Few parents intentionally hurt their kids, and those that do are monsters who deserve the justice that’s coming to them. But what about the parents who accidentally make mistakes that put their children’s lives in danger? Even the most attentive parents make mistakes, and there’s an accident lurking around every corner in today’s world.
No mom or dad ever thinks they’ll make a life-changing mistake that will take their child from them or bring the family close to tragedy. We take every precaution for our kids’ safety.
Most parents aren’t shy about sharing their experiences with scary and even tragic events, in the interest of saving other parents and families the heartbreak they’ve experienced. The following fifteen stories are about parents who had no idea that their mistakes would injure or even end the lives of their precious children, but they hope that you’ll learn from their mistakes and cherish your little ones.
15 Dad's Bad Judgment Call
6-year-old Samantha’s dad forgot her booster seat one fateful day. Rather than track down the seat, Samantha’s dad had her strap into a seat belt in his car. But like most kids her age, she didn’t sit correctly in her seat, and wore the shoulder belt behind her body.
That short ride ended with the car smashing into a tree, and Samantha being thrown forward into her seatbelt. Her doctor notes that the damage done to Samantha’s abdominal area was similar to that of a knife across bare skin- it cut her open, causing her intestines to pop out one side of her stomach and tearing apart her muscle and fat. Today reports that kids Samantha’s age should be in a five-point harness, at least until they reach about 70 pounds and can fit a seat belt safely. Still, the booster may have prevented serious injury.
14 Almost Starves Baby By Mistake
In a devastating story from a “Fed is Best Advocate” named “Mandy,” a baby boy who only gained half an ounce in the first month of his life nearly starved before his mom realized he was in danger. While critics point to Fed is Best’s animosity toward the natural act of breastfeeding, their story highlights the fact that paying attention to our babies is key in ensuring they’re taking in adequate amounts of breastmilk.
Not only did this woman’s family doctor fail her, as her son lost nearly ten percent of his birth weight in his first few days of life and barely maintained that weight thereafter, but mom also wasn’t referred to a lactation consultant until her son was a month old. Fortunately, switching exclusively to formula after unsuccessful pumping earned no more milk kept this baby from getting any sicker, and he’s now thriving off the breast.
13 Toddler Gets Chance To Overdose
Stevie Niki, a lifestyle blogger and mom of four, thought her house was adequately child proofed. She also taught her kids to stay safe in their home, but as she shared with Redbook Mag, she wasn’t prepared for the emergency that had her fearing for her daughter’s life. When mom stepped outside the house for a matter of minutes, her three-year-old daughter climbed up on chairs in the kitchen to reach her older sister’s medication that rested on the counter.
In just a few minutes, the toddler consumed between 20 to 30 capsules of medication. Niki rushed her daughter to the emergency room immediately, but was told that fortunately, the overdose wasn’t deadly. The prescription the little girl ate like candy- and reported its taste as such- was for melatonin, a sleep aid commonly prescribed to kids who have trouble sleeping.
12 The Blanket Is To Blame
While she was initially reluctant to share the details surrounding the death of her 7-month-old son, Jordan DeRosier publicly explained that she had put her baby to bed with two of his favorite blankets. One of them ended up wrapped around his head, and baby Sloan never woke up in the morning. Initially commenters suspected that Sloan died from a vaccine reaction, since his mom had posted days before about how sick he was following a doctor’s appointment for six vaccines. However, that post was apparently deleted as Jordan began sharing the details of the accident.
Jordan shared her heart wrenching story as a warning to other parents to follow safety precautions when putting little ones to bed, Fox News says. That includes avoiding blankets and pillows or other soft items that can cause suffocation.
11 Shopping Cart Horror
3-month-old James died hours after falling from the top of a shopping cart, Daily Mail reported. His mom was shopping at their local Kroger’s, and on their way out of the store, the infant’s car seat toppled off the cart. The car seat was resting in the seat area of the cart, on top of the toddler seat which advises against that exact practice.
This mom’s innocent mistake- plenty of moms place infant seats on top of the cart when they shop- wound up killing her baby, a massive caution to all parents who use infant car seats in stores. Contrary to popular belief, the seat area of shopping carts is not a car seat space, and there is no car seat made to lock onto the top. The safest place for baby is in the basket of the cart, or in a built-in seat on carts that have them.
10 Parents’ Game Ends In ER
Huffington Post contributor Joan Gage reported that she’d never heard of nursemaid’s elbow until her three-year-old granddaughter was diagnosed with it. One of Amalia’s favorite dancing games, Gage noted, was the preschooler being swung around by her arms by a parent or grandparent. But on one special holiday, while she was having the Amalia dance with her grandfather, the little girl exclaimed that her arm hurt and refused to bend her elbow.
The family consulted a family friend who was a doctor, and then headed to the nearest ER. That’s where the parents and family learned that nursemaid’s elbow is very common, especially in children under five. Children’s ligaments are softer than adults and teens, so they’re more likely to experience dislocation after seemingly minor accidents. Luckily the treatment is quick and relatively painless, even if the injury seems extreme.
9 The Pressure To Breastfeed Got To Her
New mom Jillian Johnson spoke out to People after losing her 19-day-old son to cardiac arrest and brain injury. The infant experienced severe dehydration 12 hours after being released from the hospital after birth, evidence that he was not consuming enough colostrum in the days after birth. While Johnson points to heavy pressure to breastfeed as the reason her son succumbed to dehydration, the fact that her son’s life was in the hands of medical professionals who didn’t notice the baby’s condition before discharge is concerning.
Many babies experience weight loss immediately after birth, and moms who breastfeed typically receive follow-up care from lactation consultants while in the hospital. Babies are weighed in at birth and before discharge, and moms are given information sheets on infant hunger cues and symptoms that indicate breastfeeding isn’t going well. Johnson’s son’s death highlights a need for improved guidelines on feeding recommendations.
8 Sickened By Mom’s Diet
At two weeks old, baby Ezra began crying non-stop and spiked a high fever. As KETV reported, mom Lucinda knew something was wrong and rushed her baby to the hospital. Ezra was diagnosed with a serious case of listeria meningitis, which is a brain infection that infants typically contract from their mothers while in utero.
Pregnant women commonly avoid a long list of foods for their unborn babies’ safety, but this mom had no idea that eating cold cuts could cause her infant son to almost lose his life. Doctors assumed that Lucinda’s consumption of cold cuts, or deli meats, likely led to her harboring the bacteria that made her son sick. Unless thoroughly heated, cold cuts can sicken babies, whose immune systems aren’t developed enough in utero or in the first few weeks of life to fight off illness.
7 Car Seat Oversight Turns Fatal
When Kyle was three years old, he rode in a booster seat, a milestone most parents don’t think much of. After all, many car seats list only weight requirements and not height or age specifications. In a commemorative Facebook post, Kyle’s mom reminisced about her son’s vibrant personality and love of turtles. Even after twelve years, the pain was fresh and fiery inside Kyle’s mom, made worse by the fact that her beloved son’s death was completely preventable.
If only someone had told her, she says, she would have kept Kyle in a 5-point harness seat, and he may have walked away from the accident that ended up taking his life. She begs parents to consider the safety of their children when choosing and installing car seats, and suggests visiting a car seat safety technician to ensure your children’s safety in the car.
6 Town Mom Becomes Town Monster
While hot car death cases are tragically common today, in 2007, Brenda Slaby became the most publicized case. As a school administrator and mom of two, Brenda was active in the community and well-known and respected by her peers in the public school system. But on the first day of school in 2007, Brenda forgot to drop her 2-year-old daughter Cecilia off at the babysitter’s.
Instead of leaving Cecilia with her babysitter, Brenda drove straight to work and forgot that the baby was in the vehicle. Temperatures reached over 100 degrees that day, and by the time anyone noticed baby Cecilia in the back seat of Brenda’s vehicle, the little girl was dead. Oprah later interviewed Brenda, CNN reports, and learned how hated Brenda became in her close-knit community. Her mistake not only took her daughter’s life, but ruined hers as well.
5 She'll Remember It Forever
Washington Post contributor Lauren Markoe shared a very personal story about her 10-month-old son’s injury that will make every parent think twice about those frequent trips to the local playground. Markoe was riding down a slide with toddler Jacob in her lap when his foot got stuck against the side of the slide. The baby screamed, and Markoe knew immediately that something wasn’t right.
Weeks later, Markoe marveled at her toddler son’s ability to adapt to his cast, which stretched from the tips of his toes to his upper thigh. Luckily, she noted, doctors suggest that he’ll recover just fine from the tibia fracture that the impact of his and his mother’s bodies pushing against his little leg caused. But mom won’t soon forget the traumatic events, and she cautions parents against sliding with small children.
4 Nearly Fatal Trampoline Accident
Mom Kaitlin Hill never knew that the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that kids under six should never use trampolines. So when she took her kids to an indoor trampoline park, she let her 3-year-old son Colton bounce near her and her husband. Although she notes, Colton was bouncing in a single square area of the trampoline by himself. He jumped, fell, and broke his femur- the strongest bone in the body.
Following the incident, Kaitlin captured her son’s heartbreaking reaction to the pain of his broken bone and the application of a hip spica cast, which immobilizes the hips and legs while the femur heals. For six weeks Colton has to wear the cast, after which his mom will likely swear off trampolines for the foreseeable future, if not forever!
3 Neglectful Mom Blamed For Infant’s Death
Kathleen Steele underwent artificial insemination after her husband’s death to conceive her three-year-old son and infant daughter. She also had a six-year-old son, who neighbors claimed was aggressive and often barred from playing with their children because of it. Steele’s infant daughter ended up dead because of the mother’s lack of attention toward any of the children.
Before the infant was killed following her older brother’s attempts to stop her from crying, the mother accidentally knocked the baby out of her infant carrier, resulting in a fracture and hospital visit. However, the day that Steele took her children to get her cell phone fixed, she left the kids in the car for almost forty minutes. Investigators later said that the interior of the car was covered in blood when she returned, the baby dead from a brutal beating at the older brother’s attempts to stop her crying.
2 Homemade Formula Has It's Risks
When mom Becky Jackson realized she wasn’t producing enough breastmilk for her twins, she switched her daughter to a homemade organic formula. Since her baby boy had a sensitive stomach, he stayed on an exclusive breastmilk diet. Her daughter’s formula, Jackson notes, came from a recipe online and included goat’s milk, coconut milk, and liquid vitamins. According to the family’s pediatrician, the formula was nutritionally sufficient in every way.
However, Jackson neglected to follow the recipe appropriately, and added extra vitamin D to the mixture because she believed that more would be better. But after some time on the alternative formula, baby Elizabeth began to grow slowly, her skin appeared pale, and her eyes looked sunken. The baby had vitamin D toxicity due to her mother adding over 8000 times the necessary amount of vitamin D to her formula.
1 Pink Is Warned...
Pink was already under fire for not properly restraining daughter Willow in her car seat, but now her parenting of baby Jameson is catching heat- literally. Pink shared a photo of her and the kids prepping dinner, with Willow on the counter beside the stove. If that’s not risqué enough for most moms, Hollywood Gossip’s pic shows that Pink is also wearing baby Jameson in a front-facing baby carrier while managing a sizzling skillet over the stove.
We already know that no baby carrier company recommends using a front carrier while cooking, and most moms don’t even want their kids underfoot or in the same room while they’re managing a hot stove. Besides, baby Jameson’s face is less than a foot from the pan in this photo, so no doubt he’s feeling some hot steam from the skillet.
Sources: Today, Fed Is Best, Daily Mail, Fox News, Facebook, CNN, Washington Post, Hollywood Gossip, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Redbook Mag, Elite Readers, People, KETV