In 2013, there were 44 confirmed cases of children dying in the US because they were left unattended in hot cars. That means that a kid lost their life every 8 days because of one small mistake on behalf of their parent. A small mistake that can turn out to have huge consequences.
It’s not just warm states in America where forgetting your child can have fatal results. Between 2007 and 2009 there were 26 confirmed cases of hypothermia (in this case, heatstroke) – with 7 deaths – in France and Belgium alone. In fact, even mild days can be dangerous. Temperatures inside a car can soar 10-15 degrees in the same number of minutes. And when you consider that a young child’s body heats up up to 5 times quicker than a grown adult, you start to see how big an issue this is.
This lil’ man is okay, provided he’s looked after and not left alone in the car.
So what can you do? First, if you ever see a kid left alone in a car, don’t risk it. Call the emergency services immediately and report what you’ve seen. But what about if you’re a parent? Well, obviously, be conscious about deliberately leaving your child in a car. It’s just not safe.
How about simply forgetting? Most cases of car heatstroke occurs when a parent or guardian simply forgets. So how about leaving important items near your child? Handbags, wallets, mobile phones, etc. Something you know you’ll grab for when you reach your destination. Or you could put an item belonging to your child on the front seat as a reminder that they’re in the back…
Always got one eye on your smartphone, or tablet? You could set an alarm to remind you on a daily basis to drop off your child so as to be sure you don’t forget. Or arrange it with the nursery, school, nanny – whoever – to call you at a set time if your child isn’t there past a certain time.
Don’t let your child become another statistic.
It was summer 2011 and Ray Ray Cavaliero’s dad Brett was driving to work in Austin, Texas. He was due to drop off his 1 year-old daughter at daycare before heading to work. Only, he was in such a rush that he forgot, leaving little Ray Ray asleep in the back of the car for a few hours. Mr. Cavaliero returned later that morning to discover that his infant baby girl have died of heatstroke. She would have been 4 years old now.
The Cavaliero family learned their lesson the hard way.
The Cavalieros now dedicate their lives to helping raise awareness of the potential tragedy and devastation that this kind of situation can bring about. Leaving their child in a hot car almost ruined their lives – they’re determined to minimise the impact it can have on others too. Friday May 23rd is National Heat Awareness Day. So be aware. Please forward this post onto everyone you know who looks after children and drives. Thank you.
And remember – always Look Before You Lock!