We all want our children to be safe. Safety is sadly often inspired by horror stories about why we do the things we do- cover light sockets, throw away plastic wrappers, no sharp corners. As a parent those stories keep you awake and your heart pounding through the morning news. My motivation for sharing these particle important tips is to prevent devastation in other’s lives, not create fear. I do not want any person to experience a loss just because they were not informed.
“My people parish from a lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6
Most of us know to have our infant buckled, rear facing, and the car clean enough to where nothing can fall on them. Before driving off we mentally check off all the things we need to do or don’t want to forget. There is one thing, the most important thing that we must never forget. The baby. How could that possibly happen? All of us have heard stories of mothers forgetting their babies in the car as they run of to the groceries, work, or into their home. Some people scoff and wonder how anyone could be so idiotic. I don’t wonder. I know exactly how.
If you have a baby and are up all hours of the night you are often sleep deprived. You can barely keep it together. If you are a working parent you have so many things on your mind and the baby!
I didn’t have children when I was sleep deprived, but if I had it could have cost both of our lives. When I was a high schooler I was working over 20 hours a week and attending a private school (after being in public all my life.) The adjustment to the workload and evening job left me exhausted. I was also going through a very emotionally exhausting time as well. (Which as a parent most people can relate being emotionally drained too.) I drove home at night on country roads. Out in the middle of nowhere was a dinky four-way stop light. I ran it, not just one night, but for several nights. Some nights I pulled into the drive and could not for the life of me remember anything about how I got there. I’m so grateful and lucky that I never got hit or hurt someone else.
Routine can trap us as well. Let’s say you are driving to work but first need to drop of your kiddo at the day care or sitters, your child falls asleep and doesn’t make any noise. You may drive past the daycare and into work without even making the connection. When you think of it in these terms it is much easier to understand how this could happen.
Here are helpful suggestions to avoid this:
1. The best thing to do when going out (especially if you are going to work and need to drop them off first) is put your purse or lunch in the back seat next to your child. You will have to look back to get your things and will notice if your baby is still in the back seat!
2. Mirrors. Many companies now make mirrors that allow you to glance back and see your child. This is ingenious as you can also see their expression. Just make sure to look at the road instead of getting wrapped up in how cute your baby is. This should be helpful since you will end up being in the habit of glancing into that mirror to see your baby. You can buy the car mirrors at a local Wal-Mart or Target.
3. Have an alarm on your cell phone go off around the time you drop them off in the morning. Have it read, Check your baby’s car seat or baby dropped off? A small thing, but it could make a huge difference.
Please feel free to add other suggestions and tips for remembering babies in the car. I encourage everyone to repost and share with others. It is summer and way too hot for any child to be forgotten inside a car.