Parents arrested after toddler son is
found dead in hot car on 90-degree day
#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters #HeatStrokeKills #LookBeforeYouLock #PassTheHotCarsAct
An Alabama couple is facing criminal charges for the death of their toddler son, who police said was found dead Sunday in a hot car.
The toddler was found unresponsive on the spot
Officers were sent to Hodges around 4:00 pm. against the background of reports of a three-year-old child with no answer in the car. Franklin County Police said in a statement that an ambulance attempted to resuscitate the boy, but he was pronounced dead on the spot.
The boy’s parents, 20-year-old Dakota Fowler and 21-year-old Brandy Burks, reportedly said they last saw their baby at midnight as they put him to bed. When they woke up at 3:00 pm, they couldn’t find their son and found him in the car, police said.
Investigators identified the deceased child as Bentley Fowler.
Autopsy reports revealed that the toddler died due to heatstroke
On Sunday the temperature in Hodges reached 93 degrees. Although Fowler and Burks were arrested and charged with manslaughter, Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver called their son’s death an accident.
The baby’s body was sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Medicine for an autopsy. Records show Fowler and Burks remain in prison.
According to No Heatstroke, Bentley Fowler became the 15th Child to die in a hot car this year.In 2019, 52 children died from car heatstroke.
Unfortunately, there have been 15 hot car deaths this year in the U.S. Not surprisingly, given the pandemic and children being home more frequently, the percentage of children that gained access to a vehicle on their own is nearly double the average this year (47% this year vs 26% on average).
Today, Thursday, August 13th KidsAndCars.org is joining the National Highway Safety Administration and is hosting a Tweet-up to raise awareness about preventing hot car deaths. Please join us in posting throughout the day using the hashtags #heatstrokekills, #lookbeforeyoulock and #passtheHotCarsAct
On Monday, July 20, 2020, the 11th Child this year was taken in Arkansas while playing in a vehicle. Her 15-month-old sister remains in critical condition.
Two days earlier, on Saturday July 18, 2020, the killer was there in Texas when the little boy climbed into the vehicle and started playing. There were no eye witnesses when the unseen stalker took the 10th Child this year.
In Kentucky, Saturday July 11, as the little girl played in the vehicle, someone had to see and know the danger, even before the 9th Child was taken.
Every one of the Children on this list lost their lives due to HEAT STROKE.
How many Children were VICTIMIZED by Child Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Mental Abuse, and/or Trafficking just this year?
Our Children are easy prey when left unsupervised and many parents mistakenly believe their Children are safe indoors.
The internet is a cesspool of perverts and pedophiles doing everything possible to lure Children to them.
Nothing can replace Parental Supervision and Quality Time. Missed Quality Time is gone forever, and can never be made-up. Good memories are easy to make and free for the making during Quality Time.
When children grow up in safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments, they learn empathy, impulse control, anger management and problem-solving—all skills that protect against violence.
Proclamation on National Child Abuse
Prevention Month, 2020
Issued on: March 31, 2020
Childhood should be filled with joy, hope, unconditional love, and acceptance. Tragically, however, far too many of our Nation’s young people spend this foundational time of their lives in fear, pain, and uncertainty, enduring abuse and neglect that threatens their health and well-being. During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we condemn this horrific depravity and reaffirm our unwavering commitment to protecting our children and strengthening our families.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of children across our country suffer from abuse and neglect, a fact that is both sobering and heart-wrenching. In January, I signed an Executive Order to coordinate the Federal Government’s efforts to prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children online, protect and support victims of child exploitation, and provide prevention education to raise awareness and help lower the incidence of child exploitation. I also signed into law legislation to enhance our child welfare systems by supporting at-risk families through mental health and substance abuse treatment and programs to develop parenting skills.
With our international partners in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, the United States developed the Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. The Voluntary Principles establish a baseline framework for companies that provide online services to deter use of the internet as a tool for sexually exploiting and abusing children. Several major technology companies have publicly adopted the principles and more will follow in the coming months. These companies have a responsibility to prevent their platforms from becoming a haven for child predators and to also ensure law enforcement is able to investigate and prosecute offenders when children have been victimized.
Child abuse causes the loss of innocence and hope. Loving, devoted, and caring families can serve as a bulwark against our children suffering from neglect and abuse. Child Welfare Information Gateway, the information service of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, offers several resources on preventing child abuse and promoting healthy families through its National Child Abuse Prevention Month website. Familiarizing yourself with the information provided by the Department of Health and Human Services can help you learn more about what you and your community can do to support children and families during this month and throughout the year.
To eradicate this blight on our society, compassionate and concerned Americans must work to effect change and impact young lives. Child welfare agencies, clergy members, educators, medical and law enforcement professionals, neighbors, friends, and extended family members all contribute to protecting and nurturing our Nation’s youth. Foster, kinship, and adoptive parents open their hearts and their homes to children in crisis and empower them to find happiness and achieve their dreams. Working together, these forces for good can ensure the welfare of children who have experienced the traumas of abuse or neglect and give them a promising future.
The success of our Nation is reflected in our economic and cultural prosperity and military might, but our character is revealed by how we cherish and protect the weak, innocent, and vulnerable. All children are uniquely created in the image of God and gifted with both purpose and unlimited potential. We can and must relentlessly protect our children, homes, and communities from the scourge of these shameful tragedies and support families and communities to ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their potential.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2020 as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. I call upon all Americans to invest in the lives of our Nation’s children, to be aware of their safety and well-being, and to support efforts that promote their psychological, physical, and emotional development.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.
It may seem odd to baby-proof your home when your infant can’t even roll over yet, but you may be surprised at how soon he’ll be getting around and getting into things. So it’s never too soon. Take the time to baby-proof when your little one is still brand new or even before he arrives.
Tie It Down
Time to secure your TVs and furniture — just in case. Use furniture straps to hold TVs, bookshelves, dressers, and other heavy furniture in place in any rooms where your child might be left alone, even for a minute. Don’t put a TV on top of a dresser — the drawers can be used for climbing. Put corner or edge bumpers on any furniture with sharp edges.
You might not see your toilet as a hazard, but the water in it, and the toilet lid, can be a danger for a curious child. So prevent any problems: Remember to always keep toilet lids down and secured with a lid lock.
Control Your Cords
Use cord holders to keep longer cords fastened against walls. That way, your little one can’t tug on a tangle of computer cords and other electrical wiring. That could keep your baby safe from electrical hazards or heavy equipment that falls after a couple of tiny tugs.
Give Baby a Safe Night’s Sleep
Make sure your baby’s crib has fixed rails. Or if you must use an older crib, don’t use the drop-side rail, or get an immobilizer for it. (Cribs with drop-side rails are banned.) Test the crib to make sure your baby can’t fit his head between the slats. If you can slide a soda can between the slats, they’re too wide. Always keep soft items like blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, and bumpers out of your baby’s sleep space.
Manage Your Medication
Store all medicines in a high, locked cabinet. Never take medicine out of its original childproof container. Try not to take medicine in front of your child or he may want to imitate you. Never call medicine “candy.” And don’t flush old pills down the toilet. Get rid of them through your local drug take-back program, or put them in a sealed bag with something your child won’t want to eat — like kitty litter or coffee grounds — and throw it in the trash.
Tie all blind cords high out of reach, or cut the ends and attach breakaway safety tassels. Never put a crib or child’s bed near window blinds or drapes. Those dangling cords can be a choking risk.
Put outlet covers on all exposed electrical sockets to keep your little one from getting an electric shock. Some small outlet covers can be a choking hazard if a baby or toddler pries them out of the wall. Look for “childproof” covers that require two hands to remove or cover plates that screw on. For double protection, place large furniture in front of outlets.
When It’s Time for a Change
You’ll probably be surprised at how fast your baby learns to roll over — and the changing table becomes a falling hazard. Be sure your changing table has safety straps and always buckle up when diapering your child. Don’t ever leave baby alone on the table. Plan ahead and have all the items you need — diapers, wipes, baby cream, nail clippers, and a small toy — handy before you start to change the baby.
Lock It Up
Protect curious kids from household cleaners and other chemicals by storing those items in locked cabinets or installing safety latches that lock when you close the cabinet door. Do the same for any low cupboards that contain risky items like small appliances. For added safety, store hazardous items up high and far away from small fingers.
Safety in the Car
Keep your baby safe in your car, too — in a rear-facing car seat until he’s 2. Don’t use a car seat if you don’t know its history. It may have been involved in a car crash or it may be past its expiration date. Avoid a used car seat that looks damaged or is missing parts or the instructions. Avoid recalled models, too. You can find out more about car seat safety from the manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (http://www.safercar.gov).
Make tub time fun, but safe, for your little one. Prevent scalding by adjusting your hot water heater so that the water is no hotter than 120 degrees. Install no-slip strips on the bottom of your tub and a soft cover on the faucet to protect tender heads. Most important, never leave your baby or toddler alone in the tub, even for a moment.
Limit Baby’s Movement
If there are some rooms you don’t want to baby proof, use baby gates to keep your little one from getting into them. Also install gates at the top and bottom of the stairs beforeyour baby gets mobile. Don’t use accordion-style gates, which could trap the baby’s head. Look for gates that attach securely to the wall but won’t pinch small fingers.
Prevent Window Falls
Place your child’s crib and other furniture away from windows. Don’t rely on standard window screens — they’re meant to keep insects out, not children in. Instead, install childproof screens, or even better, window guards, which are proven to prevent falls.
Around Pools and Water Features
Take steps to safeguard areas around pools, hot tubs, and other home features with standing water, like fish tanks and ponds. Backyard pools should be completely surrounded by a 4-foot fence, preferably with a self-latching gate. Pool covers and alarms may provide additional protection. Don’t leave toys floating in pools. And just like in the tub, never take your eyes off a child near water.
Practice Toy Safety
Baby toys should be safe for babies. Your child’s toys should be much larger than his mouth, to prevent choking. Check that all the parts attached to a toy — like doll eyes or teddy bear bows — are securely fastened and can’t be torn off. Remove mobiles attached to a crib as soon as your baby can push up on his hands and knees.
You may leave appliances such as the toaster, coffee maker, or paper shredder plugged in for convenience. But some appliances can harm your child if she turns them on, pulls them down on her, or gets tangled in a cord. Unplug them when you’re not using them and put them away, out of reach, if you can.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential to your family’s safety. Install a smoke alarm outside every bedroom or sleeping area, and make sure there’s at least one on every floor. Don’t put smoke detectors near the kitchen or bathroom — these areas can trigger false alarms that may leave you inclined to ignore them. Check the batteries every month.
Choose a Safer Toy Box
Choose a toy box with a safe design. Avoid containers with hinged lids that slam down. You want one with a light, removable lid or one that slides. If yours has a hinged top, make sure it has a lid support that can prop the lid open. Pick a toy box with ventilation holes or a gap beneath the lid — in case a kid climbs in.
Get Your Child’s Point of View
The best way to baby proof is to see things the way your baby does. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. What’s at baby’s eye level and within easy reach? Kids can be curious about anything they see, like computer cords and glassware on low shelves. You might not notice breakable or hazardous items when you’re towering above them.
Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 27, 2019
He Didn’t Abuse His Daughter. The State Took Her Anyway.
What does it mean to be a parent? One man hopes his case will change how a decades-old New York law treats unwed fathers.
For the first five years of his daughter Amanda’s life, Ping N., a restaurant manager in Manhattan, lived with his little girl and her mother. He tucked her into bed at night and enjoyed spoiling her with her favorite snacks, like fish balls, egg tarts and ramen noodles.
But when child welfare officials found that Amanda’s mother had inflicted excessive corporal punishment on her in 2013, they removed the girl from the home. Even though court records show that Ping had never committed abuse and was not present when it took place, a judge later decided that he would lose his daughter, too. Ping could not have custody or any say in her life anymore.
Lawyers for Ping, an immigrant from China whose surname is being withheld to protect the identity of his children, are now appealing that decision in what they hope will be a test case that changes how the decades-old law treats unwed fathers.
In New York and 11 other states, if a mother is accused of abuse or neglect but the father is not, and he is not married to her, he must prove that he is a parent in his own right — otherwise he will not have a say in whether the child is put up for adoption. In most of those states, including New York, proof means paying child support — not to the mother but to the government agency that has taken the child.
“This is just blatant discrimination based on stale gender stereotypes — that the only way to be a father is to have a wedding ceremony or else to be a kind of rote financial provider,” said Martin Guggenheim, a law professor at New York University who studies family law and children’s rights.
Defenders of the New York law, which dates to 1980, say it helps children who have been languishing in foster care to get a permanent home sooner by preventing unmarried fathers who do not support their children from using the courts to delay or stop an adoption.
If those fathers had full rights, “we would have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he abandoned the child … which can take years,” said Ira L. Eras, a New York lawyer who has mostly represented foster care agencies for three decades.
A Family Court judge in Manhattan ended Ping’s parental rights last year, paving the way for Amanda’s adoption by another family. The judge cited Ping’s status as an unwed father at the time of his daughter’s birth and his failure to pay child support to Catholic Guardian Services, the foster care agency that the city’s child welfare arm, the Administration for Children’s Services, had hired to take custody of the girl.
Ping’s appeal, which was submitted in February and will be argued this fall by lawyers with the Family Defense Clinic at New York University School of Law, contended that he was financially supporting his daughter by giving her clothes, toys, food, gift cards and money, as well as by paying for outings and meals they had together. Ping said he was never told that he also owed child support to the government and had never received a bill.
His lawyers added that there was no apparent way for fathers to pay child support to New York foster care agencies, a claim echoed by other lawyers in similar cases.
A spokeswoman for the Administration for Children’s Services, Chanel Caraway, and the executive director of Catholic Guardian Services, Craig Longley, both said they could not comment on a specific case. Ms. Caraway also declined to comment on whether the agency had ever tried to get fathers to pay child support in these situations.
The state does not track how often the law is given as the reason for ending a father’s parental rights. But a review of Family Court decisions and interviews with foster care lawyers suggests it is routinely cited in those cases.
Last week, David Dunbar, a 43-year-old overnight grocery store manager from the South Bronx, narrowly missed becoming one of them.
After the mother of Mr. Dunbar’s daughter developed severe mental illness in 2014, the children’s services agency deemed her to be an unfit parent and placed the girl, Destiny, then 10, in foster care. In order for her to be adopted, the agency had to show that Mr. Dunbar was also not a fit parent.
Although court records show that Mr. Dunbar consistently visited Destiny, took parenting classes and passed drug tests, the foster care agency, St. Dominic’s Family Services, argued that his rights should be ended in part because he failed to communicate regularly with officials about his plans for his daughter.
As the years went on, the agency began citing the state’s decades-old law as an alternate reason for ending Mr. Dunbar’s rights, court records show. But at a hearing in Manhattan on Sept. 18, the agency dropped its petition, largely because Destiny, now 16, had repeatedly stated to the court that she wanted to be with her father.
“I loved my daughter’s mother,” Mr. Dunbar said. “I wish I could’ve married her. I wish we could have lived a wonderful life together. But we didn’t. That doesn’t mean I’m not a dad.”
Diane Aquino, the chief operating officer of St. Dominic’s Family Services, said that she could not comment on an individual case but that the agency would not try to end a father’s rights if he were “actively planning for his child.”
“Five years in foster care indicates a father who is only intermittently planning,” Dr. Aquino said.
A half-century ago, unwed fathers had even fewer rights. But a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1972 redefined fatherhood, to an extent.
In that case, the justices found that a state could not deny an unwed father his parental rights without demonstrating that he was unfit. Over the next decade, legislators in New York and at least nine other states decided that the fitness of these unmarried fathers would be judged by whether they paid child support and maintained some relationship with the child.
When those laws were passed, many policymakers had a particular scenario in mind: a single mother who wanted to give up her child for adoption. Their goal was to prevent an absentee father from thwarting the mother’s decision without having paid child support.
But they did not take into account adoptions that occurred after a government agency had taken a child from a mother because of abuse or neglect. In order to satisfy the law, the unwed father would technically have to send payments to the government.
In New York, lawyers for fathers said that making payments to foster care agencies was not even possible. The agencies do not try to collect the money, they said, and fathers do not know where or to whom to send it.
“I’ve tried to imagine ways of doing it — having my clients get child support orders against themselves, which they can then pay, or offer to pay the agency in cash every time they can, just so it’s in the record that they tried,” said Yusuf El Ashmawy, a lawyer who represents Mr. Dunbar and other fathers. “It’s mind-bending.”
Since its passage nearly four decades ago, New York’s law has not been updated, even as the culture and the courts have embraced more expansive views of what makes a family . The state’s highest court struck down an earlier provision requiring unwed fathers to be living with their child’s mother in order to have a say in an adoption, but it has not directly ruled on other aspects of the statute.
Ping’s lawyers hope his argument will sway the court.
His daughter Amanda, now 11, was adopted by a white family with whom she has bonded. She lost her ability to communicate with Ping in Mandarin; he does not speak English. Ping eventually married Amanda’s mother, and they had a son, Owen, now 6. Ping’s wife has since died, and he is raising his son on his own.