Summer is finally here! With the warmer weather comes some safety hazards for children. Every year, we hear reports of parents leaving theirs kids in hot cars, sometimes accidentally and sometimes intentionally. The result is too often deadly. It takes very little time for a car to heat up to dangerous levels, even on days that don’t seem so hot. Here are some tips to help keep your kids safe this summer.
1. Create Reminders
With the kids being out of school, your pickup and drop off schedule may be different at this time of year. This means you’re more prone to simply forgetting that your child is in the back seat, especially if he/she is quietly asleep. To minimize this risk, there are a few things that you may do. First, place a sticky note or some other item in the front seat that reminds you. Another idea is to place your work bag or other needed items right in the back seat (instead of in the front passenger seat). This forces you to open the back door and see your child there.
2. Schedule Your Errand Runs
Parents often debate whether to leave children in the car when they are asleep,.. fearing that waking a sleeping child will make things too difficult. Children have a tendency to fall asleep at any time of day, but even more so during nap time. Avoid running errands during nap time and have toys or other activities to keep your child attentive and awake while in the car. With your child awake, it will be easier to take him/her in and out of the car and you make your necessary stops.
3. Keep Your Stroller Supplied
One of the toughest things to do is to carry your child around as you run errands. Bring a stroller to ease this strain and prevent your inclination to simply leave your child in the car. Be sure that your stroller is supplied with toys, snacks, and other items to keep your child happy while you take care of business.
Dangers of Leaving Kids in a Car
It is never okay to intentionally leave a child unattended in a car, whether it is for 2 minutes or 2 hours. During the summer, your child can die in the heat. There are also other dangers of leaving kids in a car. For example, your child could have a medical emergency and no one there to recognize and respond to it. Your child could awake and cry at length, leading to emotional distress. There is also the risk of abduction. Do things to make the process of taking your child in and out of the car so that you won’t be tempted to leave him/her. To prevent accidentally leaving your child, add reminders and other memory triggers. With some forethought, you can help keep your children safe.