Mother shares story about infant son's death to educate parents

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A local mother is talking about a tragedy that ended the life of her infant son in 2007.

Lyn Balfour, of Green County outside Charlottesville, left her 9-month old son Bryce in a car back in March of that year. She was later acquitted of involuntary manslaughter.

Not a day goes by that she doesn't think about her son, but Balfour says Monday's tragedy moved her to remind parents that this can happen and that there are ways to prevent it.

"He would have turned three on the 18th of June," said Balfour as she talked about her son Bryce.

She honors his memory by sharing with others how his life ended.

"The last time I held him in the hospital I told him I made a promise that I could educate as many parents, grandparents, family members, friends, colleagues anybody who would listen about how this is possible," said Balfour.

Balfour took us back to March 30th, 2007 when she thought she dropped Bryce off at daycare. Instead, she had left him in her car for more than seven hours.

"He wasn't breathing and I put him down on the ground and started CPR on my own son," said Balfour.

There was nothing routine about that week says Balfour. Her husband was without his car so she drove him to work. A spare car seat was in the spot where Bryce usually sits, so his car seat was behind the driver's seat. His diaper bag was also not in its usual spot.

A "memory trigger", says Balfour, that meant the difference between life and death.

"It was always up front with my purse but because my husband was riding with me that week he put the diaper bag on the floor board in the back where I couldn't see it so that visual reminder or memory trigger was gone," said Balfour.

Balfour, who has had two more children since Bryce's death, says its now her mission to educate others.

"I don't think any parent should feel the way I do every day and that's my goal," said Balfour.

She often speaks on behalf of a group called Kids And Cars. She's pushing for all child care providers to have communication standards for when a child is missing. She also wants car makers to design an alert system.

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