On May 25, 2016, an 8 month old boy was forgotten in his mother’s vehicle in Wilmington, NC as she worked through the day. The baby died, most likely of a heatstroke, although officials are still investigating. The temperature that day reached 86 degrees.
I sat at a table with a friend, and as she recanted this story to me, she had tears in her eyes; tears for the poor child and for the mom who made a fatal mistake. “Everyone says she was an amazing mom,” she explained.
The story haunted me for the remainder of the day, and after I put my own child to bed, I decided to look for an official report. What were the circumstances? Could this happen to any of us at any given moment? I wanted to understand.
The incident itself was just as shocking as these tips offered by experts:
- Place your cell phone or purse in the back seat, so you don’t forget your child.
- Every time you park your car, open the back door to ensure that everyone is out safely.
- If weather permits, crack your windows each time you exit your vehicle.
- Download applications such as Precious Cargo or Kars4KidsSafety for your cell phone, to remind yourself to take your child out of the backseat.
In reference to these handy applications, a statement from Parents.com explains, “…they also reach us in a most reliable place — our cell phones — which most of us won’t even walk down the hall of our home without carrying.”
After further research, I was nauseated by these tips. Are we all so overworked, mind boggled, busy, and stressed out, that we need to walk around with a phone stuck up our asses to remind us to care for our children? If that’s the case, maybe the time has come to reconsider our priorities. Crack your windows? A person can remember to crack the windows, so their child doesn’t overheat when they leave him or her in the car, but they can’t remember the actual child?
The Point? Don’t leave your kids in the car. Not even for a few minutes. The inside of your vehicle gets much hotter than the temperature outside, and even if you do crack the windows, and it is just for a minute, you are still putting your child’s safety at risk. It doesn’t take long for a little one to suffer from a heatstroke. Read the statistics here. Please share them. If you are just so overwhelmed, by all means, I encourage you to download the apps mentioned above. An accident like this could happen to anyone. It’s hard for me to even type that sentence, but it’s true.
Thank you for reading. If you see a child left behind in a hot vehicle, please contact the police immediately.