Join JustParents to ask for advice and make new friends! It only takes 60 seconds. Join for free

Babies/Children and Hot Vehicles

posted 8 years 5 months ago
I kept seeing this section, "In the News" here, and every time, my thought was the same, so I'm going to share my thought now and post about it.

There's been so much in the news about babies and toddlers dying after being "forgotten" in vehicles when the weather is extremely (or sometimes just mildly) hot. If you're not in a hot area right now, it will be coming along in a few months, and it's worrisome.

First, I can't understand how someone could just "forget" that their child is in the car, but that aside, I'd like to hear some creative ideas about things people can do to assure they remember. I've heard a few ideas and many of them would probably work. The best I've probably heard is to keep a toy of the child's in the front seat with you so that when you get out, you'll see it and remember.

Also probably wouldn't be a bad idea to have someone give you a quick check-up call when you reach where you're going to be sure the baby was dropped off at the sitter or daycare without a problem.

Again, I personally don't understand how this could have even become such an issue, but it has, so we need to think of ways to deal with it so no one else has to suffer... either the children *or* the parent who was so overwhelmed with work/life/whatever, that they forgot there's a sleeping baby in the back seat. Sad Face The guilt is surely devastating and would forever be present.

posted 8 years 5 months ago
Those are great ideas. I can't think of anything else, because I also can't think of how it's possible, but I guess it is. Exhaustion maybe? I know alcohol has been an issue in some cases.. in which case, there's my contribution.. stay away from babies and cars when you're drunk! lol. Such a horrible thought though.. those poor poor babies; such a horrible way to go and so very easy to prevent Sad Face

posted 8 years 5 months ago
In the winter in Canada we have the same thing happen, people leave their kids in car while they run into a corner store. Recently this happened, only they left the car running and the baby was in the back seat. Someone jumped into the car and stole the car and didn't even realize there was a baby in the back seat. I mean who is so foolish to leave the car running and your child in the backseat. Luckily the car was recovered and the baby was unharmed.

posted 8 years 5 months ago
It's devastating and scary to think about but it's not just "forgetting" your child, it has to do with your brain going on autopilot, generally when something small is disrupted in your every day routine. I feel nothing but great sympathy for the parents of those tragedies and the pain the children went through. There is a great pulitzer prize winning article that explains how it works in your brain (but be aware it is a very emotional read) called Fatal Distraction.
I think little tricks like putting your purse or something in the back seat are very useful, you just never know. Better safe than sorry. Sad Face

posted 8 years 5 months ago
It really is a sad story when a child is forgotten in any fashion, but it is really alarming how often this seems to happen. Maybe it is the fact that we hear about it every time, but I can probably think of at least a dozen cases in the past couple of years...that is kind of a lot when you consider it requires forgetting that someone you gave birth to is with you. I guess I might not know what it is like to have multiple kids, though, so maybe that factors in.

posted 8 years 5 months ago
It's hard for me to come up with any suggestions because it's hard for me to imagine leaving a child in a car like that - I just honestly don't know how a person could forget that!

I did like the idea of a toy on the seat though, something that is a reminder of the little one in the car. I think it's also about looking after yourself too. If people are that exhausted that they forget a small child in a car then they need to be asking people for help! We forget sometimes that it's okay to reach out and ask someone to watch the kids while we nap - it's completely okay to do that!

posted 8 years 5 months ago
I live in the Phoenix, Arizona area of the United States. It's early February and this coming Monday is forcasted to be in the 80's. We have a lot of reports in the media about infant and child deaths due to being left in hot vehicles. It is extremely sad and while I feel terrible for the families of those children and of course for the poor children themselves that had to suffer so horribly, I have no sympathy for anyone who claims to have forgotten than their child in the car. As a mother I know that I could never forget my child in the car especially on a very hot day and I would never leave a young child unattended in a car in any weather. It really makes me sad seeing report after report and yet again more reports about these children dying and the parents trying to claim that they aren't at fault because they just had so much going on that they couldn't remember their child was in the car.

posted 8 years 5 months ago
It is actually quite a human thing to forget about a child in the backseat. It is usually done by a parent who does not typically have to drop off their child in the morning having to add that to their routine because the other parent is sick or away. Especially in the morning, we operate on autopilot as we do just about the same thing every morning to prepare for our day. Say you do not usually bring your little one to day care, but your partner woke up that morning with a stomach bug and is too busy vomiting up their guts to bring baby to day care. So you go about getting ready, grabbing baby before leaving for work. As you start your commute, baby falls asleep in the back seat. You are driving along your typical route. Maybe you stop for coffee along the way. You are driving on the same streets you drive every morning, and your brain switches to thinking about the stresses of the day. The meeting you have later. How annoying traffic is and how badly everyone else drives. That person you have to deal with later that you just cannot stand. That funny joke your coworker forwarded to everyone in the office. Your favorite contestant being voted off that show. Wondering why this song playing on the radio is so popular when it is so annoying. You are not thinking about driving even. You have done it countless mornings before. You have other things occupying your attention. So you pull into work, park, and do not think to check the back seat. Your mind is still on the hundreds of things you need to get done. You walk inside, and your brain immediately switches to work mode. It is not until later that day you remember why it feels like you forgot about something.

As a parent with severe ADD that impacts my ability to perform everyday tasks, I feel like I can especially understand this. Focusing is extremely difficult for me. I have to make myself a routine to be able to do the things I need. When I am thrown off that routine, I cannot function as well, and my anxiety level shoots up. I have to write things down and make lists to remember anything. Sometimes people grow annoyed with me because I tell the same story multiple time, or forget important things that they told me. I cannot help it. My brain just moves too fast and cannot handle the amount of stimuli vying for attention. Driving on freeways and such is incredibly stressful for me, especially if I also have to navigate, because of the amount of stimuli that require my attention and the life-threatening factor if I miss something. When I am thrown off my routine, I am not likely to remember things. It has caused me problems in the past, and I could see myself in the shoes of the parent who forgets their child in a hot car, as terrifying as that is. That is why, like you said, it is important to discuss strategies for preventing these tragedies, like making it part of your routine to check the backseat or putting a bag or other essential item in the backseat.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
The only possible suggestion I can come up with is; parents should treat children more like humans. Some parents think children are dolls or mute play things they can just leave for a while and come back to later.

The more we regard these little ones as humans by talking to them, telling them where you are both going and what you are both going to do. It will prevent parents from 'forgetting' the children in the car. Whenever I go shopping, I take my 2 year old and at his age, he knows how to pick what he wants. When you treat a child like yourself, they express themselves better to you and you understand each other.

Join JustParents for free to reply


Questions needing your answer

Latest Reviews