Unfortunately, forgetting a child is in the backseat of the car is not something that only happens to “bad parents.” In fact, 2018 was the highest year on record for tragic pediatric vehicular heatstroke. Experts agree this can happen to even the most devoted parents. With that in mind, all parents and caretakers should be aware of the scenarios that can cause distraction from the baby in the backseat.
Not all these scenarios can be avoided, but if parents and caregivers are aware of these four situations that can happen to anyone, they can ensure extra precautions are taken at these times to avoid forgetting their child is in the backseat.
1. Having a Bad Day. When frazzled parents are having a bad day at home or at work, it is easy to forget everyday things like your little baby sleeping quietly in the back of the car. Being distracted by a rough work day or a difficult family problem can cause a parent’s mind to wander.
2. Distracted When Getting Out of the Car. As social media and texting become more prevalent, people are becoming more distracted. If you’re checking social media or on the phone while getting out of the car, it is easy to forget important routines.
3. Popping Out of the Car for “Just a Few Minutes.” If a parent is just jumping out of the car to pick up ordered groceries, drop of mail at the post office, fill the car with gas or another quick task, it can be dangerous. It’s easy to forget your baby waiting in the back of the car when your mind is focused on completing a quick and easy task – and unfortunately even what feels like just a few minutes is dangerous in a hot, closed vehicle.
4. Other Caregivers. When a grandparent or babysitter is watching a baby and it is not their normal routine, it can be all too easy for them to forget the baby in the car. Additionally, if one parent typically does pick up or drop off at daycare, a day out of the ordinary when the other parent is responsible for the baby can be fatal if extra precautions are not taken.
Because there are several scenarios in which children can be forgotten in hot cars, it is important for safeguards to be put in place. Not all of these scenarios can be avoided—bad days will happen, emergency phone calls sometimes must be taken via Bluetooth in the car and every parent will use babysitters. The important thing is being aware of these situations that cause child vehicular heatstroke in order to avoid tragedy. While they are almost always genuine accidents by loving parents or caregivers, they are easily preventable when steps are taken to keep distractions at a minimum.
One easy solution to prevent this potential tragedy? The eClip. It’s a device that attaches easily inside the car and connects to a cell phone via Bluetooth. It alerts parents if they walk more than 25 feet from their car without removing their child.