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Tragedy in the backseat

This isn't our normal material, but I couldn't shake the feeling that this needed to be posted. 

Every parent, and every person that has ever or might ever travel with small children in the car needs to read this story.  It's one of those stories that you don't want to read, but you must read.

The woman in the story, Mary Parks, "wants you to understand how a parent -- even a smart, loving, safety-obsessed parent -- can accidentally leave a child in a hot car until it's too late. And she hopes you'll take some critical steps, so heartbreakingly simple in hindsight, to avoid making this terrible mistake yourself."

Here are the tips from the article:

How to Avoid a Hot-Car Tragedy

•First and foremost, always put your cell phone, purse, or briefcase, and anything else you'll need that day, on the floor of the backseat. When you retrieve it at the end of the ride, you'll notice your child.

•Seat your younger (or quieter) child behind the front passenger seat, where he's most likely to catch your eye. Parks', Balfour's, and Edwards' babies all were behind the driver's side when they died.

•Keep a teddy bear or other stuffed animal in the car seat when it's empty. When you put your child in the seat, move the animal to the front passenger seat, to remind you that your baby's on board.

•Ask your child's baby sitter or day care provider to always phone you promptly if your child isn't dropped off as scheduled.

•Make a habit of always opening the back door of your car after you park, to check that there's no kid back there.

•Never assume someone else -- a spouse, an older child -- has taken a young kid out of her seat. Such miscommunication has led to more than a few hot-car deaths.

•Invest in a device to help you remember small passengers. The Cars-N-Kids monitor plays a lullabye when the car stops and a child is in the seat ($29.95). The ChildMinder System sounds an alarm if you walk away and leave your child in the seat ($69.95).

Photo and article found here.


Scarlett's Diary said...

I live in Mesa too and I see these stories on the news and it breaks my heart! Thank you for posting these tips to help other parents avoid this tragidy!

iheartmesa said...

I'm glad Marily posted this as well.

Another thought on this same subject, if your child accidentally gets locked in the car in the summer, call 911 right away. You don't have time to waste. I have twins and that means that I have a tricky time of loading two non-walking babies into their car-seats. A few years ago, when my oldest set was just 1, I had put one of my girls in her seat. I still had my arms full with her twin, so I couldn't buckle her. I set her there, gave her my keys to distract her from climbing out of the seat until I could load her sister in so I could come back and buckle her, and then I closed the door so she wouldn't fall out. No sooner had I closed the door and started walking around the back of my car did I hear the click. My daughter had locked herself in the car.

I felt dumb that I let her play with my keys. I felt like a terrible mom. I was scared. It was the beginning of summer and I knew the car would be getting hot. Without wasting time, I called 911. It was a good thing too. In just the 5 minutes it took the fire department, I had one very hot girl.

Moral of the story: cars can be dangerous here in the summer. I worry about everything, think of every dangerous scenario, and even I had a lapse in judgement where I let me daughter play with my keys. My advice: don't hesitate to call 911. Be watchful in parking lots. When I walk into stores, I make sure the car-seats I am seeing in other's backseats are empty. And for my crew with a lot of young ones, a remote start was a very wise investment. Air can be on without the worry of someone jumping into my car and driving away while I'm still loading my 4 littles.


Kelsi said...

Hearing these stories on the news used to make me both angry and sad. I never understood how easily it could happen until a friend's baby drowned. Now the anger isn't there so much.....

Thanks for posting this! I think every parent who lives in Mesa or anywhere around Phoenix needs to read it!!

Desert Rubble said...

Those are some really good tips! I'd like to remind everyone also not to leave their pets in the car, it can be easy to disregard them as pets and they'll be OK, but they won't. I wonder how many die form this that we don't hear about :(

Kathryn, glad to hear your little got out in time, how helpless you must have felt!

Also in Mesa...

Jeni @ peppertowne.com said...

This info is invaluable! Thanks for sharing.