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1-year-old boy chokes to death on seatbelt after being left in car

31 Comments

A one-year-old boy apparently choked to death after his neck got caught in a seatbelt strap in a car in Tokoname, Aichi Prefecture, police said Tuesday.

According to police, the boy was left in the car while his parents went shopping late Sunday afternoon. Sankei Shimbun reported that the car doors were locked and the boy was asleep in the child seat with the seatbelt unfastened.

The mother told police she checked on her son a couple of times to see if he was alright but when she returned to the car again at around 6 p.m., he was unconscious, with the seatbelt strap caught around his neck. The boy was taken to hospital but died on Monday morning, police said.

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31 Comments
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While I feel for the parents, I can't help but thinking: "WTF were you thinking?!!" What kind of a person leaves a 1 year-old unattended? Anywhere. Let alone in your car while you go shopping? This is just to damn weird...

13 ( +16 / -3 )

That is plain weird indeed. I could understand a very quick stop at the conbini but going shopping and leaving a kid in your car!? What kind of dumb person would do that and in these times?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

OMG! Seriously? Go shopping? Even pets I don't agree to be left in a car for long time and now your son?? This is 100% those parent's fault and I hope their pathetic existence be a living hell.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Why did so many stupid adults repeating brainless act ?? I dare not even step out my house for a second even my boy is sleeping.. OMG ! Left sleeping in the car and go shopping...what a tragic loss of life...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Tragic indeed! I even feel guilty taking the trash around behind my house while my 1 year old is sleeping. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine left her 3 year old at home sleeping while she drove her 8 year old to an after school activity. People never learn!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You've NEVER EVER left your sleeping child in your car to even slip into a Konbi to grab a carton of milK ? Come on ... don't lie. Aren't we suddenly a bunch of hyporcrites ...

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

There should be a law prohibiting leaving unattended children in a vehicle.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

And how about the lack of seatbelt/cold seat use here? Everyday I see kids standing up on the front passenger seat of cars here. Sudden braking and it's a windshield faceplant for little Taro.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

How can a kid in a childseat get a seatbelt wrapped around its neck? Doesnt a childseat have separate seat belts that are custom fit for kids? Something sounds off. And yeah leaving a kid behind a car while going shopping is....pfffffffff

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What kind of dumb person would do that and in these times? Someone who does not want to wake up their child, or carry their child around a supermarket, crying because the child is tired. Depending upon the weather, the time that the child is left alone, the frequency with which the parent checks up on the child, and the use of child seats (that, if probably used, keep the seatbelt away from the child's face) is it really so bad to leave children alone in cars? What is it so bad about children alone in cars? I sense some kind of reaction formation.

If it is so bad to leave children in cars, then should children ever be left alone, anywhere? Should children be left alone all night in a room of their own? I have never done that. Children can choke (suffocate) on a pillow or mattress.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

CrazyJoe, while I understand where your sentiment is coming from, some things should just be plain old common sense. These two should have known better, especially in Japan where this kind of thing seems to happen ALL THE TIME. Hope I'm never this stoopid.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

There's a bit of a difference between a minute's visit to a konbini and going shopping for what must have been a long time (she apparently made several visits back to the car).

My argument here is that there is no difference .... Leaving a child in a car regardless of duration/place is still leaving a child in car. My claim is that this comment area is filled with hypocrites and god righteous peeople. Apparently the likes here are all perfect parents. I guess you dont like floride in your water do you?

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Bless that poor child.. I live in Japan and i see this often, I CANT BELIVE IT..if i see it I go in to the supermarket etc.and notify the staff and they come out and recored the license plate number and announce it over the PA, if i see the parent I always shame them, WHAT IF... the car gets stolen, catches fire, etc or look what happened in this case, I know its difficult to shop easily with kids wanting snacks and everything, leaving any child in a car for any reason is so wrong and bad..

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Seatbelt around the neck....that would be "strangled", not "choked".

16 ( +16 / -0 )

It's very easy to hit the '"dislike" button without putting up a sensible debate/argument isn't it?

-3 ( +5 / -7 )

Idiots! How many child deaths will it take for these stupid people to realise you don't ever leave kids in a car? I caught my ex-wife doing it and went off my head at her! Bloody idiots!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

sad sad sad

poor bugger probably woke up and wondered where the hell is mom and dad and tried to climb out of the seat. I hope he is in a better place.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@jojo

sorry, but there is a HUGE difference between leaving a sleeping child unattended for the whole afternoon and running into a conbini to get something. the reason being is intent. the shopping parents intended to stay at the mall all afternoon knowing that they would be away for hours. the intent of running into a conbini is to grab a few items and be out in a few minutes. i don't see the hypocrisy at all. or maybe you just feel guilty about something?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

One year old kid should not be left unattended period, parents are to blame IMHO.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

if anyone thinks it's okay to leave a baby or young child alone in a car (except for a few moments to pump gas when you can see them), then you should not have kids.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

the parents didn't JUST STEP OUT to get something... they BOTH went into the store for shopping and stayed in the store for almost an hour. i don't know why one of the parents didn't stay in the car with the baby if they didn't want to wake him up.. the mother came back to the car a couple of times during the first 20 minutes or so but then Japanese news said that the parents were talking and actually forgot about the baby.. it doesn't sound like they were even trying to quick finish up shopping to go back to the baby.

also, the seatbelt was not fastened - 1 year-old can climb himself out of the carseat - he could have fallen out of the carseat - he probably tried hard to get him out of the carseat and got tangled up..

I once saw 2 toddles left in a van at a parking lot of a drug store - I looked around but I didn't see parents so I actually stood by the van to watch the toddles from outside - one was climbing up to the driver seat and the other one was jumping around in the back seat. After about 5 minutes or so, their mother came out of the store and walked up to the van - she looked at me like she was trying to say "what are you doing watching my kids" - I gave her a nasty look, shook my head and walked away.. perhaps I should have yelled at her.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Leaving a kid, and even a dog in a car here is illegal. Canada.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The poor baby died alone, probably wondering where mommy and daddy are.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

sorry, but there is a HUGE difference between leaving a sleeping child unattended for the whole afternoon and running into a conbini to get something. the reason being is intent. the shopping parents intended to stay at the mall all afternoon knowing that they would be away for hours

It doesn't take a perfect parent to understand how completely imbecilic it is to leave a young child unattended in a car--in public--for any amount of time.

What does intent have to do with anything? What you should be assessing is risk/benefits. How could the potential risk to the child ever be outweighed by the benefit of not being bothered by unloading/reloading them . . . and keeping them safe?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Regardless of how long the parent is away from the car it simply is not safe. Cars have been known to catch fire (hydrogen gas emitted by the battery). You are inviting a kidnapping. Not to mention accidents like infants getting strangled by seat belts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So sad... parents in Japan are just plain stupid.... A KID IS NOT A PET!!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

jojo: It's very easy to hit the '"dislike" button without putting up a sensible debate/argument isn't it?

What's there to debate? The article say "parents". That means two adults opted to leave this child alone in a car instead of being bothered to take him inside with them.

You've NEVER EVER left your sleeping child in your car to even slip into a Konbi to grab a carton of milK ? Come on ... don't lie. Aren't we suddenly a bunch of hyporcrites ...

That's not a debate. That's a wild assumption. Not only that, but you've stated it in such a manner that suggests anyone who writes anything to the contrary as far as their childrearing experience goes is a liar in your eyes. Again, that's not a debate.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hey gogogo! You should leave your pets in the car either! It is very sad that this kid had to die so these so-called 'parents' could realise just how bloody stupid they are! In a very sad way, it is a kind of karma.

Australia and many other countries have set up very strict laws in regards to leaving kids (and pets) in cars. The police have the right to break into the car without question and your kid/s (and pets) are removed from your custody until you can prove you are a worthy guardian. You are also hit with a very hefty fine to remind you of how much of an irresponsible turd you really are! I noticed some posters here actually condoned leaving your kids in the car while you dart into the convenience store. Don't be so bloody foolish! That is where it starts! Next it's just a quick dart into the supermarket. Then, it becomes an afternoon in pachinko! They are your kids! Take the responsibility or give them up for adoption!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It should be illegal to leave anyone in a car while no one is on the driver seat. In the state I livew in USA, when my daughter drives, I have to get out when she get out. Even old people can not stay in none moving car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

toshiko: In the state I livew in USA, when my daughter drives, I have to get out when she get out. Even old people can not stay in none moving car.

I'd really like to know what state that is and to see a citation of the law you're claiming exists because I'm having an extremely hard time believing that. It sounds like you either misunderstood something or your daughter told you that because she was worried about your being alone in the car.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As someone above said - There are strict laws in Australia about this. You are absolutely not allowed to leave a child in the car while you go and do something, even for 2 minutes. These laws stemmed from people leaving their sleeping kids in the car, while they went into the casinos for hours and hours, and also kids dying in hot cars in summer.

In this case there were TWO parents.. which means, one could have looked after the child, and one could have shopped. Even more inexcusable than if there was a single parent there. Yes sometimes it sucks to have to make the child the number 1 priority all the time, and it makes shopping and stuff more difficult. But if you can't handle that, don't have children.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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