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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hot Car {Tragedies}.

If you got the latest Parents magazine recently, you {hopefully read and} were reminded of how children can die {quite suddenly!} in cars when left inside them.  The weather only needs to be about 75 degrees or higher outside in order for this to happen! In just 30 minutes, the temperature inside a car can raise 35 degrees higher.  And don't think that if you live in a cooler climate, you're safe.  Because this can also happen to kids who are overly dressed or blanketed, too. 

What happens is that the child cannot self-regulate his temperature, which rises uncontrollably, and the child dies of hyperthermia. And all can happen in a matter of just 15 minutes.  And cracking the windows does not resolve this, either.

What's interesting is, that it isn't typically "bad parents" that this happens to. Often times, as observed by responders to these situations, it's the "good" parents to whom this happens.  And the tragedy doesn't profile either ~ it happens to people of all races, genders, incomes and the like.

It breaks my heart to hear about this, of course, and it really upsets me when people say things like, "How stupid do you have to be to forget your kid in the car!?"  My child having survived his own near-death tragedy {although not from a hot car, as we're addressing today}, I realize how quickly things like this can happen.  Even to the best of us.  The culprits that you'll typically see with this scenario is a change in daily routine, lack of sleep & stress.  It's like one Mom said, "...all it takes is one sleep-deprived parent and one sleeping baby."  I think we can all relate to that scenario.

So, I bring this to you not to scare you {okay.  well, maybe a little!}, but to prepare you to make sure this doesn't, no, can't, happen to you!  "How?" you ask?  Read below {as taken from Parents magazine}:

*MOST IMPORTANTLY {in my opinion!}: Place your cell phone & purse {anything you really "need" when you exit the car} on the floor in the backseat by your little one.  

*Put your younger (or more quiet) child behind the front passenger seat.  You're more likely to see them there, versus when they sit directly behind you.

 *Keep a teddy bear or other stuffed animal in the car seat when it's empty.  When the child is in the seat, move the animal to the front seat of the car, so you are reminded that baby is with you.

*Have your nanny/babysitter/teacher call you right away if your child isn't dropped off as scheduled.

*Make a habit to always open the back door of your car after you park.

*Never assume that someone else has removed your child from their car seat - always check yourself.

*Invest in the Cars-N-Kids monitor that plays a lullabye when the car stop and a child is in the seat (carsnkids.com).  Or the ChildMinder System sounds an alarm if you walk away and leave your child in the seat (babyalert.info).

For more information on tips to avoid hyperthermia and other car dangers with children, visit Kidsandcars.org.

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