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According to Safe Kids Coalition Worldwide, “A child’s body heats up three-to-five times faster than an adult’s body.” Safe Kids Coalition also reports that more than half of the cases of heat stroke deaths occur when a child was left in the car.
We’ve heard the horror stories. The message is always the same - “Don’t leave your child unattended in the car.” And the reaction is “How could a parent do that?” I know how. When I was in high school, my dad drove me to school every morning. At a certain stoplight Dad had a choice. He could turn right and take me to school or he could go straight and continue on to his office. Many times, the light would turn green and my dad would continue on going straight, with me sitting right next to him in the front seat. I would say, “Dad…” and then he would curse and turn the car around.
Parents are busy. Exhausted. Sleep Deprivations and its repercussions are very real And you must understand how ridiculous it sounds to the parents themselves when they have to respond to the authorities by saying, “I forgot.” They had just made the ultimate mistake and all they can come up with is, “I forgot.” When I was pregnant there were many occasions that "I forgot." This whole parenting thing is brand new.
Instead of judging, wagging a finger and asking, “How could you?” Let’s instead talk prevention, because it could happen to any of us. The baby falls asleep in the car seat, he's quiet, and your brain is on your task list. You’re on a mission. Safe Kids Coalition along with General Motors offers these two great tips for prevention:
Create RemindersIt may sound silly to have to remind yourself that your child is in your car. It’s not silly. Think of the one thing you won’t get out of the car without. A habit you’ve built over years. Your baby is a new habit. Pick an old one. One that’s ingrained. Is it your purse? Your cell phone? Whatever the item, keep it on the back seat next to your baby. That way when you get out of the car, you force yourself to go to the back seat and not just exit the car and click the lock button on your key fob as you walk away.
Avoid An Accident at Home
Most new cars now are keyless entry and some even start with a push of a button. Make sure you lock your car, even if it’s in your own garage or driveway. Then, Keep your key fobs out of the reach of children. Treat your key fob as if it were a knife or matches. The danger is that imminent in the hands of a child.
Prevention takes a little effort to make changes in your routine and it's worth the world.
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer and mother of three. If you liked this posting please follow her on Twitter @writerbonnie or like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WriterBonnie for more great info on Raising Kids.