Everybody knows you shouldn’t leave your child in a hot car in the summer. So, don’t you ever wonder why kids still die in hot cars ever summer then? Didn’t their parents have common sense? Believe me, it’s usually not because their parents didn’t know better. We all know better. These are the same parents that go to the trouble of putting their kids in car seats but forget their children are in their car. How can you forget your child? It sounds hard to believe, but in fact it’s a frightfully easy thing to do as outlined below.
Confusion due to special occasion:
“We were all saying our good byes after the family reunion. We took two cars to the event. I thought my wife took the baby in her car, but she buckled the baby in the car seat in my car instead. She said she was going to the grocery story on the way home, so when I got home I went inside. The baby was sleeping – I never heard a peep from the back seat. When she came home 20 minutes after me and asked where they baby was, we realized the confusion, ran to the car…. but it was too late.”
Confusion to due to distraction / change in patterns:
“Our schedule is that I drop the baby at daycare on my way to work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My wife does the pick up. I put the baby in the car seat and headed out towards work, but got thinking about an issue at work and somehow because they moved my Tuesday meeting I forgot it was actually Monday and my drop off day. I just headed to work. It wasn’t until my wife went to pick up my child at daycare at 4pm that they reported that the child was not dropped off that morning.”
Parents are busy with a lot of minutia to juggle in their hectic lives and in their active minds. It’s easy to forget keys and it’s easy to forget a schedule. Forgetting our child does not mean we don’t love our children enough to remember them. It’s not enough to say “I won’t be forgetful”. Instead we need to create sure-fire summer safety tips to avoid putting our children in danger. Here are three ways you can prevent a death due to a simple oversight.
- Place a teddy bear in the child car seat. Whenever you strap a child into the car seat, place the teddy bear in the front seat as a visual reminder that the car seat is occupied.
- Keep your purse, cell phone or briefcase on the floor of back seat below the car seat. When you retrieve your purse you’ll be forced to look in the car seat.
- LOOK before you go. Just make it a habit to look in the back seat each time you lock your car. We look both ways when we cross the street. We beep our keys to ensure our car doors are locked – why not add one more potentially life saving routine to regime?
About the Author:
Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine. Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”. She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at www.alysonschafer.com