Never Say Never: Cars, Babies and Safety Strategiesby KidSafe Foundation Sally & Cherie
It's an incredibly tragic story that we see too often on the news, especially during the a hot summer months - a young child dead due to an adult “forgetting” about them in the car.
As we are parents of older children (the youngest being nine), we had to think back pretty far to those early days of waking every two hours to feed the baby. Everyone told us to "nap when your baby does," but that rarely worked (at least for us it didn’t). We remember being so physically, emotionally, and mentally tired that we could barely see straight.
Never Say Never
If you just brought home your baby, you are so tired you frequently have to stop and ask yourself: Did I shower today? Did I take my pills? But your life is so enveloped in that baby that you would never forget him, right? When we think back to being that exhausted, we have to wonder how tired a parent must be to “forget” their child - the most precious thing in the world. You must be tired beyond belief!
We all ask ourselves, could we ever have accidentally left our baby in the car? We would like to think there is no way. That could never happen. But, if you have been a parent long enough, you have learned to never say "never." So here is our advice - forget about wondering “could it happen?” and instead focus on some prevention strategies to make sure it NEVER does!
Strategy 1 - Phone and Purse Location
Leave your purse and cell phone in the backseat next to your child in the car seat. By doing this, you are not only ensuring that you won’t forget your child, but you can also now sign up for Oprah’s "no phone pledge" - because if your cell is in the backseat it means you won't be talking or texting while you're driving.
Strategy 2 - The Stuffed Animal Switch
Put a stuffed animal in the car seat whenever your child is not in it. That way, when you go to put your child in the seat, you can take the animal out and put it on the front passenger seat next to you as a reminder that your child is in the car seat.
Strategy 3 - Post-It Notes
It's simple, but effective. Write yourself a brightly colored sticky note that says "Baby in back!" and keep it on the dashboard. It's just one more visual reminder to help you out.
Strategy 4 - Mirror, Mirror
Buy yourself a child safety mirror that attaches to your rearview mirror so that you can see your child at all times.
These kinds of tragedies are so easily preventable. Just by using the above strategies, you could save your child's life. Please relay this information to friends, family, and coworkers so no more families have to suffer.