Inevitably, every year as the seasons change, the news reports a tragedy that is one of many parent's biggest fears: a child dying in a hot car. The report generally spreads through the Mommy boards on Facebook and sparks some strongly opinionated conversations. Many people have compassion for the family that has suffered, and others turn accusing eyes on the caregiver who is responsible.
I urge you to look into the science behind this. It truly can happen to anyone. Shaming someone who has lost their child due to a terrible accident is about as insensitive as it gets. And criticizing people for taking precautions to prevent it does nothing to help save the children. This phenomenon kills an average of 38 kids per year. There are over 200 kids per year saved from hot cars. And those are just the ones we can track because they were saved by first responders. It is much more common than people realize. I guarantee you know at least 1 person who has had a near miss but are too afraid to speak out because of backlash.
Too many people think love is enough, it isn't. This doesn't happen to bad, neglectful, abusive parents... it happens to unsuspecting parents. And honestly, the ones who think it could never happen to them are at the highest risk because they usually refuse to take extra precautions.
I just think we should all encourage parents to use some sort of reminder even if they think it'll never happen to them. They started tracking these deaths in 1998, before it was really commonplace for people to have cellphones. The numbers have stayed relatively level over the years. We didn't hear about them as much then because of the lack of social media. Safe Kids Worldwide has created a heat stroke safety tip sheet - download it here.
As much as we all wish that this wasn't happening, it is. And encouraging people to use reminders, no matter how silly it might seem, could potentially save a life. And that's what matters.
Here Is a compilation of resources to share: