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Toddler Trapped In Car Window: Parents To Blame?

A 21-month-old girl who was injured when her neck became trapped in a car window is expected to make a full recovery, according to Winder police cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her neck became trapped in the small opening and the girl temporarily lost consciousness.

Police Sgt. Rachel Love told reporters that the toddler will likely recover to normal because of the immediate performance of CPR on the girl by a neighbor, as well as the quick response of Winder firefighters. She was in critical condition on Saturday night but now is stable and improving.

Police say the girl was left unattended in the car with her 3-year-old brother while the mother was away. Investigators are not sure how long the mother had left the children alone in the car, but said they believe she was inside a nearby home during the incident. 

The investigation is ongoing but it's possible the mother might have to consult a Georgia family law attorney if her continued custody of the children is in question.

Here is what typically happens if an investigation is opened:

If investigators decide the child's injuries were a result of neglect, then case managers from the Georgia Dept. of Human Services' Division of Family & Children Services likely would schedule regular visits to make sure the situation has improved, according to information provided by the agency. If conditions have not improved, DFCS could go to court and seek temporary custody of the child or children, according to a FAQ (PDF).  

The next step for DFCS if the situation still has not improved (i.e. the parent or parents have not completed training or proven that problems have been resolved) is to petition the court for termination of parental rights. This also would result in the child being made available for adoption or foster care.

The state of Georgia emphasizes the safety and best interests of children over the goal of keeping the family together, according to the FAQ.

While this is a hypothetical scenario, it is one that happens for a lot of families. For more information, please visit our Related Resources links.

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