Today is Heat Stroke Prevention Day. It’s designed to remind people of the danger of leaving children in cars.
I know, we talk this subject to death. And yet death is the result for 19 kids so far this year. The adults responsible include a hospital CEO and a foster father. And who knows HOW many animals have died?
So why DO people leave kids in cars?
A study of the phenomenon found that:
51% – child “forgotten” by caregiver
29% – child playing in unattended vehicle
18% – child intentionally left in vehicle by adult (yes, they knew what they were doing, but didn’t think anything would happen)
1% – circumstances unknown
With animals, it’s almost always an intentional choice.
I, personally, have chewed a mama out when I saw a 6 year old left in a car. And if I see anyone alone in a car, I ask if they’re alright.
Even with the windows down, it’s too hot inside the vehicle to stay for long. A child should NEVER be left alone in a car, even for a minute. A child 14 years old has died of heat stroke after having been left in a hot car, so don’t assume because they CAN get out, they won’t become a victim.
With all this publicity about the dangers of leaving living creatures in hot cars, the fact remains that it still happens far too often. A woman in Orlando was recently charged with child cruelty when she knowingly left her infant in the car while taking her 9 year old child to a doctor’s appointment. Why? Because the infant was sleeping and she didn’t think she’d be in the doctor’s office that long. That child, fortunately, lived.
If you are a parent, I encourage you to set up a reminder system to make sure you never leave your child in the car. And don’t say it’ll never happen to you, because it can. One of the best systems I’ve heard of is leaving your left shoe in the back seat if a child is in the car. Then you’ll have to look in the back to get your shoe and will see the child.
And never, NEVER leave a child or an animal alone in a car, even for a minute.
If you DO see a child or animal left in a car, call law enforcement and intervene as circumstances require. Don’t worry about what will happen to you. Whatever it is, it won’t be near as bad as what will happen to that kid or animal if you do nothing.