Irresponsible Parenting

Consider this scenario, a couple of your people meet at bar and hit it off, resulting in a long term relationship. A few years down the road they decided to start a family and they have a baby. One night the couple decide that they want to go out to the bars as they always have in the past. Have a few beers and do some dancing, just have some fun. Unable to find someone to watch the baby they decide to take the baby to the bar and leave it at their table while they enjoy the nights activities. I think we can all agree that that couple would find themselves in legal problems and could maybe even lose the child due to neglect.

OK how about instead of going to bars this same couple enjoyed skydiving as a form of recreation and they decided they wanted to go skydiving and again no baby sitter they strap the kid into a harness and jump from the plane with the kid in tow. Again very likely we would see the couple in deep trouble and possibly lose the kid.

Well what if instead of drinking and dancing or skydiving the couple has a cute two seat sports car that they enjoyed riding around in. Then instead of getting a larger car with room for a safety seat in the back seat they just hold the baby in their laps when they go someplace. Once again the odds are very good the couple would be in trouble and could be charge with child abuse and maybe even lose the child.

All of these scenarios are very rare in today’s world. Very few parents are this selfish to put their needs ahead of the needs of the child. However there is one place where this is becoming a larger problem with each passing year. The place is a place very dear to my heart, the local Saturday night race track. Not a year goes by that we do not see a thread on the local racing message board about people complaining that they have to pay full price to get their kid into the pits. When it is suggested that the pits are a work place and the kids should not be there we hear the same response. Well i do not want to sit in the stands or my wife does not want to sit in the stands.

The majority of the drivers at your local Saturday night track are not professional drivers. They work a 40 hour week elsewhere and this is their hobby. There are dozens of cars moving through the pits at any moment in time. A parents turns their head just for an instant and a toddler walks away and is in danger of being hit. Or a driver buckled inside a car is unable to see them due to their small size. Or as often seen kids as young as 8 years old are joy riding on three and four wheelers not paying attention to anything around them.  While in the pits drivers and workers are focused on the cars getting them prepared for the next race. It is a work place and not a social club. Parents who feel they have the right to bring their children to the pits of a race track are no less negligent than any of the other three examples of neglectful parents mentioned above. It is time for local race tracks across the US to look past that extra $25 pit fee and think of the well being of the children and everyone else who working in the pits. Time to set a strict age limit for pit access during the racing program. Do we need to see another child die needlessly before we do something. I wonder if a driver in Chicopee Mass now wishes that he didn’t bring his 2 year old daughter to the pits with him after the child was crushed between two cars. Wake up local Saturday night race tracks before there is another young life snuffed out because parents feel they didn’t want the extra bother of having to sit in the stands with their child.

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