I have recently come across so many posts regarding parents who have “forgotten” their child in the car on a hot day (or any day for that matter) which has caused the child to overheat, and in many cases lose their precious life. The idea of being so consumed by your daily routine to the point of completely forgetting/neglecting to get your child from the back seat is just unfathomable to me. Is it really possible? I can’t imagine how it could be. I understand people get busy, have daily life snags, may have an overwhelming amount of things to do, their daily routine may change a bit, but to FORGET YOUR CHILD! That’s just ridiculous! Can’t you see your child is in the back seat with your peripheral vision? Or when you get out of the car, obviously there’s someone in the car, can’t you sense it? Have we become that detached? As a parent I couldn’t bear to live with the thought that I was so busy with non-sense that I forgot my beautiful child.
When I am at work I think about my child constantly. Wondering how she’s doing, what she’s doing, did she eat, did she take her nap, etc. If I knew my hubby was out and about with her and perhaps needed to drop her off somewhere, I always call and find out how it went, if he dropped her off and so on. So if your wife or husband happens to be responsible for dropping of the child at the babysitter’s or at daycare and this is not normally their responsibility for instance, wouldn’t you call and find out how things went when dropping off the child?
Or as the parent that was responsible for dropping off the child to remember, “oh, wait I strapped in my kid this morning and I’m supposed to drop him/her off.” Or even perhaps the babysitter, daycare, school call the parent and find out where the child is…aren’t they supposed to be expecting him/her to arrive? I believe most daycares and schools do call if the child is absent, therefore, I just don’t understand how you can forget your child for 8+ hours out of the day and no one calls anyone! It just boggles my mind.
I once saw a story on TV of a lady who had four children. One particular morning she was responsible for dropping the baby at daycare, however, because it wasn’t her normal routine she went to work and forgot her child in the car on a hot day. What the heck can you possibly be thinking about that is so important that you completely forget you were driving with your child in the back seat? The child was found dead by a colleague of hers at like 6 PM when she walked by her car in the parking lot. The mother seemed genuinely devastated she had lost her child and who knows maybe she genuinely forgot. However, one of the most recent stories is of the one father from CT who forgot his child in the car the entire day. He is now in custody since after some investigation it turns out the father actually went to the car during lunch, went out and grabbed lunch all while his precious child was in the back seat overheating. You can’t possibly tell me he did not see his child during his lunch break! He is obviously in custody because of his intentional negligence and I hope justice is served for the sake of the child.
These are just two stories of this type. According to Department of Earth & Climate Sciences San Francisco State University already 17 children have died this year due to heat-stroke or Hyperthermia. That is just devastating because these incidences are completely avoidable if parents were more present. It saddens me to know these children have gone through such agonizing deaths while the parent was doing who knows what.
In an effort to bring awareness to this situation and in hopes that no child should ever go through this, Terry Williams filmed himself in a hot car to show others what it is like. In his video you can see how much he is sweating in a just a few minutes. Imagine now a child with less resistance to hyperthermia than an adult. Here’s his video:
He is asking everyone to try this out for themselves and help spread the word in order to prevent these types of incidents. I find it absolutely courageous that some parents/people have decided to put themselves in the child’s position to show the world what these poor little angels have gone through. Let’s continue to spread the word and create awareness…it can save a child’s life!
Here’s a re-enactment of a possible circumstance of leaving a child in the car.
Perhaps it is possible that one can genuinely forget their child in the back seat of the car. As a mom myself, I ask all parents to live in the present moment and avoid something like this happening to your child. When you go in the car after buckling your child in the back seat do something to remind you that your child is there, put kid’s music on or talk to your child the entire ride. Some other parents have suggested taking off one shoe and putting it in the back seat or taking the child’s toy or teddy bear and putting it in the front seat with you. These are just some ideas, but as a parent I’m sure you can come up with other ideas that will help you remember if need be.
While doing some research on this topic I found a very useful and informational website, www.kidsandcars.org that can provide you with great information for car-child safety and here are a couple of their nice Fact-Sheets that are great to follow: