A parent’s worst nightmare is something happening to their child.
Compound that nightmare by knowing it was preventable and was their own fault? Already this summer, numerous children have died after being left in a vehicle. The outside temperature does not even have to be hot in order for a car to become too hot to live in for even a short period of time. Even in mild temperatures, the interior of a car can become hot enough to lead to death during an extended period of time. What is so frustrating is this happens every single summer.
The excuses for leaving a child in the car vary: my baby was sleeping and I didn’t want to wake him up...or I thought I’d only be gone a few minutes. Perhaps the most heartbreaking is I forgot my child was in the back seat. While some say they can never imagine forgetting their child was in the vehicle, it can happen with a change of routine, sleeping child, fatigue, and a host of other reasons. My heart breaks for these people and their families, and I hope with these tips it will never happen to another family.
Tips to Help Prevent Leaving Children Behind:
- Make a habit of always looking in the back seat when you get out of your car – even when you know your child is not with you
- When arriving home, get your kids out of the car first before getting your groceries or whatever out of the car
- Put one of your children’s toys on the front seat as a reminder that they are in the back seat
- Put your cell phone, briefcase, or purse in the backseat on the floor in front of your child
- Put a sticky note on your dashboard to remind you
- Use one of those child safety mirrors in the back window so that each time you look in your rear-view mirror you see your child as well
- Set an alarm on your cellphone for your anticipated arrival time at your destination with a reminder about your child
Some of you may think that this is all common sense and we don’t need reminders like this. But children are still being left behind in cars during hot weather with fatal effects. I
If you see a child in a car, don’t hesitate – call 911.
For more from Anne, check out Maternity Corner.