(CBS Charlotte) — Every time a parent reads a headline that describes a baby or child dying after being left in a hot car, they cringe.
From an outside perspective, it seems impossible that anyone could forget about their child in a car — ever … but yet, it happens more frequently than you think.
Between 1998 and 2010, close to 500 children died as a result of their parents accidentally leaving them in a car.
It’s important to note that as human beings, we tend to become distracted — especially while driving. Many people get lost in thought while sitting in traffic, and they can easily skip a part of their daily routine, such as daycare drop off — and drive straight to work instead. Additionally, because daycare drop off is routine, it’s common for parents to believe that they dropped their child off at daycare, even though the child is asleep in the back seat.
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There are several factors that contribute to a parent accidentally leaving their child in a car:
- The parent is sleep deprived.
- The parent is under the weather.
- The parent is a single mom or dad.
- The parent is extremely stressed at work.
- The parent is running late and is in a hurry.
- The parent is extremely stressed at home, trying to make ends meet, etc.
In light of so many children dying from being left unattended in hot cars, it’s reasonable to wonder why hasn’t more been done to prevent these accidents from occurring in the first place?
The answer is simple: many parents shrug off any type of awareness campaign regarding leaving their child in a hot car because they fail to see this as a realistic possibility. In fact, most parents believe that it could never happen to them … until it does.
-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte