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Prevent Hot Car Death in Children

On average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.

  • 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.
  • Parenting also advises parents/guardians to seat the younger (or quieter) child behind the front passenger seat, in the parent's line of vision. Several of the children referenced by the magazine in its piece on hot car deaths were those who were situated behind the driver's side.
  • "Teddy Bear" test. Authors suggest parents put a teddy bear or other stuffed animal in the car seat when it's empty, moving it to the front passenger seat when the child is placed in the carrier as a reminder that the baby is on board.
  • Ask the child's babysitter or daycare provider to always call if the child isn't dropped off as scheduled.
  • Develop a habit of always opening the back door of the car after parking, just to make sure no child was left 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.
  • Some parents and guardians might want to invest in a device designed to help them remember their tiny passengers. For example, the Cars-N-Kids monitor plays a lullaby when the car stops and a child is in the seat. The ChildMinder System sounds an alarm if you walk away and leave your child in the seat
  • Put visual cues in your office and home. Static-cling decals reminding you to check the car seat are available out in the market.

If you see a child alone in a car, do not hesitate to call 911. The biggest mistake people make is thinking it can’t happen to them. When you say ‘this can’t happen to you’ then you have already decided you don’t need to use these safety tips … it is easier to blame others than to understand that we are all vulnerable.

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Image Source: Today Parents