Just 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