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2-year-old boy dies after being left in car by father

47 Comments

A two-year-old boy died of apparent heatstroke after he was left in a car by his father in Haga, Tochigi Prefecture, on Friday.

According to police, the man, who is in his 30s, was supposed to drop his son off at a daycare center on his way to work from his home in Utsunomiya on Friday morning, Fuji TV reported. The man was quoted by police as saying the boy was in a child seat in the back but that he completely forgot about him as he drove to his company in Haga, where he left his vehicle in a car park all day from 9 a.m.

Police said the man received a call from his wife at around 5 p.m. She had gone to pick up their son on her way home from work but he wasn't at the daycare center. That's when the man realized he had left his son in the car. He found his son unconscious in the car and called 119. The boy was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead of suspected heatstroke.

The temperature outside in Haga on Friday was 31.4 degrees, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, but inside the car, it likely rose to about 40 degrees.

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47 Comments
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WTF? who forgets that their own child is in the car? what an idiot!

0 ( +12 / -11 )

Work first - family second. Sad but true... Poor kid! RIP

2 ( +10 / -8 )

People need to stop judging. This happends more than you think, and not just in Japan, where the work is very important. This father must be hearth broken with his lost.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Terrible.

Got curious and found this:

The stress and sleep deprivation factors are important, as they are known to bias brain memory systems toward habit-based activity and to impair prospective memory processing. Ultimately, all or a subset of these factors have caused parents to follow a well-traveled route, controlled by their brain habit memory system, that did not include stopping at the daycare.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

He forgot his kid was on the car? Please smack this lion repeatedly until he wakes up.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

I almost wish they wouldn't print stuff like this. It's too tragic. What's this guy gonna do now? There is no way to live after that.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This has happened countless times already this summer in the U.S. And as unbelievable as it seems, it truly does seem to be an accident in most cases. There is even advice on how to prevent this from happening.

I feel for this couple. For both of them. this will weigh heavily on them and on their marriage. This is the kind of thing that can destroy a marriage.

RIP, little one. My heart is heavy that your life was cut short this way.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Sad story... seems a bit odd that the daycare didn't contact the parents when the boy wasn't dropped off. Not the responsibility of the daycare at all, but thought those facilities generally made such calls to check if the child was ill, etc

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Disgraceful. This melon farmer needs a long stint in the big house.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

Sounds like the father didn't have an awareness of heatstroke danger in the first place. If he had learned about the danger of heatstroke, he would not have left his kid alone in the car. Let alone 40 degrees car. RIP 2-year-old boy.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Monozuki:

Sounds like the father didn't have an awareness of heatstroke danger in the first place. If he had learned about the danger of heatstroke, he would not have left his kid alone in the car.

Get over yourself. This is nothing to do with having or not having an awareness of the dangers of heatstroke. The man just plain forgot. He didn't do this on purpose and probably feels suicidal now. I can understand his wife hating him for forgetting, but why would you and especially A.N.Other hate someone you don't know and who meant no harm? I hope you two never find yourself forgetting something as important.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

There are testing a device to prevent this (a sort of alarm that starts if a person/animal is detected inside a parked car). I hope that becomes efficient soon and they install it in all cars and/or with baby car seats.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

He forgot about him? I don't believe it.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

A horrible, horrible thing all around. I wonder if those people casting their judgement here have ever tried to raise kids while both parents are hustling trying to make ends meet. It's quite easy to forget a child is in your car:

You work every day at the same job, and fight rush hour traffic to get there.

Normally, your wife takes your child to daycare, but today she needs you to do it.

You guzzle down a coffee, and are still tired from working late the night before.

Your child goes in the back, and promptly falls asleep.

You drive to work, stressing about some problem you have with your boss and how you will handle it this morning. Since your child is sleeping, he/she completely slips your mind.

You arrive at work and immediately get into it.

Your wife calls you at 5pm to ask about your child. You turn white as a ghost as you realize what you have done. You rush out to the car, hoping against all odds.

You want to die.

And some anonymous guy who reads about you in the paper thinks he is somehow far better than you and would never make the same mistake..

11 ( +16 / -5 )

When I read the head line I assumed "pachinko" nut. This is just tragic for this young family. I doubt if they will every get over such a tragic lost. The headline should be headed with Tragic mistake or something similar.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Thinata Farina People generally don't have a right to judge but in this situation they do. Clearly you have not worked in a Japanese company so you have no idea as to how much the Japanese people prioritize their company or work. In this case it's really sad to note that an innocent life was lost but I'll blame it on the Japanese working life that took its toll in the fathers mind that apparently made him forget his son in the back seat!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why the daycare center didn't call the mother or the father this morning ?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

We occasionally take our kid out of nursery school and we usually call but a couple of times we've forgotten to make the call to the school. They don't call us that day to check why but do call if it happens two or more days in a row.

Since all nursery school parents take their kids to school the schools don't worry if it's a kidnapping or anything like that hence they don't call to check.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'll blame it on the Japanese working life that took its toll in the fathers mind

I will also blame earthquakes, jihadism, bad coffee and pokemon on Japanese working life. Or on the CIA, or on Poutine's agents. As others said, we get that kind of cases in the news in many other countries, involving hard-working and unemployed parents.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It happens more than it should but many things can cause it not just 'prioritizing work over family' or 'he meant to' but some factors are the parent was usually not the one to take them, maybe the mother usually did it but for some reason the dad had to do it. It can happen to any one. A good thing for parents is to put your purse or briefcase in the backseat next to them that way you always look behind you. And no school calls the parents for one day but it's something that could say a life to just have the school call and check. Poor family and poor child.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

exactly the same thing happened to an Australian father a couple years ago, while he should get some form of punishment from the authorities, the guilt of killing your own child would punish you for the rest of your life. sympathies to the family

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ Thinata FarinaJul. 30, 2016 - 05:21PM JST

People need to stop judging. This happends more than you think, and not just in Japan, where the work is very important. This father must be hearth broken with his lost.

Yes your right i agree its not just a japanese thing but people have there priorities mixed up due to many reasons. I also feel for the father but to give him a get out of jail card for FORGETTING his child is just wrong. and yes i have a kid.

Bring on the thumbs down.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

So many people sitting in judgement on a situation that happens world-wide. To suggest punishment, such as a 'long stint in the big house' is ridiculous; I'm sure the father is already distraught over his carelessness, and will have to live with the criticism of his entire family and community.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Knowingly leaving your child in the car (and go shopping, to the pub, pokies/ pachinko or even work) is not the same thing as accidentally doing so. In this case it looks like the dad genuinely forgot his kid was in the backseat.

This is a tragic error with irreversible consequences and i feel for the dad and his wife as much as i do for the kid. This is a very, very sad story.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Hmmmm...my Dad, at one time, worked four different jobs during the same period time, yet never forgot to drop us off where we needed to go, my brother and me, and never left us for the entire day in a blazing hot car on a searing Summer day. I get exhaustion. I get forgetfulness. I get stress. I get working a lot of overtime. I won't judge this Dad, but neither will I give him a pass (it's not like he was supposed to pick up paper clips at a store, or something: it was his son!). Yes, he and his wife will have to live with this for the rest of their lives, especially Dad, and that, in and of itself, is a prison all its own. My only prayer is for their peace and comfort.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Tragic indeed. He didn't do it on purpose, and he's going to live with it for the rest of his life.

I wonder if technology can help. Say two sensors embedded into the child car seat. One senses that the car has been stationary for maybe 15 minutes, and another sensor detects enough weight on the car seat to trigger alarm.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Amazing what people will feel pity for. I feel an INCREDIBLE amount of pity for the child and for the wife, and grieving relatives. I do NOT, however, feel an ounce of pity for the father. This wasn't a video he forgot to return and can fix with a fine and an apology. It wasn't his license he forgot at home and was pulled over by the police. It was his own flesh and blood, who, and the Japanese papers detailed the body more last night, would have spent the last moments of his life suffocating (and it gets a LOT hotter than 40 inside a car, especially if the sun falls on it.

Should he rot in prison? Up to the judge, but I think he should at the very least be charged with negligence resulting in death, and yes maybe be put away for a little while to clear his head a bit, since it is so full of thoughts besides what should really be a priority. I have absolutely no doubt he will regret it for the rest of his life, and I'm glad he has to live with it -- anyone who does this should -- but the bottom line is his negligence resulted in the tragic death of his own son... and that deserves legal punishment beyond what he is suffering now.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

@smith

Not sure if you're reacting to my comments. But I never said he should be let off.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No matter what, your child should be the center of attention for your family. This is the child that you work for to support and raise. Until the child is in safe hands, he or she should be the priority no matter what else you have going on in your life.

Concerned fathers such as myself and others on here have every right to an opinion. Yes, he will never read our critiques of him on this website. He will also never read the opinions of people who think it is quite normal to forget their child in a hot car.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The guy is getting a lot of blame (and he is suffering for it plenty), but I put a lot of blame on this corporate mindset (#1 work and then family a distant #2) that is now reaping the dark side of what it has sown.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I hope he will go to a jail.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Jail won't do shit for this dimwit.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So incredibly sad. The poor child. Strapped in a baby seat in an what is de facto an oven... I just hope this 1d1ot refrains from making more children. Clearly he is not qualified to raise them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Disturbingly, I have seen this starting to become a trend in many countries now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I feel sick. What an incredibly sad story. Sad? Doesn't really say much. @Smithinjapan, I suppose it's easy not to feel pity, after all we are detached from the horror and the story is just words on a page. @disillusioned. Smack the father till he wakes up? Are you fair dinkum?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't think anyone here really believes that it was the intention of the father to do this. Psychologically, tiredness and routine influence our behavior to a high degree.Although, I have never forgotten my child in the car, I have forgotten to collect my bicycle from the parking as I usually walk to the station,buy bread or milk from the store, thinking of other things on the way home. I'm sure everyone here has also done the same......

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I also feel for the father but to give him a get out of jail card for FORGETTING his child is just wrong.

And what purpose is served by the law punishing this man? His life is destroyed, never to be normal again. He was responsible for the death of his child through a simple careless error. What is the point of compounding his misery? It won't serve as a deterrent. It won't provide justice. It won't bring the child back. What is the need to bring the strong arm of the state into every crisis? Just so people who have nothing to do with this case can feel better about tit?

A mistake is a mistake. There are lots of mistakes I have never made, but that doesn't mean that someone else is evil if they make that mistake. What is this desire to "punish" a man who is most likely suffering beyond anything we can imagine right now?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The father made a terrible mistake but the daycare center should bear some responsibility. There's no reason someone couldnt have called the parents to verify that their son was ok.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There are testing a device to prevent this (a sort of alarm that starts if a person/animal is detected inside a parked car). I hope that becomes efficient soon and they install it in all cars and/or with baby car seats.

Forgetting about kids (and pets) in cars happen too often here in the US. A simple solution mentioned in a recent news report is to have the parent take off a shoe and place it next to the child's car seat after placing a child is in the car. Hobbling off with only one shoe should force any parent to remember that hisher child is in still in the car.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ToshiYori lol that's not a bad idea and yea it happens so much in usa there's a prevention commercial running

0 ( +1 / -1 )

so sad

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The attitude towards work/companies/'the greater good' cannot be emphasised enough, when talking about Japanese workers.

A few years ago, I worked in an office in Hiroshima, where one of my co-worker's children died. Now, I know nothing of the circumstances surrounding the child's death (I wasn't close to the guy at all), but the e-mail was sent on Friday, explaining why he was absent that day, and he was back to work on Monday.

I'm from New Zealand, and my father died when I was 20. Now, I had JUST started my first full-time job at that time, but I still took two weeks off for bereavement, and my bosses thanked me for returning to work so quickly!

I shudder to think what was going through that poor boy's head as he sat trapped in that car - perhaps his lack of comprehension due to his age might be the one mercy he was given. If only someone had walked past that car at some point during the day.. But no, everyone was probably lined up at their desks all day, metaphorically trapped, like so many people here seem to be.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Read something from the U.S. about a child left in a car while the parent(s) were in Bible study(?).

Where has common sense gone?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This does happen more than it should . Happened here where I live...people drove home with junior in the car seat, got home and both father and mother went into the house forgetting junior was still in the car (there were other kids in the car..each kind of assumed the other had taken the child into the house)

Tragic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why is everyone saying it wasn't intentional that the guy made a mistake. Just because the guy said he forgot doesn't mean he is speaking the truth It can still be intentional and the world will never know and there nothing but the guys word in this case and there may be a motive like insurance money etc which we don't. Life shouldn't be treated so lightly and if a life is taken wrongly irrespecpective of the causes, punishment should be meted out. The guy is an adult and deserves to serve time in Jail, I say lock him up. FYI, I have kids, I drove them to daycare, I have been with them out shopping and they fell asleep in the back seat and I have never forgotten any of my children in the car. putting the blame also on the work culture is nonsense.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Time for the childseat makers to add an alarm that goes ding-ding-ding when you forget to take the baby out of the child Seat.

I do not blame the father. I'm sure he love the child. If anything I want to offer him support.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes this is sad. We are all not perfect. We utter sympathy for the father and yet on the comments says "I never forget my child inside the car" simply because we just don't forget our child. We all have important work and we all get stress and we definitely get tired but I know but none of us forget our child in the car.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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