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« I Do Believe in Spooks? I Do? I Do? | Main | Ready for some lighter Halloween fare? »

October 31, 2007

Children and Car Seats

This may seem an odd topic for a blog, but it's an idea that won't get out of my head. On Sunday, I read a tragic story about a mother who, last summer, inadvertently left her sleeping child in a car seat when she went into the office. At the end of the day, the mother discovered what she had done, but it was too late:  the child had died from the heat. 

Our first reaction is, "How could she have forgotten?" But, if we're honest, that question is quickly replaced by, "I could have done the same thing!" If you don't think it could happen to you, then think about those times when you went into your office, only to have to go back to your car for something you left -- a folder, a book, your glasses, etc. None of us is immune to forgetfulness.

So why am I writing this post? Because I thought of a simple act that might prevent another tragedy like this. Get into the habit of placing something you absolutely must have with you for the day (your purse, your briefcase) on the floor in front of the child's car seat. Then, even if you did forget to drop your child off at day care, even if you are distracted as you talk on the phone while walking into your office, you will have to stop and retrieve that item ... and you'll see your child.   

If you don't have your child with you everyday, do this anyway so it becomes a habit. I routinely put my purse on the floor behind the driver's seat, so it's an automatic reflex whether my grandson is strapped into the seat behind me or not. 

My heart breaks for this mother, and the two dozen or so others just like her each year, who will have to live with the consequences of her memory lapse for the rest of her life. So if this odd little post saves even one family from such heartache, it will be worth it. If you find this a useful tip. please pass it on to all the young mothers and fathers you know. Thank you. 

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