When you read a local headline about a young child that has been left inside of a car while a parent runs an errand, what’s your immediate reaction? For millions it can be instant rage and confusion, as how does one actually forget their children in the car? For others, it can be a thought process that includes sympathy, or a reminder that none of us are perfect humans that never make an innocent mistake. Where do you sit on the issue?
Let’s face it, emergencies happen all the time and you have one child that just sick and another asleep in the car. Everyone has had to pull over and run into a business, or pump gasoline with their child still fastened in a carseat at some point, but how long is too long to leave your child unattended in a car? Experts are asking parents to seriously take into consideration the temperature outside and the safety of your child before ever leaving them inside a vehicle.
Kaitlyn Russell was a six month old baby that died after being left in a hot car in 2000 in the Corona area, and as a result there’s been purple campaign ribbons labeled “look before you leave” in an effort to prevent any further children falling victim to this epidemic. This incident also spawned Kaitlyn’s Law, which was passed as Senate Bill 255 after the baby was left in a hot car for over two hours by a babysitter. The family has since been diligent on spreading the word of the dangers of leaving children in cars.
According to Press Enterprise, some 802 kids have died since 1998 as a result of vehicular heat stroke and there are many ways to prevent this from ever happening again. If you see a child locked inside a hot car you should contact 911 immediately. If you can free the child from the vehicle it is advised to try to cool them down as much as possible by using wet cloths, giving them water, and getting them into a cooler place at once.
Unfortunately this continues to happen all over the country, and more innocent children are losing their lives to this issue. Please, always take your child with you whenever possible, and for those appointments that aren’t for children to be present then leave them with a sitter, or have an adult in the car to keep them cooled off and safe while you complete your errands for the day.