There have been many stories of babies dying in the backseat of hot cars, often forgotten by their parents when they leave the vehicle.
Statistics show there have been 17 heat stroke deaths of children in 2014, and since 1998, there have been an average of 38 U.S. child heat stroke fatalities per year.
Aside from Personal Responsibility (which should come first), are there any ways to reduce the odds of this happening?
Yes there are ways to help reduce the odds of this from happening, even very low tech ways:
1. Place the cell phone in the backseat, near the child seat when you place a baby in the car seat.
This has several effects.
Often, parents can be distracted by phones as they exit the vehicle. Since the mobile phone is in the backseat near the baby, the parent doesn’t have that distraction and is forced to go to the backseat and remember that there is a baby there.
This also has a nice side effect or reducing the temptation to text and drive.
If hands free communication is needed, the mobile phone can still be in the backseat, and the hands free system can still be used.
2. Place the house keys, garage door opener, and wallet in the back seat when you place a baby in the car seat.
Again, if you go home and try to open the house door or use garage door opener, you won’t be able to, because the house keys are in the backseat with the baby. You are forced to look in the backseat. The same thing with a wallet. You may have to use your wallet (identification, money, or credit cards), and when you find out you can’t, then you remember that there is a baby in the backseat.
3. Place your left shoe in the back seat when you place a baby in the car seat.
This idea seems strange but it can work. Especially if you drive an automatic transmission car, you can use your extra shoe (such as the left shoe in America) and place it in the back seat when you place a baby in the car seat. When you exit the vehicle, it is obvious that you have no left shoe, and you
4. Andrew Pelham’s Rubber Band Strap Idea
Or, you can use the invention of twelve-year-old Andrew Pelham. His invention is a brightly colored strap you attach to the door and to the car seat. When you open the door, you are reminded that you have a baby in the backseat.
Save the lives of children
I hope these low tech solutions can save the lives of children! The first two solutions are likely the easiest solutions to implement. You can even put a sign on the car seat to remind you to deposit your wallet, cell phone, and house keys in a pouch by the car seat when you put a baby in the car seat.
But again, Personal Responsibility comes first. These low-tech solutions are backup plans just in case Personal Responsibility fails.