Written by: Kelly Doria, MCCOY, Inc. Board Member
Every year we hear tragic stories about well-meaning parents who forget to remove their children from their car, often resulting in fatal accidents. When I heard such stories, I frequently thought those are the same type of parents that let their children play with knives or don’t have adequate structure or supervision to ensure their children’s safety. Such thoughts were not really intended to be judgmental or unsympathetic, but more emphasized that such circumstances would never happen to me. That was of course, until the story hit closer to home. One of my husband’s childhood friends recently dealt with such tragedy (read story) and I finally realized that my initial feelings of denial could place my children at risk when there are some pretty simple actions to prevent such tragedy in my family.
Did you know:
· From 1990-2010 there were 606 child fatalities in the US due to heat stroke
· Average number of child vehicular heat stroke deaths per year since 1998: 38 (one every 9 days)
· 19 States have laws that make it illegal to leave unattended children in a car, but Indiana has no such laws or proposed legislation
As the summer months approach, I encourage parents to implement the principles of BE SAFE.
Back seat. Put something like a cell phone in the back seat that requires you to open the back door when you park.
Every child should be correctly restrained in the back seat.
Stuffed animal. Keep a stuffed animal in your child’s car seat. Place it on the front passenger seat as a reminder when your baby is in the back seat.
Ask your child care provider to call if your child hasn’t arrived on time.
Focus on driving. Avoid calls and texting.
Every time you park make it a routine to open the back door of your car.