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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, nearly 40 families experience FBS when their child dies after being left in the heat of a parked car. In fact, there were 25 deaths in 2015, and so far in 2016, there have been more than a dozen children dying due to heatstroke in cars. This is an almost 300 percent increase compared to this same time last year. 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 has 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.

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

Takeaways

  • 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.

References

  1. University of South Florida. Dr. David Diamond.
  2. Kids and Cars.

Comments

  1. 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

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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?

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    1. Read the article again chrissy. Perhaps a few times before you comment, don’t risk embarrassing yourself any more than you already have

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      1. 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.

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      2. 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.”

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  4. The image accompanying this article shows a kid staring out the window of a heavy train coach.

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  5. 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.

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    1. 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.

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  6. 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.

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    1. 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.

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  7. 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.

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  8. 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.

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  9. 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.

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  10. 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 !

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  11. 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?

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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!!!!!!!

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  12. 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…

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    1. This happens year round, unfortunately. The organization No Heat Stroke has the monthly stats.http://noheatstroke.org/monthly_stats.htm

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  13. 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…!!????????

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    1. amen. my thoughts exactly! it’s manslaughter ! (child slaughter)

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  14. One question. How long does it take for these “loving, caring, busy, hypnotized” parents to realize they forgot their cell phone?

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  15. 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.

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    1. 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..

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    1. 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.

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    2. Yeah, parents sure don’t forget those cell phones, do they? Way to prioritize, mom and dad!

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    3. I’m not sure this is a recent issue but distraction is a huge factor for all of us these days.

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  16. 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.

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  17. 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

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    1. 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?

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      1. 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.

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        1. 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.

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    2. 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.

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  18. 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.

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  19. 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.

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    1. I agree.

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  20. Do you forget to eat? No, YOU do not forget a child in a car!

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    1. 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……

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      1. 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.

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    2. Agreed!!!!!!!! YOU DO NOT “FORGET” A CHILD CHILD IN A CAR…. EVER!!!!!!

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  21. 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!

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    1. Do you really believe what you just wrote?
      This is a reality in this happens whether you want to believe it or not

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      1. 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…

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      2. I REALLY BELIEVE WHAT SHE JUST WROTE!!!! IT IS BULL AND JUST ANOTHER WAY FOR “SOCIETY” TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    2. 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

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  22. 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

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    1. One cannot compare a cup of coffee with a baby or any young child! Get real! That doctor is also a quack!

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    2. 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.

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      1. 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
        http://noheatstroke.org/monthly_stats.htm
        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.

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  23. 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.

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  24. 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?

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  25. I think its BS I don’t believe there’s such a disease

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    1. 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.

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  26. 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.

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    1. 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?

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  27. 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.

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    1. 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.

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  28. 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.

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    1. I understand how you feel and am so glad you are so careful with your little ones! Checking and rechecking keeps them safe.

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    2. 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.

      Reply
  29. 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.

    Reply
  30. 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.

    Reply
    1. How can you honestly believe what you just stated?

      Reply
    1. Thank you for sharing your story and for bringing awareness to this issue.

      Reply
      1. Thank you for visiting my page!

        Reply
    2. ???? 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

      Reply
    1. 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.

      Reply
    2. 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

      Reply
      1. Others because I know this happens more often than not. Please visit my FB page at http://www.facebook.com/Leavenoonebehindyou
        Thank you

        Reply
        1. Thank you

          Reply
    1. 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

      Reply
    1. 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

      Reply
    2. 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.

      Reply
  31. ???? I don’t see how you can forget?

    Reply
    1. Then read the article.

      Reply
    1. People usually leave pets in cars on purpose. FBS is by definition unintentional.

      Reply
    2. 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.

      Reply
      1. 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?

        Reply
  32. 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

    Reply
    1. Starfish looks like a great product, and a solution for the truly accidental tragedies is much needed.

      Reply
  33. 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?

    Reply
    1. 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.

      Reply
  34. 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!

    Reply
    1. It’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation. And Bundoo didn’t come up with it.

      Reply
  35. 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…

    Reply
  36. 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.

    Reply
    1. 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!

      Reply
      1. I meant death, not crash, by the way*****

        Reply
    2. 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 …

      Reply
    3. 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?

      Reply
    4. 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.

      Reply
    5. Your an ass and you know nothing, clearly

      Reply
    1. 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.

      Reply
    1. 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.

      Reply
      1. 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!

        Reply
    2. Well read it again it makes perfect sense

      Reply
  37. 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!

    Reply
    1. Almost *every* parent who has done it used to think that. Everybody thinks they’re different. They’re usually wrong.

      Reply
      1. Agree

        Reply
    2. Not BS at all. Nothing to do with being tired either

      Reply

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