Friday, August 7, 2015

Chapter Two: Abandoned Children

Every Summer in Israel, the radio gets flooded with ads reminding parents how "easy" it is to forget a child in the car, and how quickly a child suffocates to death in extreme heat.  The ads then give parents helpful pointers as to how to avoid the inevitable stories of tragedy and loss and recrimination.

Every Summer, every time I hear one of these ads, I wonder to myself how a parent could forget one of their children, even in the bustle of going to the beach or unloading groceries etc.

Now these stories have an added element:  it was reported in this morning's paper that a two year old boy was found abandoned in a park in Netanya.  He had apparently been there alone for over 12 hours, when he was discovered in the later hours of the evening by a teenager and her mother, who immediately called the police and social services.  The boy seemed well cared-for, except of course for being abandoned by his family.

The news was unclear as to how this boy got to the park in the first place, and who was responsible for this horrific event.  We are all asking the obvious questions like, "How did his parents not realize he had been missing for a whole day?" "Why was this boy not reported missing by someone in his family?" "Should these parents be prosecuted for neglect, at the very least?"

When babies fry to death in a car (please excuse the horrifically realistic language), the press always says, "These parents have suffered enough, losing their child, they should not be prosecuted or punished further. They will have to live with the guilt the rest of their lives."  So what do you say to parents who apparently left their two year old in a park, alone, far away from their home, and forgot him?

How does a parent forget a child?

1 comment:

Billy said...

I try not to judge, especially when all i know is bits of information and not the whole story.
As for children being left in a hot car, it usually happens when the parent driving the child is not the one that usually does so and since we are automatic drivers, he [usually it is the father] forgets about the baby (most likely the baby fell asleep and is quiet) and continues to his next stop, leaving the baby in the hot car. It is terrible, it is tragic, it is the worst ever, but it could happen even to the best person on earth.