Summer is here! That means the sun is out and the heat is on! I want to share with you guys a couple tips I have learned to help remind myself never to leave my baby in the car.
Now if you’re anything like me, when the sun comes out you say, “oh my god it still exists!!” Where I live most of us suffer from seasonal affective disorder…. we only see sun about 3 months out of the year. So when it finally does show its face we throw caution to the wind, run outside, and promptly get sunburned because we forgot that the sun is hot.
We also seem to forget that our cars turn into giant easy bake ovens. Every year you see those awful stories on the news about a parent who accidently left their child in the car on their way to work, only to be found hours later with heat stroke or without a pulse. People then always say, “I don’t know how somebody could ever forget that their child was in the car!” I thought the same thing until I had a child of my own. Your day is crazy busy, your mind going a million miles an hour, your running on no sleep, your thinking about the dishes piling up, the laundry that hasn’t been done in 3 weeks, the coffee you just spilt on yourself, and the battle that is every day when trying to raise a child.
Don’t get me wrong, that is no excuse, but I can see how it happens. I’ve been half way to work before I realized my daughter was still in the backseat. It still makes my heart stop just thinking about what could have happened.
What is even more frightening is that it does not have to be hot outside for the temperature in the car to reach a high enough degree. Thus, putting a child at risk for heat stroke and death.
So anyways, here a couple tricks I use to help remind myself that my kid is in the backseat.
1. Stick shoe, purse, wallet, or brief case in the back
So this is one that I have heard a lot about. Take one shoe off and put it in the backseat with your kiddo. Preferably on the floor, as shoes carry the nastiest of germs and we all know that before age 3 everything goes in the mouth. You can also stick your purse, wallet, brief case, or phone back there as well. Its sad that we are less likely to forget these items than our children, but most people need them for work or are used to taking them inside, so put them in the back as a reminder to make sure your kid isn’t still back there.
2. Diaper bag or backpack in front
This one kind of goes along with the last suggestion only opposite; place the diaper bag or young child’s backpack in the front seat next to you.
3. Ask caregiver to call if child does not show up
This is one of my top suggestions. Most caregivers do this already but if not, request that if your child does not show up within 15-20 minutes of the normal drop off time the caregiver call you to make sure everything is ok. I say only 15 – 20 minutes because according to a study that was published in Forensic Science and Pathology in 2014, it only takes 20 minutes for the body to lose its ability to compensate for the heat. What does that mean? Heat stroke! What does heat stroke lead to? Death.
4. Alarm on phone
Another method is to use the general alarm that is on your phone. What is nice about this is that you can set an alarm for specific days and times. You can also name them with a reminder such as, “Did you drop off Jimmy?” or “Hey dumbass you forget something?” You know, whatever floats your boat. The downside with this is although it works great if you have a regular schedule, it won’t cover the spontaneous trips to the grocery store, mall, home depot, etc.
5. Electronic sensors
I have this on the list just because it is something I have looked into a lot. However, I have yet to buy one because it was hard to find one that seemed promising or had good reviews. But, if you have had great success with a sensor that you bought, please share! We would love to know about it!
Now I know these tips aren’t anything real fancy but I feel like they are the methods that work the best. We parents also need to stick together and remember that we are only human doing the best we can on NO SLEEP!
I hope these tips help!
<3 Candid RN