It is unthinkable to me that this continues to happen, but children continue to die after being left in a hot car. Accidents are preventable. People who leave a child in the car have expressed a wide number of excuses, but this scenario is absolutely preventable. I sat in my running car yesterday, waiting for my wife. With the AC on, the dash was hot to the touch, indicating that he would not take long for a non-running vehicle to heat up quickly. There is no amount of time that is acceptable to leave a child alone in a car, much less on a hot day.
So what distracts a person from remembering their child? I would venture to say that the number one culprit is the cell phone. Cell phone use has caused many vehicle accidents. People get into a conversation and practically forget about their surroundings, outside of the phone call. Another thing that causes someone to forget their child is the fact that they are running late. Running late causes drivers to take unnecessary chances.
The intentional act of leaving a child in a non-running vehicle should be a crime. Again, no amount of time is an acceptable amount of time to leave a child in a car. There is no excuse that you can give that will make leaving your child in your non-running car acceptable.
If you find a child in a hot car, this is a true emergency. You must decide do I first call 9-1-1 or do I first get the child out of that hot car. If you don’t have the means to break a window, then you need to call 9-1-1 immediately. The treatment for a heat-related emergency is to remove from the hot environment and placed in a cooler environment. The level of the medical emergency becomes life and death once a person stops sweating and the process of heat stroke begins.
Vehicles have alarms for everything, except an alarm for a child left in a car seat. The problem appears to be that car seats are not a permanent part of a vehicle. We have cameras for backing up, why not some type of camera that shows our child in the car seat, similar to a baby monitor for when a child is in their crib.
Other than saying it over and over, I do not know what it will take to prevent this. People have been charged with voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, negligence or gross negligence, in some of these cases. Every case is an absolute tragedy.
Hot cars can kill children, the elderly and pets. We must do whatever is necessary to remember our children are in the car, their lives depend on it. Remember, no amount of time is an acceptable time to leave your children in a vehicle alone, running or non-running.