It’s a headline that pulls at the heart strings, ‘Baby dies from Heatstroke after Being Left in a Car’.
But it’s a headline we have become more familiar with in recent years with parents forgetfully leaving their baby in a car.
In VIC, up to 5 children are locked up in cars every day. Whether intentional or unintentional, the consequences are horrific. In recent years, paramedics have seen a spike in babies being left in hot cars and as parents, we question the headlines, who would forget or leave their baby in a car?
Judgement aside (and it really needs to be because accidents happen), the tragedy of forgetting a child in a car is one that is difficult to comprehend. It’s an accident that could have been prevented.
That’s why parents are encouraged to do this trick to ensure they never forget their children from their car – again.
If you are driving a child, after you put them in a back seat — in a car seat, booster or buckled in with a seat belt — put your left shoe back there, too.
When you park the car, you will be forced to retrieve the shoe from the back and see your children.
Safety groups are encouraging parents to put something in the back seat to prevent future incidents that could have horrific consequences.
SafetyKids.org put together results of a survey they conducted about car safety with kids and they found:
• 14% of parents have intentionally left their children in a parked car.
• 11% of parents admit to forgetting their child in a car.
• Nearly 1 in 4 parents of a child younger than 3 has forgotten the child in a car.
• Dads are nearly three times more likely than moms to leave a child in a parked car.
No matter what time of year it is, the car can turn into an oven in the heat of the day.
On a 29-degree day the inside of a car can reach 44 degrees within 10 minutes and hit 60 degrees within 20 minutes.
Opening a window makes little difference to the internal temperature as tested by the Victorian Ambulance.
In 2013 a Bendigo Mother was charged with manslaughter when she left her 6 month old baby in the car after returning home with take-out. Her six-year-old son came out of the car, but the baby was left inside and the temperatures in the car reached 30 degrees late in the afternoon and evening. When the mother realized she had left her baby in the car, it was too late. The baby was in a critical condition but could not be revived.
These tragedies can be prevented by simply leaving something in the back of the car.
You may not always have your laptop, your purse, or your mobile. But you do always have a shoe.