Tuesday, October 9, 2007

An open letter to a child abuser

To the person that left a sleeping toddler in their white van with tinted windows:

I’m sure that whatever you were shopping for in the mall for was critically important. I am also sure that waking a sleeping toddler (boy, blond hair, no more than twenty four months old) would cause you unbearable irritation. I remember well trying to wrangle children in and out of vehicles while running errands; it is not a fun activity. But WTF? Do you not read the paper or watch the news? Children die in hot cars all the damn time! It was sunny and 76 degrees out, not a cloud in the sky! And I don't care that your windows were "cracked". So were mine and it was fucking hot when I got back in my car. And no, it was not for “just a minute”! Because I sat in my car (with the air conditioning running) for five minutes trying to decide whether or not to call 911. (Yes, I am ashamed of myself. Fortunately, God, in his infinite wisdom, hit me upside the head in the form a security guard whose passing vehicle I flagged down.) By the time the second security guard arrived and decided to contact the police a full fifteen minutes had passed.

For your consideration I submit the following study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. (The bolded points are mine.)

"Objective. Each year, children die from heat stroke after being left unattended in motor vehicles. In 2003, the total was 42, up from a national average of 29 for the past 5 years. Previous studies found that on days when ambient temperatures exceeded 86°F, the internal temperatures of the vehicle quickly reached 134 to 154°F. We were interested to know whether similarly high temperatures occurred on clear sunny days with more moderate temperatures. The objective of this study was to evaluate the degree of temperature rise and rate of rise in similar and lower ambient temperatures. In addition, we evaluated the effect of having windows "cracked" open.

Methods. In this observational study, temperature rise was measured continuously over a 60-minute period in a dark sedan on 16 different clear sunny days with ambient temperatures ranging from 72 to 96°F. On 2 of these days, additional measurements were made with the windows opened 1.5 inches. Analysis of variance was used to compare how quickly the internal vehicle temperature rose and to compare temperature rise when windows were cracked open 1.5 inches.

Results. Regardless of the outside ambient temperature, the rate of temperature rise inside the vehicle was not significantly different. The average mean increase was 3.2°F per 5-minute interval, with 80% of the temperature rise occurring during the first 30 minutes. The final temperature of the vehicle depended on the starting ambient temperature, but even at the coolest ambient temperature, internal temperatures reached 117°F. On average, there was an 40°F increase in internal temperature for ambient temperatures spanning 72 to 96°F. Cracking windows open did not decrease the rate of temperature rise in the vehicle."

If my math is correct, it was 116 degrees inside that van! The child was alright when I left the scene, but you? I hope you got your lazy ass thrown in jail.

Not in the least sincerely,
Fannie Mae


DaisyJo said...

You no longer get the "Meanest Mother" award. It's been taken by an idiot in your town.

What the hell are people thinking?!

drawer queen said...

Truly unbelievable. After all the things that can happen to a child who is protected, cherished and nurtured, how can anyone be so careless?? To leave a child alone in a car, and then add in the heat....ARGHHH! Reading your experience has made sure that if I ever encounter this situation, I will most definitely call the police ASAP. They should be hung by their thumbnails from the highest tree...or maybe locked in a hot car and left there. Bless you for staying nearby until help arrived.

New Diva on the Blog said...

Absolutley Horrendous. Why are these evil people allowed to breed.

Fannie Mae said...

Thanks to you all for listening to me rant.