This is the story I should not be writing. This is the story that never should have even happened. This is the story that seems to happen more and more, and frankly is inexcusable. Three separate headlines:
2 Texas Toddlers Died After Being Left In Car Overnight, Sheriff Says
7-Month-Old Dead After Left In Hot Car Outside NW Houston Business
Texas Mother Held After Two Toddlers Die In Hot Car
All three stories are eerily similar, involving the senseless death of innocent, helpless young children, careless or cruel parents, and they all took place in Texas. This is the best argument I have seen yet for free and readily available birth control, and even abortion would be less cruel than the agonizing death these children suffered.
The first story took place on June 7th. The children’s mother, Amanda Hawkins, was inside a friend’s house at a party and left the children, Addyson Overgard-Eddy, 2, and Brynn Hawkins, 1, inside the car for 15 hours, from the evening of Tuesday, June 6, to about noon on Wednesday, June 7. During the night of partying, friends told Hawkins they could hear the girls crying, and told Hawkins to bring her daughters inside, but she refused. “No it’s fine. They’ll cry themselves to sleep,” she said. When she discovered the girls and realized they were dead, she attempted to bathe them before finally taking them to the hospital. At the hospital, she told doctors that she had been out walking with the girls and they had collapsed after “smelling flowers”. Eventually the true story came out. Amanda and her husband Isaac Hawkins were investigated by Child Protective Services last year, and investigators say it was not the first time she had left the children in her SUV.
The second story took place just last Friday, June 23rd. The baby’s father, whose name has not yet been released by police, was to take his three children to daycare and the babysitter on his way to work. He dropped off the two older children at their daycare facility, but forgot to take the baby to the sitter. He arrived at his workplace around 9:30 a.m., and it was approximately 10 hours later when his wife called to ask where the baby was. The baby, of course, was in the car … dead.
And the final story took place on May 26th when Cynthia Marie Randolph found her two small children playing in the car and decided to “teach them a lesson” by locking them both in the car. Then she proceeded to go into the house, smoke some marijuana, and take a 2-3 hour nap. When she returned to the car later that afternoon, the children, Juliet, age 2, and Cavanaugh, age 16-months, were both dead. She broke a window after finding the children, trying to make it look as if it had been an accident.
Cynthia Marie Randolph
In my research for these three, I also came across three other similar cases just this year, but the above are enough to make my point. A few facts …
- Each year, approximately 40 children die in the U.S. from heat stroke after being trapped in a car.
- Most children who have died from a heat stroke after being alone in a car are 3 years of age and under, but it has happened to even older kids.
- The temperature inside a car can increase by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. It doesn’t have to be hot outside to be really dangerous inside the car.
- A child’s body heats up to 3-5 times faster than an adult’s body and has not yet developed the same ability to cool down well.
More than a few times we have heard of parents ‘forgetting’ their child in the car when they go to work. The organization Kids and Cars advises parents to always look in the backseat of their vehicle before locking it. They should also put something in the backseat they’ll need such as their cell phone, employee ID or briefcase.
But the first and third story are the worst … these are ‘parents’ who never should have become parents, who have not enough common sense to be responsible for the life of a pet goldfish, let alone a child. These are cruel young women who put their own pleasure before the lives of their children. In years past, most incidences of children dying in hot cars stemmed from neglect and carelessness. That in itself is bad enough, but lately the stories of cruelty seem to be on the rise. This makes a statement, I think. It says that society is becoming, as we are already aware, more of a ‘me-centric’ society, one where one’s own desires take precedence over all else. Even the lives of innocent children, apparently.
It is my hope that at the very least, the two young women who intentionally left their children in a hot car while pursuing their own pleasure serve very long prison sentences. It is my hope that organizations like the AMA, CDC, and Kids and Cars keep this issue in the forefront of everyone’s attention. And it is my hope that people read about these atrocities and are so horrified that they become more conscientious, more aware, and that these tragedies never happen again.