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Left Alone in a Hot Car

Tragedy has struck again.  Unfortunately, the United States has now seen our first two hyperthermia deaths in 2012. The first was a 13-month boy in Lee’s Summit, MO (just southeast of Kansas City), and the second in the Sugar Land area of Houston, TX, was a 7-month old forgotten in a pickup truck. In both of these cases the children were forgotten by the parents who were tending to errands and work.

Forgotten?  You may ask.  How could someone forget their child in a car?

When I first learned about these hyperthermia deaths I asked this question – how could you forget your child.  It’s quite simple to chastise these parents – right?

But then I think about my mornings. My scatter-brained trip to work. The juggling of a baby, early meetings and planning out the day. And I come to the realization – the hard realization – that I have to be more mindful if I’m taking Mary to Day Care. I have to be intentional. Because I can understand how a child could be forgotten. I believe that this acknowledgement is the start of preventing this tragedy. I could forget my child – so what am I going to do about it?

Around 9am my husband calls me nearly everyday – to make sure that Mary got to Day Care.  I don’t know if he’s just calling to talk to me (isn’t that sweet) or if he’s also keenly aware that I’m scatterbrained before my first cup of coffee. In either case – I don’t mind. I’ve heard that some people set their outlook calendar or phone to remind them to drop off the kids at Day Care.  Some Day Cares will call. With dozens of children killed each summer there has to be an answer.  I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

Visit the Dayton Children’s website for more information.

P.S. SafeKids even has a Baby Reminder app created specifically for this purpose! Check it out here!

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.

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