In 2018, 53 children died from heatstroke in a hot car. In 2019, that number was 52 and so far in 2020, 14 children have died. While every parent likes to think that this could never happen to them or their child, it absolutely can. As parents, we’re tired, stressed, even distracted… symptoms that can easily lead to a forgotten little one in the back seat. In honor of National Child Vehicular Heatstroke Awareness and Prevention Day, here are four daily tips to help you avoid a tragedy:
1. Put something you need next to your infant seat
Your purse, lunch, cell phone, etc. Get into the habit of opening your back doors each time you get out of your car…. this is something you can start practicing even while you’re pregnant.
2. Set a reminder
From the driver’s seat perspective, a rear-facing infant seat will look the same whether baby is strapped in or safely at home. Keep a stuffed animal in the seat when it’s empty and move it to the front passenger seat when you put your baby in the car.
3. Use a back seat mirror
Back seat mirrors are a great way to keep an eye on baby when driving but also a great way to constantly remind yourself that baby is in the car with you each time you look in the rear view mirror.
4. Put a back-up policy in place with your childcare provider or school
Have your daycare or school call you any time your child is late or absent. Give them every number possible and ask them to call each one to let you know your child is not there. So many kids get left in cars when parents change their routine and head straight to the office or home.
To learn more about National Child Vehicular Heatstroke Awareness and Prevention Day, visit kidsandcars.org.