This post was sponsored by Auto Alliance as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
If there is one thing that strikes fear in my heart and I’m sure many other parents, it’s hearing about another baby or small child being left to die in a hot car. Almost every time I see it, it was an accident. Most of us have a knee-jerk reaction and think it would never happen to us. Have you ever been lost in thought while driving and for a split second wondered where the baby was?
Did you know that even when the outside temperature is only 70 F degrees, the inside of a parked car can still heat up to 120 degrees within just 15 minutes with the windows open? This could be lethal to a small child as their bodies heat up 3-5x faster than adults.
Every year in the U.S. about 37 little ones die accidentally when left in a hot car alone. I know it can happen, especially if you have a change in your daily routine, like if the other parent needs to take the child to daycare or grandma’s house on the way to work instead of the one who always does.
If your little one is not making noise in the backseat because they fell asleep or are just being very quiet, it’s easy to forget when they aren’t usually there. I am the main primary caregiver and the one who takes the kids everywhere 99.9% of the time. Yet, there has been a brief moment when I have been driving where I suddenly thought “where is my child” because she fell asleep and was so quiet. Even though I have never forgotten a child, those brief little moments scare the heck out of me.
You must stay vigilant when you have a child in the car. Don’t ever leave your child in a car alone for a minute, especially during the hot months of the year.
The Auto Alliance has a new outreach letter — Look Before You Lock: Never Leave a Child Alone in a Car. They are encouraging the public to ACT to prevent headstroke by:
A-Avoid: To avoid heatstroke-related injury and death, never leave your child in the car — not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
I know I’ve thought about just popping in a quick second to drop off a bill or run in the convenience store to grab something and let the baby sleep, but I have vowed to myself NEVER do it. I have literally popped my baby out of the car seat just to walk up to the night drop at the utility company, which is literally 10 steps from my car. It might wake her up, but it’s a vow I’ve made to myself and my children because it’s so easy for little ones to overheat in the car.
C-Create Reminders: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
I always put my purse/diaper bag behind the baby’s car seat. This way I always have to open the back door before I walk away from the car. I also often give her my cell phone to listen to music if she’s upset or just to watch YouTube videos. This is another reminder I do. Lastly, I keep a mirror pointed on her from the headrest so every time I look in the review mirror, I see her in her rear-facing car seat.
T-Take Action: If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
If you see a child in a car alone in a parking lot, gas station, side of the road, do not feel guilty or stupid for calling 911. You could literally save a life. I have seen babies in retail parking lots, and I have called the police. Little children have no way to save themselves in a situation like this.
Learn more about the Auto Alliance’s new outreach to prevent children from being left in cars.