Also last month, in Austin, Texas, 2-year-old Chloe Abbott died after she was left in an SUV outside a La Petite day care center. Two-year-old Alan Brown, Jr., died in May after he was left in a van outside the Little Dudes and Daisies Daycare and Learning Center in a Dallas suburb. "He loved Hot Wheels," his aunt said at his funeral.
Parent activists are demanding more laws, regulation and government oversight to prevent similar deaths. "Kids in Cars," a non-profit group, has launched a legislative and educational campaign with bumper stickers that warn: "A car is not a babysitter."
Some of these measures may help. But there is a need to look deeper. I believe Dakota, Nehemiah, David, Amber, Brandon, Darnecia, Dominique, Zaniyah, Chloe and Alan are not merely victims of isolated day-care accidents. They are also symptoms of a culture where parents treat children as disposable as their diapers. Some of these kids probably spent more of their brief lives in their deadly car seats than they did in their own parents' laps.
It is absolutely unfathomable to me that anyone could leave a child forgotten in a car, like an old umbrella or a fast-food wrapper. But then again, we live in an age where teens dump their newborns in toilets and junkies sell their offspring for drugs and "liberated" women pick up and drop off their kids at day care as nonchalantly as their dry cleaning.
Why must it take the unforgettable suffering of innocents, stifling to death in sun-baked cars, to remind mothers and fathers of the sanctity of life?