We are gearing up for another fantastic summer in Oklahoma. Swimming pools, BBQs, snow cones and water balloon fights are all on our family checklist. And while I’m ready to dive into all of the fun that we will have, I want to be sure we all take a minute and prepare for one of the dangers we will face. I heard a report that in 2014 there were 30 deaths of children from being left in a hot car. Cars can reach temperatures of 100 degrees in 15 minutes and children can die at 107 degrees. Last year, Tennessee implemented a law that says any citizen who sees a child locked in a hot car can break the window without any repercussions. I do not believe all 30 of those parents/caregivers researched how long it would take to let their child die in a hot car. I believe that the majority of them are all busy, forgetful people. Doesn’t that describe all of us, parents? I went somewhere by myself the other night (a rare event) and I kept freaking out because I thought I left my child in the car. I’m not used to not opening the back door and buckling them in. That is my life. If I were used to going places by myself, used to hopping out and running in a store, then I have no doubt I might be one of those forgetful parents.
I want to give you some resources I have been hearing about that have been created to help us remember.
Baby Reminder App : This is a free app that will set an alarm to remind you to get your kiddo out of the backseat. From their website:: “Simply set the days and time intervals in which you usually drive your children. Baby Reminder will automatically monitor and determine when you are driving and when not. An alert reminding you not to forget your baby in the car will be sent shortly after you arrive at your destination.”
Remember the Kids App : This app is $1.99. From their website:: “Remember the Kids is an automatic no-hassle app to help you remember your child in the car seat and protect from automobile heat exhaustion or hypothermia. Through your phone’s Bluetooth and/or Automatic Driving Detection, receive alerts when you arrive at your destination, providing you with more safety and security. There is no equipment to install or required changes to your daily routine. Simply install and open the app to immediately gain an additional measure of security that the health and future of your most treasured assets are protected.”
E-Z Baby Saver : This little strap was invented by a fifth grader. It straps you in your car, requiring you to cross a barrier and remember your child. There are also instructions for making your own on their website.
Baby Alert Child Minder : I love the idea of this piece of car seat technology. They are working on producing car seats with built in sensors and monitors, but if you are not looking to replace your very expensive car seat with a more expensive car seat, something like this little attachment might be a good addition. You replace the chest clip on the child’s straps with this soft clip that with both pieces are joined it is activated. There is a remote that goes on your key ring and alerts the driver if they are 15 feet away from the carseat. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to watch an informative video. Here is a link to a video aimed at bringing awareness to this issue. The same group who put that video together is trying to raise funds to market the 1Decision Bracelet. This bracelet would vibrate if your child moved past the designated distance between you, or if you left them in the car and walked away.
Here is a link to the Today Show’s segment on how to break into a car window, if need be.
Other tips for helping you remember are:
- Putting your purse or briefcase in the backseat, so you have to get out to get it.
- Leave a stuffed animal in the front seat as a reminder
- Set a reminder on your phone before you start driving
- The old fashioned, tie a string around your finger
- Lock your car doors, even in the garage and put the keys where they can’t be reached
The list could go on and on.
The point is, PLEASE DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP OUR CHILDREN SAFE!