North Texas Daily

Child neglect kills

Child neglect kills

April 13
22:29 2010

EDITORIAL

A McKinney man was arrested outside a Dallas strip club Friday night after a tow truck driver discovered the man’s children were locked inside his illegally parked vehicle.

The kids, one 3 years old the other 9 months old, had been left in the car for more than an hour and a half. Michael Galloway told police officers he was in the club for 20 minutes, but witnesses said the 36-year-old was drinking in the club from 10:15 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. Galloway’s wife picked up the children and declined to comment. The children were not harmed.

Aside from legal costs and some potential jail time, Galloway will escape the truly lasting consequences of his selfish actions. He will live without feeling the guilt that comes from knowing his own parental failure may have caused the deaths of his two small children.

Unfortunately, Galloway’s action is not an isolated incident, but rather a reoccurring story that presents itself with increasing regularity during the blazing summer months.

Nationally, this modern adaptation of child abuse and negligence has claimed the lives of 445 children since 1998 — 58 children died in Texas alone, more than in any other state. Two of the 33 children who died last year from what is designated as “death by hyperthermia” were from North Texas.

Darrell “Tre” Singleton III died in September when his mother knowingly left the 1-year-old locked in a hot car for eight hours outside the Arlington building where she worked. Keashia Dyon Matthews told police she turned on the air-conditioner when she checked on the boy periodically throughout the day. After the end of her shift, Matthews noticed the child’s bright red appearance but picked up her other daughters from school before going to the hospital. When the boy was pronounced dead his core body temperature was 107 degrees.

Addeleena Sanchez was accidently left in a car for five hours in August when her Mother, a 23-year-old teacher’s aide at Corsicana’s Bowie Elementary School, forgot to drop the 7-month-old off at the babysitter.

The mother, Consuela Sanchez, discovered her mistake when she called to check-in with the babysitter at around 1:30 p.m. She ran to her vehicle and called police, but it was too late.

The cringe-inducing, guilt-ridden pain felt by Sanchez in the discovery of her horrifying mistake is also felt by 15 to 25 U.S. parents each year who mistakenly leave their children to swelter to death in locked cars.

As summer approaches and the Texas sun grows warmer, take a little longer to notice the enveloping heat in the moments before you start your parked car. Wait until you feel uncomfortable, until the heat is hard to breath, and think about the neglect of which people are capable.

Be mindful as you walk through parking lots, and if you see a child in a parked car, take the responsibility to make sure they are safe.

The Editorial Board includes: Shaina Zucker, Josh Pherigo, Rebecca Hoeffner, T.S. McBride, Melissa Boughton, Amber Arnold, Kip Mooney, Abigail Allen, Sydnie Summers, Brianne Tolj, Clinton Lynch, Justin Umberson, and David Williams.

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