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Toddler found alone and unclothed in cold weather

Posted: December 13, 2013 - 10:46am

Welfare concern at 1400 block of Clifton Street.

Police were dispatched to the area in reference to a toddler who was in a front yard in only a diaper and shirt. 

The people reporting stated they were concerned because it was 38 degrees outside, and the child had been in the front yard unsupervised for at least 10 minutes. 

Before police arrived the reporting people opened a glass storm door behind an open front door at the residence where the child was and let him go inside to keep warm. 

When police arrived they entered the home, according to the Conway Police Department report, to make sure a guardian was not injured inside the residence. 

The report states police found a woman asleep inside the home with the child standing near her. 

Police made several attempts to wake the woman, and she was "very surprised" when she awoke and saw police. 

According to the report, the woman signaled that she was deaf, and police communicated with her by writing on a notebook. 

During the interview, the child's grandmother came home from the grocery store and explained she may not have let the door close all the way when she left. 

After leaving the residence police contacted the child abuse hotline to report the incident.

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lachowsj
3825
Points
lachowsj 12/13/13 - 03:32 pm
1
2

Very surprised

I'm very surprised that police would leave a toddler in the care of a woman (presumably mother) who had been asleep and could not easily be roused and a grandmother who left the child in the care of this woman and failed by her own admission to properly secure the door. Except for the action of concerned neighbors, this child could have wandered into the street or been injured or even died of exposure. What does it take for a parent to be charged with neglect and a child to be taken into foster care?

faulknerwatchdog
580
Points
faulknerwatchdog 12/15/13 - 10:32 pm
5
0

Thankfully, it takes a lot

Thankfully, it takes a lot more than just what appears to be on the surface of this story. The child was arguably in danger, but it would appear that there were no obvious signs of neglect. Having a disabled parent is not enough grounds to be removed from her care.

lachowsj
3825
Points
lachowsj 12/16/13 - 08:46 am
2
0

Not about being disabled

This case, at least as the story is written, has nothing to do with disability. The parent was found asleep and unable to be awakened (possibly indicating an impaired condition due to alcohol or drugs) and a toddler aged child was wandering outside. This should warrant an emergency placement or the contacting of father or other responsible relatives for care of the child, as well as a social services investigation of the mother.

Here is just one example of how parental neglect issues are handled in other places:
http://www.twincities.com/crime/ci_24720017/parents-reportedly-left-baby...

faulknerwatchdog
580
Points
faulknerwatchdog 12/16/13 - 05:00 pm
3
0

Did you miss the part about

Did you miss the part about the mother signaling to the police that she was deaf and had to communicate via paper and pencil? Perhaps she also suffers from epilepsy or diabetes, both of which could cause unexpected and sudden syncopal episodes.

Then again, maybe she was intoxicated and strung out on meth. However, I doubt it, because the police would have taken her into custody and DHS would have taken the child.

We are too quick to judge. I know from experience children can disappear from under your very nose, even when you're paying attention.

lachowsj
3825
Points
lachowsj 12/16/13 - 08:33 pm
1
1

Didn't miss that.

I also didn't miss this: "Police made several attempts to wake the woman, and she was 'very surprised' when she awoke and saw police." I read that to mean she could not be roused, not because she was deaf but because she was so deeply asleep (for whatever reason). I imagine the police were concerned with her condition but were willing to accept the explanation of the grandmother and based on that to leave the child in grandmother's care. My difference of opinion is with the judgment that the grandmother was an adequate caretaker in that moment. Perhaps both contended that mother was wide awake when grandmother left. I have difficulty believing that. Perhaps they also believed that leaving the door unlatched was a momentary oversight and will not happen again. I would at least question that in the moment.

Consider this: If you are driving, fall asleep for a moment, run a stop sign and injure a pedestrian, you will be held criminally and civilly liable, even if you had no intention of hurting anyone. But let's say you ran the stop sign and didn't hurt anyone. If police witnessed that, you would surely be ticketed and would likely face more serious charges. Police would strongly question you about how and why you fell asleep while driving. They would address you sternly and point out that you could have killed someone. They would not allow you to continue driving until they were thoroughly convinced you could stay awake and drive safely.

Should we not hold parents to standards as high as drivers?

conwaygerl
3385
Points
conwaygerl 12/17/13 - 04:36 pm
1
0

Uh

--'very surprised' when she awoke and saw police"

Unless you are USED TO the police being in your residence and waking you up, yes that WOULD be very surprising.

Have none of you fallen asleep unexpectedly before?

Throw those stones!!
Can we burn this woman at the stake for falling asleep?

justask
230
Points
justask 12/16/13 - 01:36 pm
2
0

The bottom line

One should never leave a toddler unattended. That means staying awake and watchful. And grandmom should have known before leaving the house whether or not mom was awake, plus should have taken care to close AND lock the door. If there are any sort of child rearing classes in the area, I hope they are required to take it.

conwaygerl
3385
Points
conwaygerl 12/16/13 - 07:09 pm
2
1

What a relief

To see all the comments from perfect parents in conway...

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