month
Some do occur in the colder months, though not nearly as many. I think the other factor is the time it takes for a car to heat up is longer in cooler months (although it can and does heat up) so this happens much faster in the summer.
For those who have shared their stories, very brave and also heartbreaking. But with that said, I can see the other perspective also. Not in such a harsh or judgemental way, but those with bitter opinions fail to understand everyone is different, from the brain down. Some people don’t have as an efficient hippocampus as others. As a relatively new father to my 8 month old Floyd, I would fend off Tigers and Bears. We have had a few boys day adventures, to the hockey rink, mall, etc., but my life is consumed by his well being, not at any point does my mind wonder enough to simply walk away from my vehicle with him still inside. Maybe I over compensate since I never knew my father, by his choice. I work long hours building very complex steel processing roll formers, but I think about my son and his mother at least 5 times an hour. This is me, my brain, so don’t feel ashamed if you can’t relate. God graced me, I thank him often, but if you lack a well oiled hippocampus, there’s tons of apps now to prevent tragedy. Blaming and judging will never become a proactive solution when tragedy strikes. Heaven is for real, and hopefully the last 13(FBS deaths to date 2016) little souls to be taken there ever, due to FBS.
This is incredibly sad and I understand the emotional opinions. However, like with most things emotions only cloud the solution and prevent one. The reality is this happens and the reason is important if we want to stop it from happening. This article gives a clear and accurate look into why it happens. I am sad that so many people prefer to shame and judge, as if that ever helps anyone with anything. The only person shaming and judging helps is the person shaming and judging and even then it doesn’t really help. It only serves to make them feel validated outside of themselves for a moment.
I have never forgotten my children in a car, but I don’t drive and never have. When my oldest son was in elementary school I did forget to pick him up. It wasn’t in my routine to do so and I had a friend call at the last minute and pick me up to take me somewhere I needed to go. We got half way there and I just started bawling. How the hell could I forget my son? I am so grateful he was at school and safe. So grateful they never judged me.
I feel sorry for the people saying “This would never happen to me” because that is precisely the people it happens to. I think those that shared their stories are brave and courageous to face the shame and judgments of others, but always remember it says more about them than you when they speak and act that way. Thank you for sharing.
When people feel shame and judgment they are less likely to come out, to seek help, to talk about their experiences and it only serves to make others going through the same thing feel alone and awful. I know parents who judge and state they would never do such a thing as forget their child, but every day they verbally and emotionally abuse those same children, so how are they better?
I think its BS I don’t believe there’s such a disease
I know it’s difficult to set aside our emotions when we read things like this, but it’s so important. If you judge or shame things based on emotion and reaction alone you’re allowing emotions and ignorance to control you. I suggest you read up on the brain, how it works, and then come back and take another shot at this.
This article is a load of crap, i cannot believe what i just read.. i am shocked that there is an excuse for parents to leave their kids in the car and put a label on it! its just like SIDS, i understand it happens but think of how many cases were actually caused and not just accidents! that’s what this crap is, its another thing to feed off of and when you get a parent who is just fed up with being a parent and just claims “i forgot’ when it was intentional is beyond me! i cannot believe this is a diagnoses, parents who forget their kids in a car for hours or just “FORGETS” should not parent.. i would never forget my BABIES! i am a stay at home mom, i take care of EVERYTHING in my house except make the money and i also have RA and i hurt constantly but i still carry my kids, i remember them in the back seat when i have to run errands even for my husband when he throws new things my way and i NEVER forget my child, i understand there are other people who have much busier schedules than me but as a mother and having that relationship with your children since the first trimester of pregnancy til they take their first breath and even then it just gets stronger and stronger then they take their first steps and start talking and then the relationship and love/bond for that child is limitless!!!! its unbreakable! so stating all of that how the hell can you forget someone so important in your life in a car???? how the hell is this in anyway a good enough excuse to let this pass, i am so disgusted in parents who are supporting those who have made this horrific “mistake” and took for granted that of a child who they brought into this world and that child had no choice but to trust you and depend on you out of force cause they are to young to do it themselves. i cannot believe that this article is even being supported by most cause this is just too ridiculous and absurd that it really shames humanity that this is even being supported or categorized as a “symptom or diagnosis” its call negligence and moron.. dont parent if you cant remember a simple child in a back seat but can remember a shopping list.
Do you feel better? I mean typing out all that emotional reaction must have validated your existence for a moment, right? I am still shocked often by the amount of people who refuse to educate themselves and instead allow their emotions to rule them. That is exactly what you did with this comment.
If the case is not an accident that is likely to come out before it’s over. You don’t punish all people because a few take advantage of something. That is absurd. Where in this article did they condone parents leaving their children to die because they were fed up with being a parent? They did no such thing. Please calm yourself.
You would never forget your babies. That’s fantastic. I bet you make all kinds of shitty mistakes as a parents though. All parents do, no matter how much they love their children, so I am not going to sit here and believe you’re somehow superior or perfect. You do not know how many of the mothers who forgot their children also felt like you do and felt it could not ever happen to them. Then it did. Read the stories.
For you to suggest that only your love for your children is limitless and that it simply can’t be the same for a mother whose brain is wired by habit to forget their child is ignorance plain and simple. They have to grieve their babies every day and know they are the cause of it. I am sure they wear enough guilt and shame to drown us all in. Why must you add to it to feel better about yourself?
I guess we should have other syndromes now…like “Sexual Attraction to Children Syndrome”, “The Baby Needed Shaking Syndrome”, and others like these. People who leave their children in cars to die, need to spend the rest of their lives in prison for murder. There are excuses.
There is a difference between excuses and reasons. No one is making excuses. If you want awful things to stop and are trying to prevent them the first way to do that is understand why and how they happen. For you to make a comment such as the one you made is lazy. It’s lazy and easy to judge and shame other people and create this ridiculous slippery slope argument. It takes work to actually read, learn and understand something.
I dont care how many researchers “researched” this. Meaning all they did was question a bunch of parents who forgot their kid in the car while they sat there and lied their asses off about how busy their day was to remember the most important thing in their life. Oh wait, SUPPOSED to be in their life. Are they too busy to remember they have to go to work that morning? Too busy to remember to wash their ass before they start their day? Too busy to remember to eat, freaking post their stupid statuses on Facebook about how busy they are? Hell no! You choose what your priorities are and of course like they say it’s a routine on a daily basis we all do the same shit everyday, so I’m not buying this “syndrome” some people may have. I have 3 kids myself. Not complaining about how noisy my life is but I prefer it that way. Lets me know every time I hear those 3 little voices, things are the way they are supposed to be, they are in my circle as they are told. If they are napping in the car and the car is quiet, like any parent should I’m looking in the mirror making sure their head is propped up ok, they are not sweating or making sure they are still buckled. If you are a parent and you don’t do this religiously, you have got to get it together! I feel so bad for these kids taken too soon and I sure as hell don’t feel bad for these so called parents.
I understand how you feel and am so glad you are so careful with your little ones! Checking and rechecking keeps them safe.
That’s the problem right there. You do not care about the facts. All you care about is allowing your emotional, ignorant opinion to be heard. I would like to know where you got the fact they are lying their asses off please? I care about facts.
Going to work, showering, all the things we do at the same time every day are created and stored in our brains. So no, they likely didn’t forget to do those things. However, if the other parent is the one who normally takes the child to school or daycare and they are supposed to do it that day the brain has NOT stored that information.
I bet the reason they go to work, have to drop their kid off at daycare, etc. is because their kids are a priority. They have to pay bills, buy what the kid needs, etc. You don’t have to believe something for it to be true and likewise you can believe shit that is so far from the truth it is beyond a white lie.
Guess what? Not all kids are noisy. I have one of four that is particularly quiet. You know who really needs to get it together? People like you. Yes, people like you, who prefer to judge and shame others to gain a temporary validation for yourself, instead of searching inside yourself where it’s actually found.
Sit down and write a list, an honest list, of every f—ing thing you’ve ever done wrong as a parent. You are not superior to other parents just because it makes you feel good to think you are. That is what I meant about believing sh– that just isn’t true. Confident people have no problem believing research and facts because they want to prevent and stop tragedies from happening.
They aren’t sitting on this site or anywhere else judging parents who already own enough guilt and shame to drown them simply because they need to feel better about who they are as a mother.
Having a medical term for it describing what happens to the brain doesn’t mean anything. Fact is – if people are forgetting their kids in the car, for whatever reason, there’s a problem in general with society – maybe that is a problem with working too much or being distracted too much by constantly being stimulated through internet, social media, whatever….. You can create a medical term for why I forget where I put my keys…. and that’s fine too…. but reality is, I forget them because I am too distracted by everything else going on in life. People need to put certain priorities before others, and things may change.
Distraction is an epidemic, for sure. We expect so much of our young families – work, household duties, care of aging parents, care of children, managing finances when daycare costs more than many salaries. There is no question parents are tired and distracted. Slowing down and putting safety measures in place (look before you lock, for example) can help avoid tragedies.
WHAT A CROCK. People leave children in their cars because it’s easier. Because they will only be a minute. Nothing bad can happen. No one forgets the love of their life.
How can you honestly believe what you just stated?
I also have a story and until recently I couldn’t even think about even whispering it considering the amount of people judging this topic instead of educating themselves on why it truly happens. My story is much longer than those I am reading hear so instead of posting it on different sites to share with others I have created a FB page in the hopes to spread awareness, prevention and support. I can tell you that I wish there were more people willing to talk about their stories two years ago when I first experienced “Forgotten Baby Syndrome” because I needed to know I wasn’t the only one who had forgotten with out my child suffering injury or death. I fully understand “FBS” and fully support it. I believe there needs to come a time where everyone must have a prevention method in place because this can not continue to happen. It is unthinkable that this can/does happen but that doesn’t change the facts. Dr. Diamond can help you with his research to understand and so can the stories of “FBS” where there was no injury or death. I believe this happens more than society wants to accept and admit and it’s time that we allow people suffering from this the chance to come forward so we truly recognize that it is a serious problem.
To those who mock the name ” Forgotten Baby Syndrome” I would like to mention that everyone in society suffers “Forgotten ( ) Syndrome” daily. you can insert any inanimate object in the brackets because we have all forgotten something and not just once. It is sad that “Baby” has to be inserted there but that is due to the fact that there are serious consequences when it happens. It is true that it should be different because it is a living person that you are solely responsible for but people you need to understand that the brain is not magical and it just doesn’t function differently because it is a child. How we all wish it did because than these children would have their lives, these children would have never suffered a tragic death and these parents would still have their children in their lives. My story is at this link and I’m sorry if I am not allowed to post it here and I will take it down if required. Thank you!
Thank you for sharing your story and for bringing awareness to this issue.
Thank you for visiting my page!
???? I am blessed I did not lose my child to death but it is something that has haunted me for over a decade and I’ve made some mistakes a billion times all the medications they give me although it doesn’t help I still continue to have these issues
I want to tell my story. I see many of you calling BS on this article and stating some very strong opinions. I was just like you. How could anyone who truly loved their child forget about them?? I was raised by two loving parents with a big brother and I married a wonderful man and we have 3 kids together. I am smart and strong willed. I am a manager by trade and have managed over 300 employees. I don’t forget things and I certainly don’t forget about my kids whom I love more than anything in this world and whom I would die for in a second. But I did. I forgot.
Our 3rd child wasn’t planned, but oh what joy he brought to our lives. His big blue eyes, his charm already showing at an early age. I held him all the time, I abandon any sort of schedule and would rock him hours upon hours. After all he was our last baby, so why not? I think it was the mixture of abandoning my schedule and being severely sleep deprived. One day I had a hair appointment, I was long past due. I planned to drop all 3 off with a family member. But she had 3 of her own so at the last minute I decided to take the baby with me. Besides, he’s in an infant carrier, I can handle him in a salon for 90 minutes, right? The family member asked me if I was sure I wanted to take him and I nodded my head and picked up the carrier with him in it and left her house. Besides, I really didn’t like being apart from him. I got to the salon, sat in the chair, hair dresser put the cape on me and we made small talk while she prepared my color. She asked me how the baby was doing. Baby……..BABY!! OMG MY BABY!!! My precious baby whom I would never in a million years forget?? RIGHT?? HOW IN THE HELL DID I FORGET??? It had only been 5 minutes, I was parked in the shade and it was a cool September month.. he was fine. I was not fine. I sobbed all day. How could I forget?? How could the best mother in the world forget??? I love him more than my own life, I wouldn’t be able to breath anymore if I lost him. I would do anything for him. But I forgot. Mrs. Super Manager, Mrs. never do anything wrong. Mrs. judge others…Mrs. forgot.
I soon realized that I had a lot of forgiveness to ask. I looked down my nose at so many. I said the words so many of you have said. I was humbled to my core. I am so thankful my little guy is now a thriving 5 year old and my heart hurts so bad for those who were like me but didn’t get the chance at a do over. So please realize that it does happen to good parents and it has to be so incredibly painful. I cried just writing this, thinking of how close I was to becoming “one of those” parents.
Thank you for your bravery and open heart in sharing your story. It is so important that parents hear these stories, especially the ones that fortunately turn out well, so they understand how this could happen. I am so thankful that your son is fine and hope that your heart heals over time.
I think it is brave if you to tell your story. I know personally how it can affect you even without a tragic ending. Because of my experience I will do everything possible to spread awareness and to educate ot
Others because I know this happens more often than not. Please visit my FB page at http://www.facebook.com/Leavenoonebehindyou
This is one of my biggest fears! My husband usually doesn’t have the kids with him but when he does, I am calling him constantly to check in so he doesn’t “forget” they are in the car. It would only take once to get side tracked with something and it could happen so quickly. My heart goes out to people who have lost their children under these circumstance!
I admire you for recognizing that “FBS” can happen to anyone. With the fear of it happening to you it assures that you take prevention seriously and that will save your child. Thank you.
Please visit my FB page at http://www.facebook.com/leavenoonebehindyou
This happened to me with my third child.
I adore my children and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. From the day I became pregnant with my first child I studied parenting books and attended birth classes; I wanted to do everything I possibly could to ensure my children had the best possible upbringing I could give them. I chose to give birth naturally without pain relief and breastfed all 3 children to ensure they had the best start possible. I never gave canned food because they contained preservatives. I devoted my life to them and my husband. From private schooling to swimming lessons for infants. I was like any normal parent that treasured my babies. ……
My husband was a software developer and worked from home. Alyse was 5, Campbell 2 and Sam 8mths. It was school holidays and my cousin was over from England and offered to take the older 2 kids out for the day, I thought it would be a good opportunity for the children to do something exciting where there wasn’t any restrictions that come with baby siblings and I trusted my cousin wholeheartedly. When they got picked up I spoke to my husband and we agreed it would be easier on him if I went food shopping whilst they were out because as a rule he would take an hour off from work to watch the kids while I raced to the supermarket to get groceries which would make the whole experience less stressful and would cut the time in half not needing to worry about dressing kids appropriately and car seats and everything else that goes with children and grocery shopping. It became a time I valued for me. I was about to leave when he suggested I take Sam with me for once and that’s what we did. While I gathered my bag and ensured I have cards etc he went out and buckled Sam into his car seat. The car seat was still facing towards the back window which met safety standards for his age. I rushed out the door and he opened gates and away I went. It only takes 5 minutes to get there and when I did I got out of car, shut the door and locked car with the alarm beeper on keyring and walked into the supermarket. I used to take my time shopping because this was the only time away from the kiddies. It was extremely busy that day because it was new years eve and people were probably shopping due to gatherings that take place on such occasions. ( it’s summer in nz at that time of year ). There was an announcement over the intercom asking the owner of a Grey Honda civic to return to their car immediately.. ( I had a Grey Nissan primera) so I proceeded with my shopping. We too had a new years barbecue to attend that evening and I was in charge of salads. I had a recipe to follow and had to be thorough with getting everything needed as well as the weekly shop. The announcement was repeated over and over and I did consider that it may be my car they were referring to and wondered if someone had backed into it but I didn’t want to risk leaving all the shopping being returned to shelves and I had insurance to cover any damage and I reasoned with myself given the difference in the make and model of the car they were referring to. By the time I got to the check out there was a crowd of people surrounding a security guard holding a baby boy. I was absolutely horrified at the sight of him and asked someone next to me what had happened to the baby. I wondered if he had been run over and whether the car announced was part of that. When she said what had happened I was discussed with whoevers family that left him to die like that. Then it hit me. I’m crying as I’m writing this. He was my son, my everything and it was me who did this to him. My legs buckled from under me and I screamed/howled with my whole body but I don’t think there was sound but I can’t be sure. I fell to the ground in shock and all of a sudden instinct took over and I somehow made it through the crowd and tried to Grab my boy so that I could at least breastfeed him to give him fluids. At first people held me back and I begged them to let me go, I pulled my boob out of my bra and the security then handed him to me. I sat on the ground right there and proceeded to try feeding him and the ambulance then arrived to take over. The abuse from everyone was beyond devastating but I deserved it ish. Someone yelled ” you’re sick, how could you do that to your child? Why didn’t you leave a window down at least?” I don’t need to explain why I didn’t do I? It’s obvious.. Sam fully recovered thanks to the person who broke the window and retrieved my son and I will forever be greatful to him. I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress syndrome from that day and it affected my parenting where I became overly obsessed and couldn’t sleep or function.
Sorry I have to stop at that. Feel free to abuse and judge. And keep assuming it wouldn’t happen to you, ignorance is bliss. Or so I thought.
Everyone here at Bundoo was so touched that you shared your story. We all held our breath as we read it and are so thankful that your little Sam is alright. Thank you for being brave enough to write what happened down. We wish you and your family nothing but the best.
Dear Tania, can I please invite you to my FB page to tell your story? I am looking for all the support I can get. I 100% support “FBS” and I am going to make sure that every Dr everywhere and every health centre informs and educates all parents/caregivers. Thank you! http://www.facebook.com/Leavenoonebehindyou
My heart goes out to you and I am so so glad that you were spared such tragedy as has befallen other good parents. God bless you and heal your PTSD. Thank God for the person who stepped up and acted when they saw danger – some do nothing.Your story highlights just how easily this tragedy can happen. Thank you so much for sharing. It is horrifying to read the comments on this site and how judgemental people are being about what clearly are tragedies. Why do people need to judge devastated parents like this? What is that about? In America they then charge the parent with murder. What sort of lunacy persecutes someone who made an horrific mistake in this way? Only in America, as we say. Hopefully you were spared such madness. Again, God bless and keep you and the person who stepped up. You sound like a beautiful mum; please forgive yourself and heal.
Your story has me in tears we are both so lucky!!!
I had two babies back to back and found out my husband also had a 15 year old girl pregnant. Everyday I was struggling but I love all of my children more than life!!! Rushing to get somewhere dropping off the other kids leaving the new baby in the car with me I ran into CVS, it didn’t cross my mind I had a baby I had a baby with me to look in the back anything all I knew was I had to go into CVS I came out five minutes later and just broke down crying I can’t believe I did that, 12. Yrs later and I’m still crying over it. Everything this article explained is 100% as I’m learning it in Psychology class currently…. there are times I’m driving and I arrive somewhere and I don’t even remember driving there? Life is so stressful and people need to really stop judging unless they are in that situation…. SO MUCH IGNORANCE
Sorry, Tania. No cigar. You had the responsibility of parenthood and you dropped the ball. I have no doubt you felt guilty about it when it happened. But I also have no doubt that you’re trying to rationalize your negligence away.
Alec- I’m not trying to rationalize my negligence by sharing my experience at all! I relived my worst nightmare, so that this article wasn’t just based on awareness alone. It was so that you could experience ( imagine ) this tragedy yourself, so that you could get the most out of this information, recognise there is a consistent trend in every forgotten baby story, and perhaps if you read the article properly, you’d be able to match my experience with fact and the impact that all of this information would have on all of you would somehow prevent FBS even just once. Alec – I am responsible for my brain switching into autodrive. I am responsible for leaving my house that day as i did every time i went shopping and I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR forgetting i said yes to taking my son with me for a change. I am responsible for letting my husband put Sam in my car without me present enabling autodrive even more. I am responsible for ensuring Sams carseat was installed correctly meeting safety standards for his age; rear facing towards back window, i didnt see him there, this too played a part in the horrific events which took place. I am responsible for driving to supermarket and not considering or second guessing where my son was, i cant understand to this day how “out of sight” nearly led to the death of my baby; so i will NOT try and justify that to anyone else. I know that all of my responsibilities as a parent failed my son on that new years eve. And the whole situation could have been avoided. If only i realised that all the love in the world couldnt have prevented what happened. Its human to err esp when repetitive routine which our brain knows so well is at play. We cant control when that happens because we don’t know. –
???? I don’t see how you can forget?
Then read the article.
Let’s forget about terminology for a second and just use a little common sense. Can anyone cite even one instance where a pet owner was caught red-handed leaving a pet in a hot car – had the pet die – and was not cited and punished for animal abuse? Would a court of law let the pet owner go without punishment if he claimed he was a “victim” of FPS (forgotten pet syndrome)? If everyone agrees that the pet owner is a monster who should be severely punished, why are we so willing to feel any sympathy if a human baby died? The real “disease” process at work here is FRS (forgotten responsibility syndrome). And if a person forgets their responsibility and another life suffers or dies because of it (human or non-human), the law requires punishment for the crime (and I do mean “crime”). With animals, it’s “animal abuse.” When a human baby lives after such an incident, it’s “reckless endangerment.” And if a human baby dies, it’s “negligent homicide.” FBS should be no more of a mitigating factor in the case of a dead baby as FPS would be in the case of a dead pet … unless you feel that pets should have more rights than babies.
People usually leave pets in cars on purpose. FBS is by definition unintentional.
There is a reason why the American Psychiatric Association doesn’t recognize FBS as a valid disorder. And the reason is because it’s *not* a valid disorder. It’s a “made-up” disorder courtesy of one psychologist (David Diamond) and his followers. Diamond has become the “go-to” guy in FBS court cases.
Parenthood is not a trivial pursuit. It’s a responsibility. It’s a situation where the life of someone else (a child) is put into the hands of parents. Parents are not allowed to “take a break” in that responsibility.
The problem with FBS is that every negligent parent who wants to stay out of jail will “default” to that fake diagnosis as an excuse for their negligence. And if courts start buying the diagnosis as valid, these negligent parents will get away with homicide scot free.
There is nothing “common ” about common sense. Everything a person applies common sense to is something they have been taught and can relate those teachings to other circumstances in their life. I have thought many times about the pet owner that has “Forgotten ” about their pet in a car. I wonder if it has happened, I wonder what they do with their animal if they have forgotten long enough for it to die. The thing is we will never know about these owners because the sad truth is they can hide what happened. It is the pet owner that has chosen to leave their animal in the car the society notices and determines instantly that they are negligent. You need to understand that when there is no intent it is not considered a crime. If that is what you think that would mean that all parents that have had their child fall down the stairs or fall into a swimming pool would all be charged with homicide if their child had died. It is not that black and white.
Does a drunken driver “intend” to kill other motorists or does it just happen? And when it happens, do we forgive the drunk or jail him? As the old saying goes, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”
The fact that hot cars kill is undisputed. And the fact that parenthood is a responsibility is also undisputed. The first fact is overwhelmingly “common” knowledge. So, what’s the issue with charging a parent with negligent homicide in a hot car death?
This is exactly why we have created #Starfish! Starfish is a weight-activated seat sensor that notifies your smartphone when you’ve left a certain area – say your car –without your child. More: http://kck.st/1siu3Q3
Starfish looks like a great product, and a solution for the truly accidental tragedies is much needed.
Does this really happen outside of situations where a child is in day care? I read the very good Washington Post article and every single example he gave, every one, involved day care. I can’t imagine it coming up in any other situation. Are you aware of a case where a child was accidentally left long enough to suffer harm in a situation that did not involve day care?
It does happen outside of daycare routine. My routine included not taking my baby with me to the school to drop off and pick up my elementary child but the one day I had to take her with me it happened. It was only a 5 minute drive and can’t understand how I forgot she was with me. I replay the whole thing over and over trying to figure out where on the drive was my last memory of having her with me. It can happen to anyone and you will never know if you and your child are the next victims until it happens. Use a prevention tool and it won’t happen.
Your license needs to be taken away. How on earth could anyone make an excuse for parents who forget that they have kids in the car. A defense attorney must have paid you a mint to come up with this “defense”. Shame on you!
It’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation. And Bundoo didn’t come up with it.
I have to say, and call me ignorant, but putting a label on stupid parents who kill their kids is rediculous. I know Bundoo didn’t generate the term FBS but please don’t defend them. I think (yes opinion) that our society is too blind to the fact that we are experiencing information overload. We get busier and busier as technology increases. Mostly busier with things that don’t matter; ahem, Facebook, Twitter… It is also that we are constantly attempting to multitask all the time, and it’s impossible! If you do the homework and see the facts, human brains cannot actually multitask. We can do a little of one thing, then a little of another, but when you start the “other” some if not all of your brain gives up the first thing. We can switch our attention in microseconds, cannot physically do two things at once. (Rotate your leg clockwise and try to draw a number six with your hand)
Point being, all of this extra stuff we try to cram into our days doesn’t leave enough reserve to keep focus on everything. Oh, and some people shouldn’t procreate…
This is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard in my entire life. I don’t care if you’re tired, qorried, distracted, stressed, in pain, depressed, hungry, or a monkey’s uncle, THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR LEAVING YOUR CHILD IN A CAR FOR HOUS AND LETTING THEM DIE.There are onky TWO reasons for leaving your child in a acr: 1, you WANT something bad to happen and you want to be able to get away with it…. this crack-pot theory is giving the paople who fit into this category just that– an excuse!! 2, Youare a selfiah idiot who leaves the child in the car because its easier to tan/shop/visit/etc. without them with you. Here’s an idea, GET A SITTER! Either way, this is an INTENTIONAL ACTION. It should be treated as such, and the people responsible should be sentenced to a death just as horrible as the little one had to endure. They count on us to protect them because they are not able to do so for themselves… if tou arent able to take it on, don’t have kids. This whole “I am so stressed, I didn’t mean to, wah wah, poor me” bullshit is getting old. I am a single mother of two boys who are 3 months and 19 months. I work a regular 40 hr week at a minimum wage job, I work 40 clinical hours a week that I do NOT get paid for at the local hospital, I am enrolled in 18 credit hours in college, and between working, studying, late night feedings and changes, classes, assignments, training, and housework… I dont habe much room for sleeping. AND I HAVE NEVER FORGOTTEN ABOUT MY KIDS. Everyrhing I do, I do for them. I dont want to hear someone was so fired they just forgot their kid. BULLSHIT.
I can’t agree with you more! I thought I was the only person who thought that the term FBS was a complete load of crap! You hit the nail on the head! 🙂
It just sickens me to crash, knowing that now parents can get away with murdering their children, and in such a horrible way… I feel like there will be more Casey Anthony cases, but the parents will get out of it by claiming they had FBS… horse crap!
I meant death, not crash, by the way*****
You’re studying at college and yet you seem to struggle with absorbing what this article is explaining. Not once did it claim these people were stressed, over worked or tired. If I were to judge you like you’ve just done I’d probably say you were thick as pig****. Read the article again, I’m surprised you haven’t experienced this yourself, you seem to forget how to spell the most simplest of words like “the”… maybe the plank protruding from your eye led you to misunderstand what you were reading …
How can you do anything for your kids when you’re working/volunteering 80 hours a week plus studying 18 hours a week? Do you have a sitter that you trust not to do this instead?
It is truly unthinkable that this happens. You are right when you say “THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR LEAVING YOUR CHILD IN A CAR FOR HOUS AND LETTING THEM DIE” You have those parents/caregivers confused with the “Forgotten Baby Syndrome” parents/caregivers. The difference is and let me assure you it is a HUGE difference, one of these parents/caregivers CHOOSE to leave their child in their car. With that decision there is intent and they know that they are putting their child at risk. The parents that suffer from “Forgotten Baby Syndrome” truly had no intentions of leaving their child in the car whether for just a moment or for hours. There is valid research that confirms a reason as to how and why this happens. You may not want to believe it let alone try to understand it and it is people like you that make those who have suffered through it not come forward so there can be a change. Educate yourself and stop judging based on ignorance.
Your an ass and you know nothing, clearly
I’m having a hard time with this too. There are lots of times that I look in the backseat because I’m so used to having him there when he isn’t there but I just can’t imagine not remembering he is back there when he is…it’s just unsettling. I can’t help but cry every time they show that little boy on the news lately whose father left him in the car all day. It’s just so unbelievably horrible.
I agree, this is completely unthinkable to most people. That is the exact problem! However, if you read the stories of these three dozen or so families that this happens to each year, you’ll see that they also NEVER thought they’d leave a child in a car. It’s important to note that this almost always happens when there is a break in routine…a different caregiver doing the drop off or taking a different route than usual. Fatigue and distraction are also at play. Finally, each year several children die because they were “playing” in the car and became trapped. When you think of how many car rides children take each day, each year, the percentage that result in death due to hyperthermia are very very small. Just bringing this topic to awareness is all most families need to prevent their own tragedy.
I never knew that there was an actual medical term for this. It does seem odd and I think it is a bit ridiculous. There should be no excuses for carelessness, especially when a child is involved.
The problem is people keep saying there is “no excuse” but the reality is it’s not an excuse at all. There is research that verifies how and why this happens. Society needs to understand the difference between excuses and reasons and know where each term is valid.
NO! People need to learn that ‘forgetting’ is not an excuse! Not when you hold your child’s life in your hands! These doctors need to have their heads examined! I may forget to take a tray of cookies out of the oven but, not a child out of the car!
Well read it again it makes perfect sense
I’m sorry but I call BS on this! I don’t care how tired I am I would NEVER EVER forget a child in a vehicle!
Almost *every* parent who has done it used to think that. Everybody thinks they’re different. They’re usually wrong.
Not BS at all. Nothing to do with being tired either