Baby's Tragic Death Serves as Warning for Parents Who Turn Up the Car Heat in Winter

Heartbreaking 85

car heatJust one tragic "baby left in car dies" story is one too many. But after years of hearing about children abandoned on freezing cold or boiling hot days by careless parents, there's a new and equally tragic twist out of Oklahoma today. It wasn't too hot outside, and Cody Butler's daughter doesn't seem to have been abandoned in the cold. In fact, his baby girl died in a heated car while dad was allegedly standing right outside!

It's all so strange that cops themselves say they're confused. But that hasn't stopped them from carting Butler off to jail on charges of child neglect and second-degree manslaughter.

I don't know about you, but the charges are terrifying. If the details we know so far are true, it sounds like Butler did what any normal parent would do.

In fact, it sounds like common sense to me. This dad had apparently taken his daughter to the park. When she got cold and tired, he put her in her car seat, turned on the heat for her, then stood outside chatting.

You don't want to keep a small child -- Butler's daughter was just 18 months old -- out in the freezing cold. How many times have you been somewhere with your child, bundled them up in their car seat, and turned the car on to keep them warm while you stood right outside? I live in upstate New York where it's cold more months of the year than not. Although I won't leave a small child in a running vehicle unless I am "right there," I have stood beside the car while it was on so that I froze while my child stayed warm

But cops in Butler's case say the girl was too warm in the car. They say that after an hour of her sitting in the car, Dad looked in, saw her cheeks were purple, and started CPR. Paramedics took her to the hospital where doctors found an extremely high core temperature before the little girl died.

It all sounds like a horrific tragedy. And a major warning for parents. Just because you're not leaving your kids in a freezing cold car doesn't mean they are safe! I know I'm going to be more careful, how about you?

Do you ever start the car up to keep the kids warm while you stand outside?


Image via tuppus/Flickr

baby health, safety, car seat safety


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IKnow... IKnow0101

I'm confused.  How long was she in the car to get that hot?  Unless the heater was on full blast and in there for at least an hour.  But I feel sorry for the baby and the family loss.

nonmember avatar PrincessPeach

Something is just not adding up there. I go out and start my car about 30 minutes before I leave and crank the heat as high as it can go (no kids in the car of course- just trying to get snow off windshields) and there is no way it could kill anyone. I have a feeling that this is a case of carbon monoxide poisoning...carbon monoxide is heavy in car exhaust- especially in cold weather- and there was probably something clogging the exhaust pipe. I know of a family this happened to when I was a kid.

dirti... dirtiekittie

the original story does say she was in there "about an hour" but they're reviewing security tapes. this is just incredibly tragic and my heart goes out to the family. :(

and no, i live in southern cali, so no real need to 'warm up the car' down this way.

nonmember avatar kaerae

BS "chatting?" for an HOUR?? She could have dies from carbon monoxide poisoning in that time. his guy's story doesn't add up.

bills... billsfan1104

There has to be more. I agree with Princess. It might be Carbon Dioxide poisoning.

jmama... jmama0307

Umm this doesn't make sense. It was cold so he put her in the car with heat then he was chatting for an hr. ho the hell chats for an hr outside while the kid is in the car. I'm sorry once my son and I are cold we leave and go home. I don't stand and chat. I never done that. Well I don't drive but my bf does and he never done that. I think there is more to this story. 

nonmember avatar kb

Leaving your child in the car for an hour, just idling is ridiculous. I understand sitting them in the car for a few minutes to warm up just a bit. But seiously and entire hour? That is to long for them to just be sitting there in full blast heat. Wonder if all the doors were closed and the windows we up to?? When you are in the car driving with your child you may have the heat on, but you mess with it. The driver may get hot after so long and turn it down, they may decide they are cold again and turn it up. Maybe crack a window if it gets to hot. Leaving your child in the car with the heat blowing constantly for an hour is just irresponsible. Use your common sense people.

The same goes for leaving them in the car with air conditioning blowing contiously for an hour.

nonmember avatar cxd

This just sounds like a case of child neglect to me. Who leaves their child in a car for an hour first of all and secondly who leaves their child in a car for an hour while chatting right outside it and doesnt bother to stick their head in to make sure the kid is alright? Its like leaving a kid inside your home unsupervised for an hour while your chatting with the neighbors...who does that! On top of it all he leaves his child in a car with a heater running in a car without adjusting/ lowering the temperature every now and then. Being in a hot/ warm room especially in a small space like a car becomes suffocating after a while because the becomes more and more dense.

kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

Wow.... cant say ive ever felt the need to stand outside in the cold and chat. Common sense tells me to get in turn the heat on and leave.

Hyman Hyman

I agree. This doesn't make sense. I mean ... I also warm up my car 1 and keep pressing start until I'm ready to go out to get in. I don't leave my son in the car while I do it.

Poor baby. At 18 months old this seems unimaginable. :(:(

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