Psychology Expert Witness On Forgotten Baby Syndrome

Psychology expert witness Dr. David Diamond testified for the defense in the trial of a mother accused of leaving her five month old unattended in a hot car. The mother, Wakesha Ives, faces a negligent homicide charge after she left her baby in the car while she was working.

Dr. Diamond, psychology professor at the University of South Florida, specializes in neuroscience and memory. He described what he calls Forgotten Baby Syndrome. “Forgotten Baby Syndrome is when normal, attentive, loving parents forget their kids in the car.”

Accidentally leaving a baby or young child in a locked car may have tragic results. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports:

Most people don’t realize that a child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s. Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches around 104 degrees; death can follow in a child when that temperature reaches 107 degrees…

Such deaths are the leading cause of non-crash related fatalities for children 14 and younger. Just as tragic, 53% of the child heatstroke deaths were because the child was forgotten in the vehicle by a distracted parent or caregiver.


About Karen Olson

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