Photo Credit: Getty ImagesWe've all read and heard about the tragic stories of parents who've accidentally left their baby in a car, only to return and find the child dead. I think most of us read these reports and are simultaneously saddened and horrified. I know I always wonder how the heck that can happen. Keys, sure. But kids?
- In 2008, so far 20 children have died from hypothermia after being left in cars.
- Between 1998-2007, more than 350 children died after being left in cars. Reason? Fifty one percent of these kids were "forgotten" by a caregiver while 30 percent were playing in unattended vehicle. (You can find more information here...the report was published in Pediatrics.)
News reports have raised awareness on this topic. I think most parents are on red alert when it comes to making sure they get their kids out of the car. And some moms even have little tricks to remind them about the sleeping or quiet baby in the back seat.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne over at woah momma wrote that she could have been "one of those moms" that left her kid in the car on a hot day. I applaud her for being so honest and sharing her story. Her morning was hectic, she was in a mom zone:
"About five minutes into the trip, my 6-month-old baby made a gurgle sound and I quite literally jumped. He had been so silent I forgot he was back there. What if he had fallen asleep? Would I have gone into work, completely forgetting I had a baby boiling in a car? The image haunts me."
Her trick for not leaving a baby in the car? She puts her purse on the floor beside the car seat...an easy reminder to grab her babe.
KidViz prototypeA few weeks ago I was at my local farmer's market when I met David H. Bell, th CEO of Visible Kids. He's working on a new product called VizKid, a very simple "stand" to remind parents they have a child in the car. He was giving away prototypes for moms and dads to test out. You put the VizKid on the empty passenger seat next when you're driving with kids. The goal is that you associate the VizKid with the real kid(s) in the backseat. After a drive, you take the kids out and put the VizKid the floor.
It was tough for me to get into the habit of using VizKid, mostly because my kids are older. My two sons, 6 and 3, are incredibly vocal in the car (which also makes me nutty sometimes). They rarely snooze on a drive. It would be really difficult for me to forget them. But my little guys liked having Mr. VizKid in the car and wanted to decorate him and give him a name. Go figure.
However, I could see how a new parent could find VizKid handy. Had I started this habit when I had my first baby, I would most certainly keep it up. Sort of how I make sure I don't lock my car doors unless my kids are out of my driving machine.
Do you have any tricks/tips that help you remember to grab your kid out of the car? Would something like VizKid help you?