Children Left in Cars Dying Due to Parents' Hectic Schedules.
In recent months, two children have died after being left in the back seat of cars. Dangerous temperatures and stressed parents have contributed to several avoidable tragedies in which a child died after being left in a car alone. The heat in a car or the cold in a car can reach dangerous temperatures very quickly and children left alone with no ability of getting out are at high risk of accidental death.
Leaving Children in the CarIn the majority of these tragic cases, the parents did not leave the child unattended on purpose but were so stressed or busy they simply forgot they hadn’t gotten the child out of the car. These tragedies are more common when the normal routine is disrupted like when dad drops off the kids instead of mom or following an evening of poor sleep for one of the parents. When the minds are distracted, it can be easy to forget that the child is in the car or forget that the child hadn’t been taken to daycare etc.
Body Temperature in a Heated Car
More often than not, children who die after being left in a car die as a result of dangerous body temperatures. Children are extremely vulnerable to dangerous temperatures and their little bodies cannot regulate temperature as well as an adult. The heat in a car can reach dangerous temperatures very quickly. The temperature in a car jumps 20 degrees in only 10 minutes and rises higher and higher exponentially. Because of these factors, leaving a child alone in the car can even be dangerous on a mild 70-degree day.
Avoid a Tragedy
In almost all of the tragic cases of child death caused by dangerous temperatures in a car, the parents were running on steam and simply forgot the child. The anguish felt by these parents is compounded by feelings of guilt. These tragedies are easily avoidable; employ these methods while transporting your children to ensure distraction doesn’t cause a tragedy.
How to Avoid Leaving Children in the Car
- Leave something that you need for the day in the back of the car with the child. If you leave your briefcase or something you need for work in the back, you will be more likely to check the backseat.
- Get enough rest. This is easier said than done when you have young children, but being well rested keeps your mind sharp and will help you to avoid these tragedies.
- Set up a regular routine with your spouse, a loved one or trusted friend. Make it a habit to text or call an individual after you drop your child off. This will ensure that two minds are thinking of the child and one can alert the other if the routine hasn’t been followed.
These tragedies are avoidable and by employing these play-it-safe rules, lives could be saved.