*According to an NBC News report, thirteen kids have already died this year, as a result of being left in a hot car.
According to me, that’s 13 too many.
Apparently, even if the temperature outside is only 80-degrees, within an hour inside a car with the windows and doors closed, the temperature can rise to as high as 120-degrees.
And a child could smother from the heat.
One father is now in jail, accused of murder, for leaving his 22-month old son in the car for seven hours because, well, according to him…
Unfortunately, this same dad was unable to attend his young son’s funeral.
It is estimated that 38 child deaths occur this way, per year
“It’s puzzling how someone could forget that they have a child in the back seat,” says one officer on the above-referenced case.
But before we judge the parents of this misfortune, we might want to put our self in their shoes.
You’ve got bags in the car from shopping that you are running back and forth placing inside the house. The phone rings while you are inside. You get into what you think will be a quick conversation, but it lasts a bit longer than you anticipated. Once you get off the phone, another distraction. Before you realize it, at least an hour has passed before you remember, “Oh sh*t! My kid is in the car!”
Tareka Wheeler of Safe Kids Worldwide says, “It could happen to any parent or caregiver. In the vast majority that this has happened to thus far, they are loving and caring parents.”
The shocking admission of one parent, whose child died in a hot truck only this week, near Orlando, is heard on-camera saying, “She’s been in the car for hours. I absolutely forgot about her.”
Then there is, Richie Gray, a parent from South Carolina, who says he forgot to drop off his daughter Sophia at daycare last month, and left her sleeping in a 90-degree car. “It’s so easy for the child to go to sleep,” Gray says on camera. “And you not realize that they’re still in there, because your brain is on auto-pilot.”
Gray was charged with “Unlawful Conduct Towards A Child” but says it was an accident with a story he wants to serve as a reminder to all parents.
“It’s a massive amount of guilt that you feel. As a father, you’re the protector. You know, you’re daddy. Its an unimaginable loss,” he says, his voice shaky.
Here are some things that parents can do to prevent this happening to them and their child.
1. If your child is in the back seat, and you have a diaper bag, place it on the passenger seat in front so that it will serve as a visual reminder.
2. Place your cell phone in the back seat. This will serve two purposes, you won’t be tempted to text while driving; but also, you will see your child is back there when you go to retrieve the phone.
Learn more about how to protect your child from a heat stroke this summer by visiting Kids and Cars.org here.