People need to know about this preventable danger and the tragic consequences. According to the nonprofit organization called, “Kids and Cars” since 1990 well over 800 children have needlessly died from heatstroke because they were left in a hot car. The numbers are still rising and 12 have already been reported for 2017. On July 5, 2017 in Victorville, California, a 28 year old mother left her 4 kids aged 3 years old and under, unsupervised for over half an hour, in a hot car with the windows rolled up. The temperature reached 102 Degrees that day, and that woman was promptly arrested. The mother and children were very fortunate a tragedy was avoided.
Some people out of ignorance will think she wasn’t gone that long, or what’s the big deal? It’s important to know that a child’s body heats up 3 to 5 times faster than an adults, and they can die from Child Vehicular Heatstroke. They can be harmed in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. Leaving children in a parked vehicle unsupervised, for any amount of time is dangerous and here is a list of 8 reasons why:
1. The vehicle could turn off and the air conditioning with it, and the temperature in vehicles in the heat climbs up very quickly.
2. The child could put the vehicle into drive and run into something or someone.
3. They could get their head stuck in the automatic power window and die like others already have.
4. They could get out and wander off. (Kids are smart!)
5. The window could be broken and they could be abducted. Sex traffickers are epidemic and an unsupervised child is easy to kidnap.
6. A Car Jacker can hop in and take off with the kids, hurt them, or dump them off anywhere.
7. There is always a possibility of choking, or getting wound up or strangled in the seat belts.
8. If something unforeseen happens to the parent like an accident, or a slip and fall, and they can’t get back to the vehicle the kids are in danger and left stranded. Nobody ever expects an accident to happen we get caught off guard and unprepared.
Last and most importantly a human life is needlessly being put in jeopardy. Criminal charges for child cruelty, reckless endangerment, or worse can be laid on the parent or care giver.
There are cases where a parent or care giver have accidentally, completely forgot a baby in the car. It’s called Forgotten Baby Syndrome and these loving, attentive parent’s completely lose awareness of their child in the car. Some conclude that early on parent’s may be stressed or sleep deprived, and it can contribute to it. The parent’s of these children are devastated, guilt ridden, and can even suffer from PTSD after such a horrible trauma.
The worst thing a person can do is believe it won’t happen to them, because then they are very likely not going to try to take any kind of precautions to make sure it does not happen.
It can happen to anyone, so please take measures to avoid this! Some precautions that can be taken ahead of time to make sure kids are not forgotten are; make sure your keys are in your hand before you close the door, leave the diaper bag on the seat beside you as a reminder of the baby in the back. Put your purse or cell phone away from the baby’s reach, but in the back so you automatically have to look back there to get it. Go through drive throughs whenever possible. Invest in the new technologies that are becoming available like, Sensorsafe, Driver’s Little Helper Sensor System, General Motor’s Rear Seat Reminder System, Waze, you can research them here It is also important to be attentive and NOT just rely on any technology in case of possible failure. If you see a child in a hot car alone call 9-1-1 immediately, and if you think the child is in immediate danger quickly get people’s attention, and help if possible and break in.
The first video was hard to watch but if it brings awareness and saves a child’s life it is worth it. Knowing this information ahead of time equips all of us to know and do better in the future, and most of all to help keep kids safe.