Every year, as the weather gets warmer, tragedies involving children and hot vehicles appear in the news. These stories are always so devastating. The fear felt by the child and the extreme guilt by the parent or caregiver is heartbreaking. Just in the last few weeks, there have been several examples from all over the country:
- A father in Texas was arrested and charged with manslaughter after his six-month-old died while in his care. The father dropped his two older children off at their daycare but his youngest had a cold so he brought her back home. When he arrived home, he went inside to take a nap, forgetting about his daughter in the car. By the time he awoke four hours later, it was too late and the child was dead. The temperature that day was in the 90s.
- Three-year-old twins were found in a truck outside their family’s home in Louisiana. Their mother was taking a nap inside and didn’t notice the twins slip out to play. They were found later inside the sweltering vehicle. Rescue efforts were attempted but both children pronounced dead at the hospital.
- A childcare center in Oklahoma is under investigation after a four-year-old was left in a van for two hours in 80-degree heat. Luckily, the child’s mother arrived to pick her up and, after a search of the premises, the child was found unhurt. Two employees were later fired.
These tragedies can be prevented. Check out our list of ideas, along with first aid tips and a memory exercise in this article. The mother in the last story also had a new idea: She said she will teach her child to honk the horn if she’s ever left in a vehicle again. In addition to teaching older kids not to play in cars, if they’re somehow stuck or left behind, teaching them to honk the horn could save their lives.