As a group, we leave our children alone in cars three times more than moms according to SafeKids.org. But moms are guilty also, as are clergy, police, teachers and others who have lost children by accidentally leaving them in hot cars alone.
Many times it happens when a parent is deep in thought about work or anything, and often not in the habit of having the baby with them. If the baby is asleep, or very quiet, you may not recall that there is another life on board. There must be a fail-safe method which will make it impossible to leave the car without the child. It is not enough to say to yourself, “Always look in the back seat”.
The link above reports on 14 recent incidents. How heartbreaking is it when you hear of a child left alone in a hot car. If left too long, they die a terrible death. Because it can happen to the best of parents, or anyone else driving a car with an infant or toddler in the back seat, it is essential that you have a plan. Here are 10 facts about child deaths in cars caused by heat stroke.
The technology is not difficult and I believe someday there will be an affordable car seat that makes an obvious signal when the ignition is turned off, or the driver’s door is opened and the car seat is latched. In St. Louis, two inventors have developed a smart phone app that work will work with compatible car seats.
Until this app, or something similar becomes commonly available, each parent should seriously consider a fail-safe method to not leave their child behind.
Here are some ideas to consider and they must become habits:
- Put your child’s teething ring on your key chain, one big enough that it won’t fit in your pocket.
- If you are a smart phone addict, put it in the baby’s diaper bag and have the bag in the front seat as another reminder.
- You could also place your phone under the baby’s car seat prior to leaving. You should not be using it in the car anyway, especially with a child on board.
- Put a sticky note on your driver’s side window or rear-view mirror.
- Mom, if Dad is taking your baby somewhere as a new experience, call and see how it's going! (or vice-versa).
- Buy a large rear-view mirror for viewing the back seat AT ALL TIMES with a baby on board, and have a mirror on the back seat headrest so you can see them.
- For women who wear heels or anyone whose shoes are easy to slip off, leave a shoe in the back seat.
Two enterprising young boys have come up with great ideas to help us to never forget.
- Enterprising young boy #1 has a method anyone can use called "ezbabysaver".
- Enterprising young boy #2 has a more technical approach called "Forget-Me-Not".
You may not be smarter than these boys, but you could surely be smarter than me; and you know your habits better than anyone. Think of something that will work for you!
Admittedly, the likelihood of you forgetting your sleeping child in his/her car seat--as you leave your car to begin your day--is very small; and these reminders can be a nuisance. But the consequences of leaving a young child behind can be so horribly tragic, that you must consider a method that will prevent such an unimaginable mistake from happening.
Never leave a young child in a car for any reason--no matter how quick you think you will be, or how cool it is outside, or how comfortable your child is sleeping! And if you see a child left alone in a car, evaluate the situation and seriously consider calling 911. For more discussion on what to do, read Safekids.org's thoughts on the actions you can take.
Please share this information, especially with caretakers of young children. Also review the seven links highlighted in red.