“Kid Still In The Car Seat” Awareness

20 months.

About 24 hours ago, I published “How Do Parents Leave Their Kids Alone In A Hot Car?!

To summarize it, I basically said that I feel like every time I hear another “parent left their kid alone in the hot car” story, it’s always that the parent was a bit looney to begin with.

I ended it with this:

“But really, I don’t know, do non-crazy parents end up leaving their kids alone in the car? Do they?”

The answer is yes.

Good, normal parents who are respected in their community have unfortunately accidently left their kids alone in a hot car.

The most common way this seems to happen: They simply forgot to drop off their kid, who was quiet in the back seat.

Here are a couple of links to prove it:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/12/living/hot-car-deaths-parenting/index.html#

http://www.wsmv.com/story/19231074/experts-heat-related-incidents-with-kids-in-cars-can-happen-to-anyone

As I mentioned in this post’s prequel, I totally see how I could forget my son in the back seat of my car, on a morning when he is really tame on the drive and while I am very preoccupied with 17 random thoughts and 8 that actually are important.

But I want to make sure I never do forget.

I read this statement from the Safe Kids Worldwide CEO, Kate Carr, who had some advice for parents to prevent forgetting their child in the car:

“Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car – a briefcase, your purse, or better yet, your cell phone – that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.”

So, yeah, I’m going to start doing that. Starting today.

Now that I know it’s not just a stereotype of a parent who accidently leaves their kid in the car seat on a hot summer day, I’m ready to spread awareness.

What better way to do that than with another one of my glorious awareness ribbons?

For the record, I think awareness ribbons are annoying by now and are well past the “jumped the shark” point. And for me, that’s why they work. They spread awareness, even if through sheer tackiness like an infomercial.

So as I look at this orange “Kid Still In The Car Seat” Awareness ribbon that took me about 90 seconds to create on PicFont.com, I will be reminded to start leaving my cell phone in the back seat next to my son from now on.

Not to mention, I don’t need the added danger of tempting myself to text my wife while I’m driving.

I want to set good, preventative habits as a parent.

Thanks to those of you who left comments on ”How Do Parents Leave Their Kids Alone In A Hot Car?!”  You led me here and I think I’m a better parent for it.

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  1. by Elissa

    On August 14, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I’m with you on this. I know I’m a good parent. However, as a first time mother with a daughter who due to health concerns had to be woken every.three.hours all day or night (per the dr), I remember sitting at a stop light one day after a particularly rough night thinking “I could see how that could happen to someone like me.”
    Just like everything else since I’ve become a mother, I’ve learned not to judge (too much) now that I’m the one wearing the parent hat. Because I’ve found that it is just as hard as I thought it would be, and so much harder than I knew it would be all at the same time. Much like I love my daughter just as much as I thought I would, and so much more than I ever knew I could at the same time.

  2. by Judi Thomas

    On August 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I consider myself an over protective helicopter parent that has spent the last 19 years and two kids later trying to prevent bad things from happening to my children. I also happen to be single, employed full time with a random abstract personality. I have all the potential to be a parent who might leave their child in a car, thankfully that has never happened. However, my type A, OCD father managed to leave my youngest in his car car on not one but three separate occasions. The first time I was mortified, the second time I was shocked, the last time I seriously thought about having him tested for Alzheimer’s. While we joke now seven years later about our perceived notions of him wanting my child kidnapped,I have come to realize that when you do something that is not in your daily routine it is very easy to be distracted by your own movie of thoughts playing in your mind. Thank you for taking the time to write about such an important topic balso bank you also for reflecting and follows our follow up. Now if you have any ideas on how to prevent my father from letting my eight year old sit in the front seat until he is twelve I am all ears. However, after rereading this I probably shoulldn’t let my dad drive my son anywhere.

  3. by katy

    On August 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Good to know that your cell phone is something you know wouldn’t forget… your child on the other hand, maybe not.

  4. by Danielle

    On August 18, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Here are some tips that we give parents that come for car seat checks…
    -If the child is going to be at child care, arrange for the child care to give you a call 10 (or whatever works for you) minutes after your predetermined drop-off time IF the child has not arrived.
    -Set an alarm on your phone or a reminder in your calendar in Outlook.
    -Put a big clip on your keys.

    It is very sad that these tragedies occur. The numbers are moving in a downward trend. However, we cannot give up educating until there is not even one child who dies this way.
    -

  5. [...] next day I answered this question with “Kid Still In The Car Seat” Awareness. Read it if you are curious to see if my view changed on this subject. Hint: It [...]