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Baby girl in critical condition after getting head trapped in car window

42 Comments

A 1-year-old girl is in a critical condition in hospital after getting her head trapped in a car window in Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Monday.

Police said they received an emergency call from a man at 9:40 a.m., reporting that a baby girl had "her head stuck in the window of a car." The girl, who has been identified as Kaho Nakanishi, is the second daughter of office worker Yusuke Nakanishi, 30. Emergency services personnel released Kaho from the electric window and rushed her to hospital where she is said to be in a serious condition and has not yet regained consciousness.

According to police, Kaho and another 1-year-old girl were entrusted to a female daycare worker at around 7:45 a.m. The 41-year-old woman told police that she parked her car to go and buy food for the children. Kaho and the other girl were in the back seat and not in child seats when the incident occurred.

Police believe that Kaho became trapped by accidentally activating the electric windows.

© Compiled from news reports

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42 Comments
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She left two one year alone in the car and not in car seats? Need classes in common sense in schools here.

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The 41-year-old woman told police that she parked her car to go and buy food for the children. Kaho and the other girl were in the back seat and not in child seats when the incident occurred.

Why would an adult leave a 1 year old child alone in the car. Also, if the power windows are working, that means that the car was still running. This woman has got to be either the dumbest or most niave person ever. I guess she thought that "nothing will never happen" so I can do it.

This lady needs to be put in jail for child endangerment.

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Idiot, why the hell would you leave a 1 year old unattended? Didn't she know as a childcare worker they love to climb over and touch everything! I say charge that fool with child endangerment and make her pay the med bills, seriously. Gomennasai won't cover this one.

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Entrusted to a female daycare worker...

You would have thought this clueless woman would have had more sense being a daycare worker wouldn't you. She should loose her job, and her employers should be named, shamed and fined.

Do they not realize their level of responsibility?

Moderator: Readers, once again, we ask some of you to please learn the difference between "loose" and "lose."

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Oh dear.

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Ah, Japan! Don't blame the daycare worker! She was doing the 'normal' thing. She even left the engine running so the heater would be on for the little treasures. I often chastised my wife about leaving the kids in the car while she went off to the shop or ATM. Her reply was always the same, "This is Japan! It is normal!" - Therefore, this is yet another "Shoganai!" ne? Leaving kids in cars, letting them jump around in a moving vehicle, kids sitting on the driver's lap are not careless or reckless acts in Japan. The are part of the culture. you can also expect this woman will not be charged with anything besides bad luck.

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This goes to show everyone that you should never let children stay alone in a car without any adult supervision. This things happen all of the time in Japan and it seems no one has learned from other peoples mistakes. This country needs to get a real grip on life and face the true reality of adulthood and common sense.

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I have only two words! CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE!

My wife has given similar replies to "this is Japan, it's normal" when I complain about people doing idiotic things. My reply is "this is EARTH, it's STUPID!" I hope the little girl recovers from this tragic accident.

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Yep, and P R O D U C T D E F E C T. Kids doing stupid things with car windows if foreseeable and it is easy to make the windows stop if they contact an object, also switches can be made to require pulling instead of pushing. But who cares right? You all just love the Japanese cars...

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if there is any danger that kids can get into, they will. Never, ever, should a toddler be left unsupervised.

I hope the little girl makes a full recovery.

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Oh my, bless her. This is one of my pet peeves here in Fukuoka, I sometimes see small children being left alone in cars idling while parents etc are shopping or somewhere else, Ive told shop staff to announce the plate no. and when the parent appears with the attitude its ok, like im only gone for a moment, I bag them out. Anything can happen in a second...It's insane here

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Nobody will be arrested. Child safety is still a sorely neglected idea. The few people I know who use child seats in cars say they do so because the police will annoy them if they don't "警察がうるさい”。But I've never heard of anyone being stopped for that and have seen police roll by cars with kids crawling on the dashboard and the cops not bat an eye.

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I have two things to say about this too. Like most poeople: CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE!!!! I am so tired of seeing so many dumb clueless parents in Japan. Babies just jumping around all over the car, tv on in the front seat. no seat belts. I get a speeding ticket for going 62 mpg on a 4 lane highway, but cops couldn't care less about tv in the front seat, babies and kids with no seat belt or child seat.

2, most windows have protection against stuff like this. You can go in any new volvo ten years or older and stick your finger in the window, the instant it feels pressure it goes back down again.
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My two Japanese cars have safe windows, my German car doesn't. Don't generalize, please. The problem wasn't the car, it was the adult using the car. Use a PET bottle to see if your car windows are safe. If they aren't, then just lock them as you do with the child-safety locks on the rear doors of your cars.

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Agree with most of the above. Cars vary in this respect; some have switches in the front to disable operation of the rear window switches, some have "safe" windows which do retract when encountering an obstruction, on ALL cars the window switches don't work when the ignition is switched OFF which is what should have been the case. (Some cars will allow operation for a short time in case you have removed the key and have left a window open). I don't know about Japan but in the UK it is illegal to leave a vehicle with the engine running.

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With the car still running, these kids could have put it in gear too. Could have been even more tragic.

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I don't know about Japan but in the UK it is illegal to leave a vehicle with the engine running.

In Australia it is illegal to leave kids in a car for any length of time. The punishment is losing your kids to family services until you can prove you are a fit parent. Couldn't see that happening Japan though. Simply because 'family services' are just a token unit of the J-gov.

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There are several points that should normally lead to criminal charges against the woman:

a toddler should always be in secured car seats (in France it is mandatory until 10 years-old), even when the car is stopped. My son is always in his baby seat and we bring the baby seat with us when we use another car (traveling back home abroad, staying with grand-parents).

a young child should never be left unattended.

even if the windows were not sage, there is usually a switch to lock the windows operation.

It was the responsibility of the employee to maintain a safe environment for the kids. If I was the father, I would definitely press criminal charges against this woman.

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Dumb arse people _ never ever leave kids alone in a car EVER, and when they are in a car they should always be buckled up in a child restraint type seat.

I hope the imbicile who is responsible suffers dearly and is punished severly for their absolute stupidity, RIP 1 year old so sad for the parents too.

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"if there is any danger that kids can get into, they will."

Cleo, that one sentence needs to be taught over and over and understand by everyone who has anything to do with kids. I'm another guy like two other posters married to Japanese women who have problems with our spouses and their seemingly inability to foresee possible danger. It's exasperating to say the least.

I have another thing I try to get across. That is, that if you can't see your kids, assume the worst.

""if there is any danger that kids can get into, they will." Just in case anyone is about to have kids - this one can't be said enough. I've had the sheer panic of seeing my toddler walking outside his daycare center on the road, because people didn't foresee that one unlocked gate is all you need for a little boy thinking he's trying to escape from Stalag 13.

Too much talk about "sho ga nai" and "unmei" in this country (which I love by the way).

I wouldn't press charges against the dare care worker, and I don't think she needs to be punished though. But we all just need to use our brains more.

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Good thing the kiddoes didn't find any lighter in the car.

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I was speaking to a woman I know who's had her own daycare for going on three years now, and has several students. What amazed me is that when I asked her why she looked so happy she said she finally passed the test to be a licensed daycare worker. So.... what had she been until then?

As with politicians, it's pretty clear that there are little or no requirements necessary to 'take care' of others' children, and it's really no surprise when you get reports of negligence like this. Idiotic woman! I hope the child recovers and this woman is charged with criminal negligence, but this being Japan I doubt she will get anything more than a 'shou ga nai, ne!' at the baby's funeral.

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@kujiranikusuki "I am so tired of seeing so many dumb clueless parents in Japan."

it was a day-care worker, not the parents who let this happen.

@smithinjapan "As with politicians, it's pretty clear that there are little or no requirements necessary to 'take care' of others' children"

what great countries require a license for this? most places you can hire a 13 year old kid to baby sit if you want to. nice try at Japan bashing though, you even worked a stab in at the politicians where there was no connection whatsoever

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And she is a CHILD CAREGIVER????????????????????? WHAT??

Receiving money to take care of people's kids and not being responsible, I don't know where to start. This woman, being a caregiver and probably driving children in her car on a daily/regular basis.. WHY did she not have car seats installed in the first place?

Here's one of the differences between authorized daycares and non-authorized daycares... Non-authorized daycares don't need to have all their caregivers to have a license. As long as there is ONE licensed caregiver, everyone else isn't required to have a license there. Authorized daycares are REQUIRED to have all caregivers to be licensed and the facilities have to meet the government standard. Whenever I hear tragic accidents about kids in daycare, it is 99.9% Non-authorized daycare or Hoiku-mama (caregivers take care of children at her house.

And because those non-authorized daycares and hoiku-mama are needed for those who are on the waiting list to put their kids in authorized daycares and there are way too many people waiting but have to work, the government actually lowered the standard of those hoiku-mama from April 2010. Until April 2010, hoiku-mamas were required to have a nurse/ child care license, but they changed the law and now those hoiku-mamas can start the business after taking several child-care courses... It is good that the government is trying to do something so that people with small kids can go back to work, but it is a terrible idea to lower the standard of child care givers...

I hope the parents of the little girl will sue this woman and she will get punished.

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Unreal. I don't know what to say to the mother. As for the so-called daycare worker, she should be fired from her job and locked up. Leaving kids in the car is by no means NORMAL behavior. The wives of some of the commentors here are abusing the "this is Japan" excuse because they are simply NOT GOOD MOTHERS. My wife is a staunch believer in not leaving the kid unattended in any situation.

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Acccording to the Japanese press, the 41 yr old is a nursery school teacher. She left the engine running when she got out of the car and she was evidently on her cell phone when the accident happened.

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Fishy that was a really informative post. My point is though that even without licenses and training courses, a lot of people are lacking in common sense.

Just thinking, "What if .." is good enough in most cases. At the risk of sounding like a Cleo groupie, just remembering that ""if there is any danger that kids can get into, they will." and using your imagination, is worth a couple training courses.

Anyway, if people can't think for themselves, all it takes is an hour lecture explaining the dangers of open windows, bathtubs, hot stoves, medicine and scissors etc in low accessible places, cars, roads gates etc etc. As an 11 yr old boy I could have looked after a toddler better than some of the 30yr old mothers I see around me these days.

Gee, I'm sounding like an old geezer. But unnecessary, easily avoidable accidents involving little kids really get me down.

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Thetruthhurts-

Yes, she was on her cell phone when this happened and it was actually a passerby who called the ambulance..

Yasukuni-

I agree.. the whole what if thing is so so so important.. Better to be paranoid than regretting... Sure it is WORK to take small kids when you just walk into a store to get a couple of things, but you have to take the kids with you. Sure some kids don't like to sit in the car seat and they might scream, but so what.. which is better... to risk their lives? Or to listen to them scream? The answer should be obvious..

It kills me whenever I hear these news and being a mother of 2 children, my heart really goes to those parents who have lost or have had their kids injured because of SOMEONE ELSE'S negligence. I can't even imagine how ANGRY the little girl's parents are.. If I were the mother of this little girl, whether the woman is arrested or not, I would properly punish her and let the whole nation know what a terrible mistake this woman had made.

When you have kids with you, it is NOT ABOUT YOU, it is about THE KIDS..

No car seat installed, power window not being locked, left the kids in the car while she went into a store, using a cell phone and not even noticing the child's head was stuck... My goodness this woman made SO MANY mistakes...

I really hope this little girl will recover..

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At the risk of sounding like a Cleo groupie...

:-)

the whole what if thing is so so so important.. Better to be paranoid

Yes, yes, yes. All it takes is one 'Oh, s/he'll be OK while I ~~~ for a minute'.

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of course there was no adult present and of course seat belts were not being used. not to say something like this wouldn`t happen if there were but hey - what do i know - i am not a child care worker.

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"Emergency services personnel released Kaho from the electric window"....

Does this mean no-one thought of releasing the window before the ambulance got there? That's just pathetic...

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Does this mean no-one thought of releasing the window before the ambulance got there? That's just pathetic...

Possibly. However, it is also possible the woman locked the doors with a keyless entry system and left the key in the ignition. One would hope that if the car was unlocked that the bystander would have opened the window.

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I'm another guy like two other posters married to Japanese women who have problems with our spouses and their seemingly inability to foresee possible danger. It's exasperating to say the least.

No consolation I know, but it works the other way too - my kids have had some horrible and preventable injuries when Daddy's been in charge because he just didn't seem to have that built-in ability to think ahead to potential consequences - like when pushing swings, shutting doors, and so on. He thought I was making "such a fuss about nothing" for insisting on car seats and that I "ruined a holiday" by refusing to travel in his dads car from Osaka to Kyoto because there were no car seats! It was incredibly frustrating!

However - on topic - I think that the fact that this woman is a caregiver - qualified or otherwise, is beside the point. Using car seats for 1 year olds for Gods sake(never mind 8 9 10 year olds!) and not leaving them unattended is just plain common sense! I can't imagine what this poor family must be going through now. Accidents happen with children, no matter how hard you try to protect them, and how on the ball you are. Kids will always find a way to outfox you, and the best you can hope for after checking everything you can think of is damage limitation. But this tragedy was so utterly preventable.

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Does this mean no-one thought of releasing the window before the ambulance got there? That's just pathetic...

what I heard on the news was that when the ambulance arrived, the caregiver woman was performing cardiac massage in the back seat of the car.

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I think that the fact that this woman is a caregiver - qualified or otherwise, is beside the point. Using car seats for 1 year olds for Gods sake(never mind 8 9 10 year olds!) and not leaving them unattended is just plain common sense!

AND as a hoiku-mama, she was actually not supposed to take the kids out on her car. this woman only had 1 carseat installed but she had put 2 kids in the car and went out to get lunch.. being a hoiku-mama, she was supposed to have food/lunch for the kids at her house. hoiku-mamas are allowed to take kids for a walk and etc, but not supposed to drive them to places...

so.... right.. whether she had a license or not, she definitely WAS NOT QUALIFIED as an adult to take care of small kids. she was working as a hoiku-mama for 7 darn years... gives me a chill.

by the way, while i do think this caregiver was stupid and irresponsible, i DO KNOW personally many Japanese mothers/fathers who are VERY responsible and would NOT leave their kids anywhere without making sure they are safe, would NEVER driving them while kids are in a car unless they are in car seats.. Saying that Japanese mothers/fathers are irresponsible IS TOO much to say... there ARE irresponsible ones and it makes me sigh whenever I see small kids in cars with no seat belts or kids sitting in the passenger seat and etc.

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I'd like to know what kind of training a daycare worker gets regarding a one year old child.

Apart from that, this is a horrible incident which is preventable. Hopefully, this woman will be sacked.

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What is wrong with this country? Common sense should be taught in schools to these incompetent half-wits...

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lots of things dont add up, how did a 1 year old get out of the child seat to get head out of window, why did window work if driver had key, why a bystander couldnt release window, buy food from drive through, & more all comes down to stupidity/ complacency

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You are NOT supposed to leave the infants inside the car on any circumstance. If they are out of adult's protection, whatever may happen happens. Common sense, stupid!

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amerijap I agee with you, but even in Canada & the USA they are still leaving some kids inside.

Also the children seats to place the child in the rear seats is a MUST in Canada for sure. Even a special seat, when the baby seat becomes to small for a 3 to 4 yr old.

I have seen the RCMP actually showing the parents how to strap in a child's seat proper as the Constable probably noticed the straps were not correct. That is the proper courtise an RCMP constable can offer rather then a stupid fine.

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sageb1-

I'd like to know what kind of training a daycare worker gets regarding a one year old child

Daycare givers must have a license to work at an authorized daycare.. People who want to become an authorized daycare workers go to either 4-year-university, 2-year-junior college or schools that are equivalent to junior college to study child care and they have to pass the national exam to become an authorized daycare worker.

HOWEVER, there are many non-authorized daycares in Japan (read my previous posts FYI), and whenever these terrible accidents happen, it is 99.9% at those non-authorized daycares. In this case, this 41-year-old woman was a hoiku-mama... meaning she is authorized to take care of small children AT HER OWN HOUSE. Until April 2010, Hoiku-mamas were required to have a nurse or daycare giver license, but the government of Japan lowered the standard and those licenses are NOT required to become a hoiku-mama since April 2010. However, the fact that this woman had been working as a hoiku-mama for 7 years, she must have either a nurse license or a daycare giver license.

At non-authorized daycares, they just need one person who has a license and everyone else doesn't need to have a license or experience (though it is a big plus when they have a license or/and experience), and I don't really trust non-authorized daycares even though they are more convenient for people (don't have to go through government office to apply).

And at authorized daycares, they are required to have at least 1 caregiver per 3 zero & 1-year-olds. Non-authorized daycares, I don't think there's any requirement as for numbers of caregivers per child.

Authorized daycares -- I have seen 3 authorized daycares in Japan (my kids went and one is still in daycare) and ALL 3 OF THEM ARE EXCELLENT and I FULLY TRUST THOSE CAREGIVERS WHO WORK AT THOSE DAYCARES.

Whether licensed or not, whether experienced or not, whatever nationality this woman is, SHE WAS NOT QUALIFIED. She broke many rules and put children in danger.

aussiemac-

lots of things dont add up, how did a 1 year old get out of the child seat to get head out of window, why did window work if driver had key, why a bystander couldnt release window

The 1-year-old girl (1 and 11 months, so she's almost 2) did not get out of child seat. She was NOT sitting in a child seat. The woman only had 1 car seat installed and had 2 small kids in her car. She had this girl in the passenger seat while driving and then moved her to the back seat when she went out to get food. Window worked because the woman left the car running.. She didn't stop the car to go, she left it running.

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RoninGaijin: "what great countries require a license for this? most places you can hire a 13 year old kid to baby sit if you want to. "

Ummm... what countries require you to have a AUTHORIZED daycare? Try any normal country. Babysitters? No, but to run an actual daycare you normally have to contact the human resources bureau or equivalent and register, and that registration requires training. Furthermore no parent would allow their children to be 'cared for' by the likes of a NON-authorized daycare, the likes of which exist all over Japan (as is the case here, in all likelihood).

As for my stab at politicians, while not mentioned in the article, it was fully warranted; there are many in that field as well who have no qualifications for becoming what they are. Look at Ryoko Tani.

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