How do you forget a child is in the back seat?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Three times this year in South Louisiana, we’ve heard horrific accounts of children dying after being left in a vehicle.

There was the incident when D’Myion McElveen, a child entrusted to the care of Wanda’s Kid World of Baton Rouge perished after a center employee left him in a hot van.

The next day, the state pulled the center’s license. Including the July 2 revocation, Wanda’s Kids World has had its license pulled three times by DSS — temporarily in both 2006 and 2008.

The facility’s license was pulled temporarily in 2006 and a second time temporarily in 2008. In 2008 there were four citations for not making sure all children were out of the van.

Back in June, a 5-month-old child died from a heat stroke after being left in a car in St. Martinville after his mother forgot he was in his car seat when she went to work. Not until she went to pick him up at 3 p.m. did she realize little Keiland Paul Rebert was still in his car seat.

Over the weekend, a 2-year-old died after being locked in a vehicle by her 6-year-old sibling. The mother, who says she was asleep, has been charged with negligent homicide.

How can you “forget” a child in a vehicle? As a day care worker, don’t you know how many children you’ve picked u? As a mother, don’t you remember you just placed your child in his car seat?

What takes precedence over a child’s safety and wellbeing? We have too many distractions these days — cell phones, mp3 devices, texting — taking our minds everywhere except where they should be, and that is focused on the care and wellbeing of our children.

Again, how can you “forget” a child is in the vehicle with you?