Tragedy in the Backseat
Not another one; are the words I would imagine run through everyone’s mind when we hear the headlines. Another baby left to die in a hot car. I feel sick when I hear these stories and we are hearing them way too often. It’s every parents worst nightmare and though every parent says it will never happen to them, it continues to happen all over the country. Why is this happening? It’s the first question to ask. Has our society become too self involved? Are parents more stressed out and spread to thin? We could probably ask 100 questions and yet no one will have the answer. In almost all hot car deaths, they are not the result of malicious intent. As summer weather reaches its peak, government agencies begin to warn families about the dangers of leaving children in hot vehicles. Each year, dozens of little ones die in parked cars, where temperatures can rise rapidly even on cool days. On average, 37 kids die in overheated vehicles each year in the U.S. This number is way too high, when most of the deaths are preventable. We want to remind people of some ways to prevent these terrible situations from happening. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call no matter what, as they would much rather respond to a false alarm than a fatality. A child’s body overheats 3-5 times faster than an adult body. If the child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child will die. Look before you lock. That’s the message that needs to spread. There’s also a national campaign called “Bag in the back". It is just what it sounds like. Place a purse, backpack or something the backseat that you will need. It forces parents to check the backseat. If you have a smartphone, there are apps that can notify you as a reminder. Greater awareness of these tragedies is what is going to help prevent them from happening in the future.
· Always check the back seat
· Observe and report If you see a child alone in a car, call 911, especially on hot days.
· Be on alert if your routine changes Your risk of leaving your child behind increases.
· Place a child's item on the front seat
· Place a personal item in the back Like your phone, briefcase, or purse.
· Center the car seat It's easier to see your child.
· Set up a system with your child care Make and expect calls if your child doesn't arrive as planned.
· Discuss hot-car deaths Especially with grandparents and babysitters.