As the temperatures in Pittsburgh have soared into the 80's and 90's this summer, stories have already surfaced detailing the deaths of children forgotten in hot cars. With July being the most deadly month for these tragic accidents, it's worth taking a minute to think about today.
Momlogic Newsletter summarized the 23 children who have died in hot cars already this season. A few sentences summed up each horrible accident, an example of how easy it is to forget what you are doing and leave a helpless child in a hot car.
Mommywords.com compiled a top 10 list for remembering your child in the back seat that might have seemed silly 10 years ago. Before the distractions of satellite radio, built-in DVD players, cell phones, blue tooth, before passenger seat airbags forced parents to only place children in the back seat...The list recommends pasting a note to your dashboard, placing a stuffed animal in the empty passenger seat beside you, leaving your briefcase in the back seat.
Gene Weingarten, from the Washington Post, wrote the award winning article Fatal Mistake last summer. He followed the stories of several such incidents.
What kind of person forgets their child in a hot car? Research suggests that this phenomenon extends to reach all of us, Weingarten goes on to list:
"In the last 10 years, it has happened to a dentist. A postal clerk. A social worker. A police officer. An accountant. A soldier. A paralegal. An electrician. A Protestant clergyman. A rabbinical student. A nurse. A construction worker. An assistant principal. It happened to a mental health counselor, a college professor and a pizza chef. It happened to a pediatrician. It happened to a rocket scientist."
In most cases, something unusual has happened to distract or confuse the responsible adult, causing them to forget about their precious cargo. Many times, the caretaker drives right to the daycare to pick the child up at the end of the day, only to find them dead in the back seat. A change in schedule, an early meeting, a last minute phone call is enough to erase the memory of the sleeping child in the car seat. The results can be devastating.
Weingarten raised an interesting question as he followed several parents, some of whom were prosecuted for their child's death. It's Feedback Friday so tell me...
Forgetting a child in the backseat of a car:
Mistake or Crime?
Mistake or Crime?