Today I want to share with you five easy ways to not forget your child in the car in order to prevent heatstroke with the help of Auto Alliance.
I’m not going to say that I am the perfect parent, and even after 4 kids, I have made lots and lots of mistakes. However, one of them has never been leaving any of my kids in the car alone by themselves; however, I have gotten quite close to doing it. I never judge anyone when it happens because I know first-hand how easy it is to be so caught up with what you’re doing that you just ‘forget.’ I’m going to share a story with you.
Madison was probably about 4 months old when I decided that I was going to Walmart to get a few things for dinner. Our trip to Walmart usually takes about 5 -10 minutes, depending on the traffic. I was busy on the phone chatting with my husband, who was supposed to be sending me the list of items that I needed while there.
A few months before, I had just found out that my dad was dying and had recently visited him. I was depressed, and I just “wasn’t there.” I remember pulling into the parking lot, getting out of the car, and activating the alarm. It wasn’t until I was about to walk away from the car that I noticed Madison was still in her car seat, buckled up and sleeping.
When we hear stories about parents leaving their children in the car, especially during the summer months, we shudder and ask ourselves, “how could they have done that?” but as you can see from my story, it can happen, especially when you’re distracted, combine that with a sleeping baby who’s making no noise, and it can happen. Since then, however, I have utilized a few ways to share with you to never forget your baby in the car before you walk away.
1. CONSTANTLY TALK TO YOUR BABY UNTIL YOU REACH YOUR DESTINATION
How can you forget that your baby is in the car if you’re talking to them? Placing their car seat in the middle of the car or on the passenger side makes them easier to see as well if you’re looking back in your mirror, instead of them being behind the drivers’ seat.
2. GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS
Turn off the music, put down the cell phone, and be alert. Being distracted is when your risk increases of leaving your baby unattended in the car.
3. PLACE YOUR HANDBAG IN THE BACKSEAT NEAR YOUR CHILD’S SEAT
That way, you’ll have to open the back door or reach into the back of your car and get your bag and your baby.
4. PLACE SOMETHING OF YOUR BABY IN THE FRONT SEAT SUCH AS THEIR FAVORITE TOY OR BLANKET
Something that will trigger your memory that they’re there with you.
5. ALWAYS LOOK INTO YOUR CAR BEFORE YOU LOCK IT
Once you get into the habit of checking your car before you leave, you will never forget.
Why don’t you want to forget your little one in the car, especially with the warmer temperatures? The inside of a parked car can get up to 120° very quickly, even if the windows are cracked open a little, and unlike adults, young children’s bodies can heat up to 3-5 times faster than adults, putting them at greater risk for heatstroke.
Data has shown that an average of 37 young lives are lost each year due to them being left unattended in cars, and more than half of these young children were under a year old, while 75% of them were under the age of two.
If you see a child alone in a car, call 911 immediately! That one call could save that child’s life. Emergency personnel are always on call and are trained to respond to these situations. So don’t hesitate.
For more information about heatstroke prevention and to help spread awareness, visit www.autoalliance.org/heatstroke.