This summer, ABC aired an episode of its new hidden-camera reality show, What Would You Do?, in which the show’s producers placed a realistic looking manikin of a child in a hot car to see how people would react to it. Most of the people either attempted to free the “child” from the car, called 911, or brought a police officer or other emergency personnel to the scene.
However, many of them also expressed extreme hostility to the “parent” when he or she finally showed up. In many cases, this person was cursed at or threatened. Some people even attempted to resort to violence against the supposed mother or father, before being told that it was just a setup. Apparently, we have lots of otherwise peaceful people in this country who would be more than willing to physically hurt someone for even accidentally or carelessly doing something that would endanger a child.
I cannot comprehend this mentality. None of us are perfect. Even the best and most vigilant of us have accidents and slip-ups once in a while. And, yes, we are all careless at times. No one is going to get it right every time, even when caring for children. Therefore, I would tend to show a little more understanding for a parent who has left a child in a hot car. What parent in his or her right mind would intentionally endanger a child like that? Obviously, this is something that is done due to inattentiveness 99.99% of the time.
So, if I ever encountered a situation such as those people in the TV show happened across, I would first attempt to find the parent (as quickly as I could, of course) and alert him or her to the situation. Hopefully, they could get to the car as soon as possible and remove the child before any damage is done and before any law enforcement official, or anyone who would report the incident to such official, found out about it. Only if I could not free the child myself or find the parent within a few minutes would I contact authorities. And then I would plead for mercy for the parent(s).