Leaving Your Child In A Hot Car: “If You Think It Cannot Happen To You, You’re Wrong”

hotcarCRBy this point in the summer, we’ve written more than a few times — unfortunately — about children who have died after being left in closed cars on hot days. While some cases point to parents deliberately leaving their children behind, the reason we keep writing about the dangers of doing so is because the reality is that it can happen to anyone.

We’re not alone — our esteemed colleagues at Consumer Reports are working hard to inform parents and raise awareness about the problem. With KidsAndCars.org reporting that 17 children have died as a result of being left in hot cars this year already, as of mid-July, it’s an issue that can’t be highlighted enough.

Along with Consumers Union, the public policy arm of Consumer Reports, we believe that research is needed to come up with new ways to prevent hot car deaths, possibly through technology that could be used by car manufacturers and/or the makers of car seats. If there’s an annoying beep that won’t shut up when you don’t have your seat belt on, why not a shrill alarm to ensure you don’t leave your child to swelter?

If you want to make your voice heard, you can sign a White House petition by KidsandCars.org to stop child deaths in hot cars. The petition seeks action from the Obama administration to make such innovations possible, by authorizing the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide financing for research and development of technology to alert drivers.

In the meantime, if you think you’re the best parent that has ever existed and would never, ever be able to forget your child, or that only bad parents with bad intentions would do something like that, well, you’re wrong. Watch the video below, because if you don’t believe us, maybe you’ll believe some of the families who have had experienced the tragedy of forgetfulness themselves.

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  1. charmander says:

    I don’t think I am the best parent in the world, but I can assure you that I never, ever, once for even one minute “forgot” I had a child in the car when my infant and toddler son or daughter was in the car. Never.

    I realize it happens when parents are very distracted, but most people will never forget they have another being in the car. I always interacted with my kids when they were in their car seats in the back – I talked to them, sang to them, and I even attached a special mirror to my rear-view mirror that allowed my to view my kids in their rear-facing car seats. If they were asleep, I was constanty looking in that mirror, checking on them.

    Believe me, there was never a second that I wasn’t constantly aware that they were in the car with me.. But I know it does happen to some parents, and I don’t judge them. It’s just a sad, sad thing.

  2. War says:

    Let me put this into perspective:

    A total of 111 children have been killed by purposefully being left in the car by an adult between 1998-2014. That’s a little less than 7 deaths per year.

    Compare that number to the number of children that die while working on farms: 113 PER YEAR! That’s right: more children die in one year working on farms than have died since 1998 from intentionally being left in the car by an adult. One of these two is illegal in many states, the other one is simply frowned upon by certain groups of people. Take a guess which is which. I’ll give you a hint: the one with more deaths isn’t the one that’s illegal.

    Sources:

    http://www.ggweather.com/heat/ and the American Association of Pediatrics

    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/aginjury/