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1-year-old girl dies from heatstroke after being left in car

77 Comments

A one-year-old baby girl died of heatstroke after she was left inside a car in Hasami, Nagasaki Prefecture, on Friday.

According to police and the fire department, an emergency phone call was placed by one of the child’s parents at around 2:30 p.m., saying that their daughter was in the car, and appeared to be showing signs of heatstroke,” Fuji TV reported.

The girl, who had stopped breathing, was taken to hospital where she died of heatstroke about an hour after arrival.

Police said the girl had been out with her family in the morning. They arrived home at around noon and left the car in the parking lot. The parents said their daughter had fallen asleep in the back seat on the way home and that they had forgotten she was in the car.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the outside temperature at that time in the area was 35.2 degrees but inside the locked car with its windows up, the temperature would have been much higher.

Police said they are considering filing charges against the parents on suspicion of parental neglect resulting in death.

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77 Comments
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We are not perfect human beings but forgetting your child for more than 2 hours is quite horrible.

I don't believe it's a manslaughter but more on negligent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Any reasonable person obviously doesn't come home and forget their child isn't there for 2 1/2 hours unless there is something else going on. Most cars you can't even get out of without turning around and glancing into the back windows.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just got cancer reading this article. Sure you may forget a 10-year old since they wander around by themselves, but a 1-year-old? The baby should be the first thing on your mind before and after sleep and all the time. There were even two of them. Jesus. I say this is premeditated murder.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Once arrested in Japan then a conviction is almost assured-the stats back that up.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's mind boggling to me; how Do you forget your child is in the car? I've forgotten things in my car, but never a lliving human being. Something is not right here. The police I'm sure will investigate and act accordingly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

f one can, both can. It could make it even easier, if each parent subconsciously thinks the other took care of it.

It sounds like they came home together. Every child deserves more than an unconscious afterthought. All accidental deaths are obviously heartbreaking for those involved. People get stressed and distracted driving which results in hitting pedestrians also. It doesn't mean it wasn't vehicular manslaughter and shouldn't be prosecuted as such.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That story really hits me hard since I have kids. I always make them a priority first when getting into and out of a car with them, even if they appear to be sleeping. Always make sure you make your passengers a priority first before groceries or other things. They're your responsibility.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

However, since a death has occurred then the police are likely to charge the couple with involuntary homocide IMHO....

Well, they'll do an investigation, then the prosecutors will decide whether a charge is likely to lead to a conviction. If they do, they will press charges (起訴 - きそ), and if they don't feel it does, then they won't press charges (不起訴 - ふきそ). The prosecutors almost never press charges if they don't feel absolutely certain of a guilty verdict.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Deliberate or not is for the court to prove.

However, since a death has occurred then the police are likely to charge the couple with involuntary homocide IMHO....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many of the JT readers are simply prone to rush to judgement, as well as lacking compassion, if not also being ruthless. As an educator, I see many of my school's children having no awareness of their environment while they are living in a virtual bubble of what's occupying them at the moment. Many young adults are like this, too. Many of these folks have attention deficit and simply can't help themselves! Should we judge these parents? Were they not being truthful in their account to the police? We should assume for the moment that they are in a state of complete shock and disbelief at losing their own precious child and will be in tears the remainder of their lives. Should you be casting fiery coals onto their heads?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Who knows if they in fact didnt do it deliberately?

I don't and neither do you. Which is why I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and sympathising with their tragic loss.

As per usual, the full details aren't known so for now, I'm not in a hurry to be judge, jury and executioner.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

To forget ones child is NOT so easy as many posters purport!

Literally (not figuratively, literally) not a single poster in this thread has claimed that it's easy to forget one's child.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Who knows if they in fact didnt do it deliberately?

No one, which is why they have these things called investigations that gather as much evidence as possible, in order to determine whether it appears any crime was committed.

If it looks like a crime may have been committed, they have a trial, where said evidence is presented, and the defendant is allowed to put forward a defense, then a series of judges reviews the evidence, and pass judgement as to whether or not they did it deliberately.

Unfortunately even at that point no one knows if they 'in fact' did it deliberately, but at least it's a hell of a lot more informed a judgement than one made by reading a news article and thinking that's enough to determine what happened with anything even remotely close to a high degree of accuracy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The parent’s conduct is certainly enough for them to be charged with manslaughter.

Is it, though? There's not many details as to their conduct, at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Toasted Heretic, Who knows if they in fact didnt do it deliberately?

In spite of all the excuses some people here are making, it seems extremely dubious that both parents forget that theyve locked their baby in a car in thr middle of a heatwave.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To forget ones child is NOT so easy as many posters purport!

I’m fairly forgetful and have misplaced phones and wallets but never my child.

There is a huge difference!

How many posters here with children have done so?

The parent’s conduct is certainly enough for them to be charged with manslaughter.

A conviction is another matter.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Who knows what kind of suffering the parents are going through right now?

Heartbreaking.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

feeling sad over the loss of a child is understandable but turning that sadness into anger and vengeance serves no one and only makes society a crueler place

Thank you, Christine. I wish more people would take the time to read that and think about it rather than just howl for blood.

The nature of discourse on the internet, maybe even more so on this site, is that it be judgmental and self-righteous. I forgot one of my kids in the car once, though for only 15 minutes on a chilly day and in a less dangerous situation. Sleeping soundly when I came back, so nobody was the wiser. But it shocked me. I would have thought it was impossible too. But parents of young kids are often working hard, not getting enough sleep, and juggling lots of responsibilities.

It's a horrible thing to happen. Unless there was some indication of a pattern of negligence or intent, punishment would be both pointless and cruel. I can't imagine how hard it must be to even live with that mistake.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

And both parents forgetting simultaneously ?

If one can, both can. It could make it even easier, if each parent subconsciously thinks the other took care of it.

At some point you have to draw the line and question their fitness to be viable caregivers.

Yeah, that point being the one where there is evidence to indicate that is the case. Not just because of some random speculation.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You can read about exactly how people can forget, and get all the answers to your questions.

And both parents forgetting simultaneously ? At some point you have to draw the line and question their fitness to be viable caregivers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Forgetting the whereabouts of your only baby sounds far-fetched to me.

Yeah, to someone who has never looked into it, and knows nothing about it, it would definitely sound far-fetched.

But those who have looked into it, and know about it, have documented it as a known phenomenon, and have discussed how it happens.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ike-in-tokyo, agreed.

Forgetting the whereabouts of your only baby sounds far-fetched to me. Especially when you leave the baby in a car in this heat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How can you forget your child? If your child is with you, you should be constantly thinking about them and where they are and their safety. I don't understand how you can forget how many people are in the car with you even for a second.

It’s acrually quite well documented. You can read about exactly how people can forget, and get all the answers to your questions.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

How can you forget your child? If your child is with you, you should be constantly thinking about them and where they are and their safety. I don't understand how you can forget how many people are in the car with you even for a second.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Really? How do you rehabilitate forgetfulness? And how does punishing forgetfulness deter people from being forgetful?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Strangerland

Imprisonment serves three purposes:

1) Protecting the public from dangerous people

2) Rehabilitating criminals so they won’t commit crimes

3) Serving as a deterrent to others who would commit the crime

Which exactly if these would imprisoning this couple accomplish?

At least numbers two and three.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Absolutely heartbreaking.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why not implant a nanochip

Make that “Nannychip”.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wonder if car seats could be set up with an alarm. It would seem the tech was available.

Why not implant a nanochip at birth to help parents keep track of children? The responsibility of parenthood is clearly overwhelming for some people so let’s help them out.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sorry, the 2nd half of that was not aimed at you, Lizz, but to all posters, I wasn't sure how to separate it.
-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Lizz

you have no idea how much was deliberate, negligent or intentional forgetting with nothing to go on but a statement by the parents.

I think this is something that most of the people who have commented on this story have missed.

Everyone is quick to grab their torches and pitchforks, but none of us have any real idea what has happened, and that's, like Strangerland mentioned, is why they have trials.

I know that for all of us who post here on Japantoday, it seems like an impossible feat to forget a child, as we are all perfect beings, but I'm sure that those of us in the world who are less perfect have the possibility of making mistakes. Some mistakes are bigger than others, we should all know that.

But I think that in this case, everyone should grieve for the child, and be less quick to judge exactly what happened on the parents' side of the story until everything has been properly investigated.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There is usually a short prison term in combination with a fine or community service if found guilty of these sorts of charges.

Ok, now we're back to the discussion. So I brought this up in regards to that:

Of course that can be waived but really you have no idea how much was deliberate, negligent or intentional forgetting with nothing to go on but a statement by the parents.

Imprisonment serves three purposes:

1) Protecting the public from dangerous people

2) Rehabilitating criminals so they won’t commit crimes

3) Serving as a deterrent to others who would commit the crime

Which exactly if these would imprisoning this couple accomplish?

I'm not seeing that imprisoning this couple would serve anything other than allowing people to feel like they got vengeance.

you have no idea how much was deliberate, negligent or intentional forgetting with nothing to go on but a statement by the parents.

That's why they have trials, to determine it as best they can. Trials interrogate, check that evidence matches the statements made, look at any evidence such as video that they can find, try to find if there was maybe a motivation for killing the child, etc. It's not a simple 'oh, they said they didn't mean to, so I guess they weren't negligent'.

The world isn't as simple as so many people try to make it. There is a reason we have trials, because the information in news stories isn't dependable enough to make judgements. Rather, judgement is a major process that requires the creation of an argument against the accused, the defense of the accused, and impartial observer(s) to listen to both sides and make a determination.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The conversation we've been having is whether or not they deserve imprisonment.

There is usually a short prison term in combination with a fine or community service if found guilty of these sorts of charges. Of course that can be waived but really you have no idea how much was deliberate, negligent or intentional forgetting with nothing to go on but a statement by the parents.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There has to be legal deterrence or parents can abandon kids and call it a mistake in lieu of punishment for child abuse.

Deterrence isn’t an issue that criminal punishment is necessary to achieve in this case. The threat of losing your child is a million times more powerful a deterrent, so that is already covered.

In a pachinko parking lot case where the parent deliberately left their kid in the car I would be way more inclined to agree since the parent through their deliberate action put their kid in danger. That doesn’t seem to have been the case here.

Also, we don’t really have many facts to go on to be rushing to judgment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

HTF do both parents forget that there was a child in the car that's BS I think they didn't want her anymore and wanted to make it look like an accident

Based on the absolutely nothing whatsoever to indicate that is what happened, I think you're 100% correct! Nice work! Don't even need a trial anymore. DEATH BY HANGING!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

That is why there are charges like accidental death, involuntary/unintentional manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Since the accused supposedly had no intention of killing anyway, the punishment is going to be much lighter than murder or manslaughter but so-called 'honest mistakes' displaying a callous disregard tor human life are also a crime.

I've never claimed otherwise - you seem to be having a different conversation than the rest of us. I haven't seen anyone trying to claim this isn't a crime, or even that they should be excused. The conversation we've been having is whether or not they deserve imprisonment.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

HTF do both parents forget that there was a child in the car that's BS I think they didn't want her anymore and wanted to make it look like an accident

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So you punish parents who made an honest mistake? Imprison those who didn't intentionally kill their kid to scare those who do? 

That is why there are charges like accidental death, involuntary/unintentional manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Since the accused supposedly had no intention of killing anyway, the punishment is going to be much lighter than murder or manslaughter but so-called 'honest mistakes' displaying a callous disregard tor human life are also a crime.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Imprisonment would serve the function of keeping the witless parents from conceiving any other progeny.

That isn't of the objectives of the penal system.

There has to be legal deterrence or parents can abandon kids and call it a mistake in lieu of punishment for child abuse.

So you punish parents who made an honest mistake? Imprison those who didn't intentionally kill their kid to scare those who do? Sorry, can't agree with that, that's not how justice works.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

How do you forget your child? What was so important you forgot your most important part of your family? So many questions!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There has to be legal deterrence or parents can abandon kids and call it a mistake in lieu of punishment for child abuse.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It’s heart wrenching and neglect, but I believe their loss is enough of a punishment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The prime minister of the UK left his own daughter behind in a pub! It happens.

That was a case of the daughter wandering off as they were arranging rides and both parents coming home separately assuming she was in the other car. Mix ups will happen. If leaving your daughter in a hot car is not negligence resulting in death, what is ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Words fail me how stupid people can be!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No excuses they have to be charged!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Crazy joe , rainyday , gelendestrasse, and strangerland are the people on this planet moving evolution forward through kindness and compassion for others .

wanting to see others suffer especially people who are already suffering is barbaric and nothing more than the uneducated masses enjoying a hanging in the public square or throwing someone into the tiger pit .

feeling sad over the loss of a child is understandable but turning that sadness into anger and vengeance serves no one and only makes society a crueler place .

3 ( +6 / -3 )

They should get both. Were they not negligent and did it not result in the death of their child? and is life worth such absolute dirt to you that, "Well... shucks... they forgot their kid and the car and she died. Been there -- I picked up a sandwich they other day and then darn left it on the counter! I regret it a lot, but life goes on," is good enough for you? They didn't forget their keys somewhere, they let a human being die in their charge. That's negligent, and a kid dead.

My point was that I had empathy for grieving parents, not that I thought the life of a child was worth “absolute dirt”. I have children, my own life is worth dirt to me compared to theirs. It’s the same with every parent, so I understand how devastating this is.

I would ask you to respond to Strangerland’s comment as to what purpose locking them up would serve.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I don't believe parents story. It must be murder.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Imprisonment would serve the function of keeping the witless parents from conceiving any other progeny.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

CrazyJoe is right, it's possible. Still extremely stupid. A child isn't exactly a cell phone in terms of importance. Imprisonment? Well, they won't breed again. Still, I have to wonder if the horror of having your child die this way isn't punishment enough. It would be for normal people. If this had happened to any of the posters here we'd be basket cases. So I give Stranger a +1 too.

I wonder if car seats could be set up with an alarm. It would seem the tech was available. Weight in the car seat, car is turned off, one of those annoying GPS voices starts in "child in car, child in car." Why not?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Imprisonment serves three purposes:

1) Protecting the public from dangerous people

2) Rehabilitating criminals so they won’t commit crimes

3) Serving as a deterrent to others who would commit the crime

Which exactly if these would imprisoning this couple accomplish?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

rainyday: "I would say that losing their child is more than punishment enough, any parent would take a million years in prison over that any day."

They should get both. Were they not negligent and did it not result in the death of their child? and is life worth such absolute dirt to you that, "Well... shucks... they forgot their kid and the car and she died. Been there -- I picked up a sandwich they other day and then darn left it on the counter! I regret it a lot, but life goes on," is good enough for you? They didn't forget their keys somewhere, they let a human being die in their charge. That's negligent, and a kid dead.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The prime minister of the UK left his own daughter behind in a pub! It happens. It has never happened to me and cannot imagine it every happening to me, but clearly it does.

A pub! No wonder - they were probably nissed as newts. It’s a pity the cops didn’t breathalyse “Call me Dave” on the way home.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I would say that losing their child is more than punishment enough, any parent would take a million years in prison over that any day.

When I read about the pachinko parking lot deaths of kids left in cars I am always outraged, but I don’t feel that in this case. They didn’t deliberately leave her in there, and if you are juggling a million things at once (as all parents of young kids are, I have two) and perhaps are doing something out of your routine stuff like this can happen. Even just a momentary lapse of communication “I thought you had her” can lead to this.

I am not excusing what they did but basically they made the most horrendous mistake imaginable and are now living the most horrendous nightmare imaginable. I don’t see how piling on with self righteous indignation serves any purpose.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Forgetting to ensure the safety of one's child is certainly not in the interests of evolutionary survival.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Omachi: " Surely technology could come to the rescue. A small child must by law be in an approved seat, and a seat that isn't moving, is occupied, when the temperature is within a range - could surely dial the pre-recorded phone numbers and play a message."

I like that idea. It could possibly have saved this girl's life if the response was quick enough. But I'm afraid with the pre-recorded number not being dialed until the seat was not moving, the girl would have been close to death already. How about with the child seat being occupied and the other seats all unoccupied and the doors closed, the emergency dialing commences?

Better yet, parents WATCH WHAT THEY'RE DOING!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe NHK et al should start doing Public Health Commercials every year, to push this deeper into their minds. While they are at it, they could start by also doing safety belts too. And not to hold your kid in the front seat.

You maybe the greatest driver, in Japan and you think You won't hit anyone, but it doesn't mean everyone else is.

They are happy to print posters, about manners and fine people for smoking OUTSIDE, but they do nothing about stuff hat KILLS people.

We hear this time and time again.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The first thing I do when I get home from anywhere is get the kids and baby in first. The rest of the stuff comes later. With this weather, a minute in the car without the a/c is suffering enough.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is incomprehensible the parents (read: 2 people) forgot about the whereabouts of the one-year old child, unless they were under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. A baby, a toddler, a child is always on the mind of the parents in my book.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Police said they are considering filing charges against the parents on suspicion of parental neglect resulting in death."

Why are they only CONSIDERING it? There is no suspicion -- they admitted to forgetting the child in the car. I'm quite sure when they stepped out of said car they started immediately saying, "Atsui!" the themselves and then each other. And yet, they left their child to boil alive.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

they had forgotten she was in the car.

Yeh. Ya got 10 kids and ya lose track of one or two. Happens all the time.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

29 kids so far have died in the U.S. from being forgotten in hot cars. It happens everywhere. It could most definitely happen to anyone, including the most judgmental folk on here.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

To those who say it is impossible to forget a child, see this:

David Cameron [British prime minister] and his wife, Samantha, left their eight-year-old daughter, Nancy, in a pub after having Sunday drink, Downing Street has confirmed.

She is reported to have spent a quarter of an hour at the Plough Inn at Cadsden, in Buckinghamshire, before Mrs Cameron returned to collect her.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18391663

The prime minister of the UK left his own daughter behind in a pub! It happens. It has never happened to me and cannot imagine it every happening to me, but clearly it does.

To say that this could never happen is not realistic.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Kids, spouses, and parents have been forgotten at rest areas and left behind.  It happens.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

this is not a clear cut case of child abuse or murder!

Actually, it is!

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

For those of y'all claiming you could "never" forget a child, I hope you are nevertheless taking some kind of precaution, like placing your purse or briefcase in the back seat. Because science has shown that if you have ever forgotten anything -- a cell phone at home, an umbrella in a taxicab -- you could forget your child was in the car.  

Comparing your child to an object like a cell phone or an umbrella is absolutely stupid beyond belief! If you're THAT stupid to forget your child - THE most important thing you'll EVER have - then you're clearly not fit to have kids!

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Agree - it is possible to forget, but with deadly consequences.  Surely technology could come to the rescue.  A small child must by law be in an approved seat, and a seat that isn't moving, is occupied, when the temperature is within a range - could surely dial the pre-recorded phone numbers and play a message.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Possible to forget? You have to be pooping me! Yeah, you might forget where you left your keys or to pay your phone bill, but how in the halibut can you forget your own kid is in the back seat of the car? I mentioned this scenario to my Japanese Mrs and her first comment was, "They did it on purpose." Such a horrible way for the little girl to die. She would have been screaming her head off until she overheated and went into complete renal failure. Little kids can die in a car in 30 minutes. Some people do not deserve to have kids!

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

I gave everyone a thumbs down except Crazy Joe. As much as we don't want to admit it (and even though it is still unforgivable), IT IS possible to forget!

Neglect should be investigated, but this is not a clear cut case of child abuse or murder!

3 ( +12 / -9 )

What a tragedy. My heart goes out to the family of the baby girl.  

For those of y'all claiming you could "never" forget a child, I hope you are nevertheless taking some kind of precaution, like placing your purse or briefcase in the back seat. Because science has shown that if you have ever forgotten anything -- a cell phone at home, an umbrella in a taxicab -- you could forget your child was in the car.  

Absolutely, anyone who intentionally leaves a child in the car should be prosecuted. But sometimes it's a tragic, terrible accident, with the very worst consequence.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Everyone who drives a car has opened the car door after an hour in the mall, and experienced the blast furnace heat that pours out. Only a mentally deficient individual needs to have this explained to them. What is needed is to make it a certainty that a child left unattended in a car will have the child removed from his/her custody and face felony child endangerment charges. The threat of jail time seems to be the only thing that even a moron can understand.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Feckless individuals like these two cretins shouldn’t be allowed to breed.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Unbelievable and beyond words can describe. RIP little girl. At least you are in heaven now.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

This is heart wrenching. What an awful way to die for this poor little girl. The police had better file the charges of neglect.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Where did they think their one year old was? It's unbelievably negligent, stupidity doesn't even describe their actions.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Forgot your child was in the car?

This is murder. How are the police "considering" charging them? There's no question they must be charged and punished. I sincerely hope both of these pathetic excuses for parents suffer with this for the rest of their days

5 ( +15 / -10 )

Every. Single. Year.

How stupid can people be?

I was waiting for the "while they played Pachinko" leitmotif we get every year. Give it time.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

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