It’s a sad blot on humanity some people just never learn; they keep leaving their children and/or pets in hot cars where they die from the heat.
Just last week, a 4-month-old boy died in California after his father, who had driven to a train station, left the baby in his car. Later, when the mother learned the boy was not at his daycare center, she drove to the train station. It’s painful to think of the mother’s devastation when she found the baby – dead.
About 36 children die in hot cars every year, and so far this year, 22 have died.
One would think these parents are a bunch of dumb, uncaring, unloving types. But for the most part, that is untrue. They are, in fact, usually highly educated, loving, doting parents who experience a moment of fatal forgetfulness – a child in the backseat, often strapped in a child-safety seat. Parents of children who died such hideous, agonizing deaths include pediatricians, principals, lawyers and even a NASA engineer. Many tend to lead busy, even hectic lives, including lots of travel time and appointments, which naturally causes occasional memory lapses, especially when daily routines are involved.
It is downright heartbreaking to read the details of each death of a child left in a hot car. It can make a person’s flesh crawl with horror and panic when one realizes what terrible suffering these helpless children endured as they slowly suffocated, wondering why their parents aren’t there to help them.
Even though there are no reliable statistics about how many pets die, trapped in hot cars, there can be no doubt it happens to dogs and other pets far more than it does to children. Many pet owners mistakenly think animals “can take” the heat when, in fact, animals can overheat very, very easily.
As summer heats up, every parent should take the time to devise foolproof strategies for ensuring a child, or pet, is never left in a hot car. Here are some excellent tips from a website called “Mom Logic.”
1. Put a large teddy bear in the child’s car seat. When the child is put in the seat, place the teddy bear in the front seat and learn to glance over every time you leave the car. If the bear is there, the child is in the back seat.
2. Learn to look in the back seat, even at times when you are “sure” the child is not with. That way, your checking the back seat will become almost an automatic reflex.
3. Never leave car doors unlocked at home or elsewhere. In some cases, children have crawled into unlocked cars, then accidentally locked themselves in and died.
4. Learn to communicate at all times with your spouse or significant other as to where children are. If a parent takes a child somewhere in the car, there should be constant reminders and checks as to the child’s whereabouts and safety.
5. Many children die in cars when parents forget to drop them off at daycare centers. It’s a good policy to have the daycare provider make an immediate call to a parent to find out why the child was not dropped off, as usual.
6. Leave your lunch bag, employee badge, purse or briefcase in the back seat of your vehicle. That way, you’ll have to check the back seat before leaving your car.
7. Don’t leave children in cars on hot days, even for shorter periods, as cars heat up to dangerous levels very quickly, even when windows are partially open.
8. It’s best to leave pets at home on hot days. Never leave them alone in cars, even for a short time.
Share the information above with loved ones, friends and acquaintances. Let’s all make a concerted and determined effort to end, once and for all, the tragic and terrible deaths of children and pets in vehicles.