Fern Thedford is the 11th, or possibly 12th child in the United States since June to have tragically died from being left in a hot car.
Her father was dropping off his children at daycare and school, but Fern, his 6-month-old, came down with a fever so he decided to keep her home for the day. When he got home he immediately went inside to take a nap, forgetting that he left Fern behind.
4 hours later, he woke up and realized what had happened. He rushed to the car only to find her lifeless, and as stiff as a brick in the scorching hot car. Instead of immediately calling police he panicked and decided to put her in the fridge with his groceries to cool her down and then perform CPR. When she didn’t get better he finally called for an ambulance and his wife. He is now being charged with manslaughter.
The family from Melissa, Texas were known as very loving. The father was a physics and math teacher and was very bright. And this seems to be a trend – many parents who leave kids in their cars are well-educated – psychologists, doctors, teachers, and so on. They just make the most horrible mistakes of their lives. Is it negligent? Yes, and especially since he put her in the fridge. Is it human nature? Yes.
Child deaths involving being left in a car has tripled since last year at this time. And this isn’t stopping. It’s time automakers create a feature that tells drivers they left something in the back seat, instead of some pointless features you never use. Or something in the booster seat alerting that something over a certain weight is there. It’s incredibly saddening that these children had to die this way, and hopefully a change like this can avoid this from continuing.