In this country, almost 40 kids each year die when inattentive parents leave the little dudes and dudettes strapped inside a car during the hot weather after the adults/parents leave.
It’s a nightmare scenario – a parent returns to his or her car after a day at work or even a short time running errands to find an unconscious child strapped into the car seat. Most times, the parent thought he or she dropped the child off with a caregiver, or left the child with someone else. Even on a relatively cool day, the temperatures in a car can soar, and babies have died in as little as an hour.
NHTSA says 527 children have died of heat stroke after being left in cars since 1998, or about 38 every year. “In 2011, 33 such cases were reported,” NHTSA said in a statement, citing Jan Null of San Francisco State University, who tracks the reports.
“We aren’t only talking about the 98 degree day when you leave your child for eight hours while you are at work,” said Dr. Kristy Arbogast of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who led the research. “This can happen very quickly.”
I’m not condemning these parents. I’m sure they didn’t mean to leave their children in the car, or not for as long as it happened. The folks who left their kids in the car with the car off while they ran an errand, I have less sympathy for just because of their idiocy. As the adults, we have to start thinking ahead. We have to plan for the worst so we can avoid it. Which means we’ve got to get our minds in the game.
To help with that, a number of companies are coming out with devices that are supposed to help remind adults that they have a child in the backseat. Too bad they don’t work worth beans.
Special seats and other devices designed to help prevent parents from accidentally leaving babies and toddlers behind in cars don’t work well, a team of experts said on Monday. They said parents shouldn’t rely on them to keep children safe.
Their review of 18 commercial devices, including systems integrated into a car, shows none works well enough to rely on.
“While these devices are very well-intended, none of them are a full or complete solution for making sure a parent never leaves a baby behind in a hot car,” David Strickland, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), told reporters in a conference call.
Instead, we’re told, parents need to “layer” behavior into their driving habits that will help to remind them of the child they carry. For instance, put a teddy bear or other toy in the front seat, or habitually keep your briefcase or purse in the backseat next to the little dude. That way, when you see the toy, or reach for the briefcase, you’ll remember you have a very quiet child back there.
There’s more at the link, but I’m not sure how necessary it is. Get your mind in the game. Stay focused on your responsibility and you should be fine.Share on Facebook Tags: A Dude's Guide to Babies, A Dude's Guide to Kids, Adults, Arbogast, Backseat, Car Seat, Caregiver, children, Degree Day, driving, dude, Dude's, Dudettes, Eight Hours, Errands, Front Seat, Heat Stroke, Hot Weather, Idiocy, kids, Kristy, little dudes, Nhtsa, Nightmare Scenario, parents, richard, S Hospital, safety, San Francisco State University, Short Time, Team Of Experts, Teddy Bear, Temperatures, Toddlers, Traffic, Worth Beans