giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
Major warning for child harm. But basically, when the problem was neglect in a case like this, I never know whether my instincts are "throw them in jail for fucking ever" or "they've been punished enough, and it's not like jailtime is actually going to deter people in the future - this is self-deterring for anyone who can be deterred."

Date: 2016-02-12 06:32 pm (UTC)
recessional: a photo image of feet in sparkly red shoes (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
Mine are "human brains are shit and actually can fuck up on you like this just about any time, so if it can be proved that this is genuinely that and not a pattern of wilful neglect, there is no point in prison, and actually what we need to be doing is MAKING SURE PEOPLE KNOW THAT YOUR BRAIN CAN DO THIS, making sure it's on your radar that you could in fact just brain-blank because the neurons in your highly fallible skull can misfire without warning, so that you take some extra care with that in mind."

Investigation is necessary, because there are also pieces of shit who just don't care and who are leaving their kids in hot cars on the basis of "I can't be bothered to take them inside with me it's too much work", but those are genuinely different from "recall literally failed and filled in erroneous information that child was still at home/etc."

Date: 2016-02-12 08:12 pm (UTC)
recessional: a photo image of feet in sparkly red shoes (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
Hopefully! But, like. Part of that is still realizing that this can happen to anyone, in that having these brain-blanks is a human feature. Most of us are lucky and just have them when we start driving to our home when we needed to drop someone off somewhere else, etc. (As noted below, the real danger zone is when you add something new to an old and familiar routine.) Or we at most have a LOL OMG /o\ type story where our parents accidentally left us at WalMart, or someone forgot to pick us up from dance, or we forgot someone, or whatever.

And then some people get really, really unlucky and the circumstances come together to make the mistake fatal.

But to fix it we need to know/acknowledge that it's a human error state. (And that it really IS different from "I couldn't be bothered to take my annoying kid into the supermarket with me", which is real neglect and should be treated as such.) Which there's a huge problem with, because people are "WELL I WOULD NEVER DO THAT WITH MY KID" - and no, you would never choose to.

But you don't get to PICK when your brain is going to fail you in these little ways. It's why high risk activities come with checklists, even after you've been doing them for aaaages. In fact, especially after you've been doing them for ages. Because you never know when a new element might pop up and throw your brain.

Date: 2016-02-12 08:46 pm (UTC)
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurajv
Right. Like, before I had kids, I saw enough of these stories to notice that it was almost always when someone had their routine thrown off. (As in this case.)

So what I did was make a routine that takes place IN THE CAR, and is not dependent on what else has been going on in the day: before I get out of the car, I turn and look into the back seat. That's it. I routinized that, same way I routinized things like turning on my headlights for daytime driving (I still try to turn them on in the car that does it automatically) and putting my seatbelt on, and routinized not closing a child's car door until the child is buckled. That last one we learned from a mistake that happily did not end in any injury -- one of us closed a door in a hurry, thinking the other parent had buckled the 4 month old baby in, and we only found out when we got to our destination. That COULD have ended very badly if we'd been in an accident! So we routinized not closing the door in response.

Date: 2016-02-13 06:36 pm (UTC)
marycontrary: (Default)
From: [personal profile] marycontrary
This! Habit will save you, and people need to know that. "Smart" and "careful" are frail reeds, but habit is stronger.

Date: 2016-02-14 08:24 am (UTC)
lauredhel: two cats sleeping nose to tail, making a perfect circle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lauredhel
This. Some people put their handbag, wallet or phone in the backseat whenever they put the child there, which is also a good idea.

Date: 2016-02-12 07:47 pm (UTC)
niqaeli: cat with arizona flag in the background (Default)
From: [personal profile] niqaeli
^---- That.

I know a lot of people go "How could I EVER forget my kid? How could any parent???" and the thing is -- in cases of "recall literally failed," you don't forget your kid! You are probably quite sure of their location, it's just your brain recalled erroneous information as to their location, possibly from last week, possibly from plans that changed last minute, whatever. Our brains mix up labels like that all the time. "Oh, didn't I tell you already? I'd have sworn I told you, I know I meant to," etc.

Care can be taken so that even if your brain DOES do that, you still don't leave a kid in the car (example: acquire the habit of checking the backseat every time you exit a car, regardless of whether the kid is with you at the time), but you do have to admit that it's possible your brain could do that to take that additional care.

Date: 2016-02-12 08:06 pm (UTC)
recessional: a photo image of feet in sparkly red shoes (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
It's the same human failure mode that is the reason for the "this one" tag on legs to be amputated, or whatever. And yeah everyone does it. Just some people get really, really unlucky and they do it with a kid in a situation where doing it has lethal costs.

The big danger zone is when you cross doing something unusual with a routine. Which is exactly what the guy in the linked case did. =\

Date: 2016-02-12 10:32 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
Yeah, that ong article quoted David Diamond: “Memory is a machine,” he says, “and it is not flawless. Our conscious mind prioritizes things by importance, but on a cellular level, our memory does not. If you’re capable of forgetting your cellphone, you are potentially capable of forgetting your child.” ....By experimentally exposing rats to the presence of cats, and then recording electrochemical changes in the rodents’ brains, Diamond has found that stress -- either sudden or chronic -- can weaken the brain’s higher-functioning centers, making them more susceptible to bullying from the basal ganglia. He’s seen the same sort of thing play out in cases he’s followed involving infant deaths in cars.

“The quality of prior parental care seems to be irrelevant,” he said. “The important factors that keep showing up involve a combination of stress, emotion, lack of sleep and change in routine, where the basal ganglia is trying to do what it’s supposed to do, and the conscious mind is too weakened to resist. What happens is that the memory circuits in a vulnerable hippocampus literally get overwritten, like with a computer program. Unless the memory circuit is rebooted -- such as if the child cries, or, you know, if the wife mentions the child in the back -- it can entirely disappear.”


I would bet real money sleep deprivation is a HUGE factor in these tragedies. That trashes your memory like little else does.

Date: 2016-02-13 11:32 pm (UTC)
recessional: a photo image of feet in sparkly red shoes (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
Also depression, either brief situational or chronic.

Anecdotally, when I'm badly off even if I decide I'm going somewhere else, if I get onto a familiar road (like my route home from last work) I WILL drive all the way to my building without noticing.

Date: 2016-02-12 09:01 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
actually what we need to be doing is MAKING SURE PEOPLE KNOW THAT YOUR BRAIN CAN DO THIS, making sure it's on your radar that you could in fact just brain-blank because the neurons in your highly fallible skull can misfire without warning, so that you take some extra care with that in mind."

IIRC in that WaPo story I linked there's some research that your brain kind of just marks a task as "done" when you go through doorways, which is why people go into one room, go into another and forget what they came there for. I don't know if it's something you can always prepare for exactly. Probably something like "make sure you always put your kid in the front seat," but then there's the airbag problem.

Investigation is necessary, because there are also pieces of shit who just don't care and who are leaving their kids in hot cars on the basis of "I can't be bothered to take them inside with me it's too much work", but those are genuinely different from "recall literally failed and filled in erroneous information that child was still at home/etc."

Yeah.

Date: 2016-02-13 11:30 pm (UTC)
recessional: a photo image of feet in sparkly red shoes (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
I meant more in the sense of starting doing things like the bag-in-the-back trick, under "taking more care": if you don't know it's a potential problem then you literally can't even do that.

Same if you think it's something only Bad Parents do.

Date: 2016-02-14 01:40 am (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
Yeah. The "it could never happen to me" or "I would never be able to do something like that" mindset really blinds people.

As far as I know (which is really not v much at all, hah) that kind of habit is what allows us to do things like drive cars in the first place, or walk a route without thinking much about it, and so on. It's not necessarily a bad thing. And by the same token not something that can be absolutely prepared for, other than stuff people have talked about like the bag in the back, or the stuffed animal in front, etc. But even if someone's got safeguards like that in place, it can still be hard, or take just one bad day.

Date: 2016-02-12 07:33 pm (UTC)
ratcreature: oh no! (oh no!)
From: [personal profile] ratcreature
These cases are so depressing. I really hope that eventually with "intelligent" cars, there are going to just be mandatory sensors or such, which notice if a human or animal has been locked in with high temperatures, and open the doors and beep or something like that. Surely if we can make cars self-driving, detecting occupants can't be that hard to have a car with that kind of safety feature. Maybe equip child seats to communicate with the locking or alarm system to upgrade older cars.

Date: 2016-02-12 08:48 pm (UTC)
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurajv
We already have, or had, a line of cars that could detect heartbeats. It was advertised as "ladies going to their car at night not realizing someone has broken in to rapemurder them" but honestly, it would have worked better as a "your keyfob starts beeping if you are more than 20 feet from your car and there's a heartbeat detected" OHFUCKTHEBABY detector.

Date: 2016-02-12 09:03 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
IIRC the automotive industry lobby REALLY doesn't want to do that, I think because then they would be assuming some kind of culpability and open to lawsuits, etc. etc. Basically it's the "If we pretend it can't happen, then nobody can think we thought we could possibly be responsible" line of defense, I think.

Date: 2016-02-12 09:40 pm (UTC)
ratcreature: RatCreature is thinking: hmm...? (hmm...?)
From: [personal profile] ratcreature
Well, I assume regulation could take care of that so that such a system failing wouldn't be riskier on them than other car parts malfunctioning, and playing a role in a death. And there must be ways to limit the responsibility of electronic instructions and controls, like afaik following the GPS navigation instructions doesn't absolve anyone from checking traffic signs whether you are really allowed to turn into a street, same with collision warning systems and all these safety controls they are adding now. So I imagine the electronic child alert won't absolve anyone from the responsibility to keep track of their kid, it would just make it easier.

Date: 2016-02-12 10:29 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
You would think so! But apparently the lobbyists don't think that way, and they rule DC.

Date: 2016-02-12 08:08 pm (UTC)
norwich36: (Default)
From: [personal profile] norwich36
I remember reading a long investigative essay on cases like this sometime last year, and in the vast majority of cases it was overstressed people doing something outside of their major routine that simply forgot--and it did suggest technological solutions (like your car having an alarm for kid in the back, or something of that sort) might prevent a lot of deaths. Until that happens, it suggested that if you were driving your kid somewhere and it wasn't a part of your regular routine, you deliberately do something like leave your bag/purse/briefcase in your backseat so you have to check it and don't forget your child is actually there.

Date: 2016-02-12 08:24 pm (UTC)
loligo: Scully with blue glasses (Default)
From: [personal profile] loligo
This type of death was almost unheard of before the advent of passenger side airbags, because EVERYONE put their infant car seats in the front seat where they could keep an eye on the baby. You cannot forget a baby who's sitting right there next to you.

But once the crash statistics came out showing that airbags and infant carriers are a potentially lethal combination, everyone was told that the baby seat had to go in the back, and this sort of accident started happening. It's not a neglect thing (although there always should be an investigation). This kind of thing can happen to virtually anyone under the wrong circumstances.

Just like in the article you linked to, a HUGE risk factor for this type of event is a change in daily routine. At some point during the morning commute, the person's brain just switches to autopilot and the mistaken info is filled in that the baby has already been dropped off at daycare, just like he or she is every day.

Two cheap, low-tech workarounds that we recommend to new parents where I work: (1) Put your purse, wallet, briefcase, whatever in the back seat *every single time* you use the car, whether the baby is with you or not. That way you always open the back door when you get to your destination, no matter what else is going on in your day. (2) Keep a large, gaudy stuffed animal in the car seat whenever your child isn't in it. Put the stuffed animal in the passenger seat when you strap the child in, in hopes that noticing the big pink unicorn sitting next to you when you get to work will trigger your memory. The downside of this strategy is that you have to remember to always put it back in the seat when you take your kid back out, or you'll just get used to having a big pink unicorn there.

Date: 2016-02-12 09:05 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
Yeah, that's what I remember too -- the baby always went in the front of the car.

The purse/briefcase trick would really work -- maybe the stuffed animal one too, although that would probably be more trouble and is kind of a less easy/elegant solution. Something simple that people can do without much thinking every day without a special piece of equipment appears to be golden, in terms of preventing that "I have finished my routine and now can walk off" problem.

Date: 2016-02-12 10:56 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
IIRC, it's a combination of "in the back seat" and "rear-facing": the car seat looks the same, on a casual glance, with or without a baby, so it's not sufficient to make looking at the car seat while getting out of the car part of the routine.

Date: 2016-02-13 12:17 am (UTC)
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurajv
We kept a mirror on the headrest so that the baby's face was visible. There are carsafe mirrors for just that purpose

Date: 2016-02-14 01:41 am (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
Oh, now that's brill. And movement in a mirror is not something the lizard-brain might easily ignore, either.

Date: 2016-02-12 08:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abigail_n.livejournal.com
There were 5-6 cases like this in Israel last summer, a couple of them within a few days of each other, which was horrifying to read about. I think the attitude here is that the police will investigate, but unless it's clearly a case of criminal neglect, they don't recommend prosecution. (The one exception, I think, was a case of a commercial driver carrying kids to a preschool, who forgot one of the passengers; there, I think criminal neglect is automatic because he's running a business.)

What they ended up doing instead is launching a huge public awareness campaign - I hear PSAs on the radio every day on my way to work, and not just in the summer either. It seems to have worked, too - I think there was maybe one case like this last summer.

Date: 2016-02-12 08:57 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
There was a long, long, heartbreaking story on cases like this a while back, which put me firmly in the "they've been punished enough and this is not something a parent deliberately did and they will be tortured for the rest of their lives by the fact that they did it" camp.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/fatal-distraction-forgetting-a-child-in-thebackseat-of-a-car-is-a-horrifying-mistake-is-it-a-crime/2014/06/16/8ae0fe3a-f580-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html

IMHO there's a giant gap between parents who have experienced something that devastating and entirely out of their control and those who haven't -- like the attorney in the story above whose daughter died of leukemia when she was three. He chose not to press charges against one parent.

Date: 2016-02-13 03:04 am (UTC)
saraht: "...legwork" (Default)
From: [personal profile] saraht
I'm actually astonished that they would charge a professional white man in this scenario. Ordinarily it's people who are marginal in some way who get charged, while for everyone else there is the realization that this is usually not a deliberate act, but rather caused by the cognitive errors others have mentioned above. I wonder if there is some circumstance we haven't heard about in this particular case.

Date: 2016-02-13 06:34 pm (UTC)
marycontrary: (Default)
From: [personal profile] marycontrary
I've heard that this sort of human failure is more likely to be prosecuted when it's a male parent than a female one, but the article saying so only presented anecdotes.

I believe that there is no amount of love, fear, regret, or horror that can prevent human minds from dropping the occasional stitch. No smarts, no commitment, nothing. I feel that the only successful way to change this is technology, but this does include the technologies of checklists and habits: I feel like these horrible stories should be emphasizing that you can fight this sort of horrible chance by building a routine into every time you step out of the car that you check down a short list including 'baby'. Every time, though, not just when you're keeping the baby today.

Date: 2016-02-14 01:45 am (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
I believe that there is no amount of love, fear, regret, or horror that can prevent human minds from dropping the occasional stitch. No smarts, no commitment, nothing. I feel that the only successful way to change this is technology, but this does include the technologies of checklists and habits: I feel like these horrible stories should be emphasizing that you can fight this sort of horrible chance by building a routine into every time you step out of the car that you check down a short list including 'baby'. Every time, though, not just when you're keeping the baby today.

That's a really good way of putting it. I think a lot of new parents can get so chewed up by sleep deprivation and new routines and scrambling to get back to work, etc., they just get overwhelmed. On top of the chance that someone not overwhelmed by all of that might just drop a stitch, as you say.

Date: 2016-02-16 04:56 pm (UTC)
eva_rosen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eva_rosen
This is true. When I was a child, my mother took me to buy milk for my new baby sister, and just walked out with me leaving my sister in the house with the front door open. And she just realized she'd done it when we got back, when she took off her keys (the store was just a block away, but still). Also, she had forgotten my grandmother had left that morning and was convinced she was napping with my sister. She hadn't been able to sleep in three days, which is why my grandmother had been to help the previous day.

March 2017

S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
121314151617 18
19202122232425
262728293031 

Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Mar. 25th, 2017 03:47 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios