You’ve heard countless stories about kids being left in cars, often with tragic results.
Here’s a different kind of “kids left in car” story. It involves possibly overzealous officials, a lawsuit, and muffins.
Holly Curry of Kentucky left her kids in the car to get them muffins from a local café. It was 67 degrees and partly cloudy. She was gone for less than 10 minutes.
When she came back, the cops were waiting for her. They said that they were not arresting her, but they were “detaining” her. They did not allow her to call her husband.
The police told Ms. Curry that were going to file form with the child protective service agency (the form is called a JC3 form-it’s kind of like a red alert to officials).
The next day, an investigator showed up along with a sheriff’s deputy. They didn’t have a warrant, but they told Curry that if she didn’t cooperate, they would take her children away right then and there.
Each child was required to strip naked for an examination. The investigator even removed the diapers of the two youngest kids.
The upshot? Two weeks later Curry was found not guilty of child neglect. She is now suing authorities.
One last thing: cases where children have perished in cars overwhelmingly involve a combination of hot temperatures and multiple hours of exposure. There is no known instance of a child suffering any harm from being left in a car for less than ten minutes on a cool day. In fact, it is actually more dangerous overall to take kids through a parking lot than to leave them in a car for less than ten minutes. According to data from the NHTSA, two to three times as many children are killed when cars back over or hit them in parking lots than die from being left in hot cars.