(7/18/12) - New parents suffer from exhaustion due to lack of sleep, hormone changes, stress and changes in their routine. Any one of these can cause your memory to fail at a time you least expect it. Even the best of parents or caregivers can overlook a sleeping baby in a car, and the end result can be devastating. Planning can help keep your child from being hurt.
Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal offers the following advice to protect your child. Put something in the back seat of your vehicle that requires you to open the back door every time you park. Make it a routine to check the back seat to ensure that no one has been left behind. Consider keeping a stuffed animal in your child's car seat and place it on the front seat as a reminder when your baby is in the back. Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in the garage or driveway. Finally, ask your child care provider to call you if your child has not arrived on time. Remember, always look before you lock.
In 2010, 49% of all child non-traffic fatalities in the United States were the result of a heat stroke, according to KidsandCars.org. Approximately 38 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside motor vehicles, and as of July 5, 2012, 12 children have already died of vehicular heat stroke.
For more information about child safety, call Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal at (843) 777-5021 to speak to an Injury Prevention Specialist or visit www.McLeodSafeKids.org.
Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal, led by McLeod Health, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading cause of death in children 14 and under. Safe Kids Pee Dee/ Coastal is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal is funded in part by the McLeod Health Foundation.