This post was sponsored by Auto Alliance as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
My daughter gave birth to my second grandchild last year and calls me every week to talk about motherhood. We talk about my her children’s progress, she often asks for advice and shares how tiring it is raising a young family.
I’m the perfect person for her to call because I’ve been in her shoes. After her sixth birthday, I gave birth to her three younger siblings within a four-year time span. My husband was working two jobs while I managed the kids and the house. Having four children, with three of them under 5 years old, changed me from an energetic mama into a “mombie”. A mombie is a mama walking around in a zombie-like state from lack of sleep, nutritious meals, and inconsistent showers. Being a mama is one of the best things I’ve every done, but I’m not gonna lie, mom-ing took a lot of energy.
When we are raising little ones we’re often tired which can lead to major tragedies including leaving a child in a car. One of my husbands biggest pain points is the time he almost left our son in the car. He was working two jobs, and hardly sleeping because we had a new baby. While he didn’t walk away from the car or even lock it, he realized he’d forgotten our son was even in the car with him. Had he not seen him in his peripheral, he believes he would have left him in there possibly causing our baby to suffer heatstroke. According to data, an average of 37 young lives are lost each year being left unattended in an automobile.
Heatstroke deaths can be avoided, but parents and caregivers have to be intentional. To ensure my daughter doesn’t ever leave her children in a hot car, I’ve decided to share some of the habits that helped me.
What situations should parents especially be aware of when transporting their child in a car?
If you’re a parent of a new baby train yourself to always scan the backseat of your car before locking it. As a new parent, you’re going to be tired from the babies irregular sleep and eating schedule. Having a new baby in the family and being sleep deprived requires you to be extra diligent in checking the car while running errands, when taking road trips or in between work and the day care center. Don’t leave your child(ren) in a hot car for even a minute. A child’s body can heat up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult which can lead to an accidental death when left in a hot car.
How do you remind yourself to never leave your child in the car especially during the hot-summer season?
If you’re a new parent create a “car exit drill‘. A car exit drill is a series of steps you perform before locking your car.
Your drill could include:
- making sure you have you car keys
- grabbing your purse and cell phone
- visually scanning the back seat of your car
Additional tips for parents and caregivers in helping to prevent heatstroke tragedies from happening can be found on the Auto Alliance website. A helpful one includes remembering the acronym ACT.
Those three letters can help us remember the following.
A-Avoid: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
C-Create Reminders: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
T-Take Action: If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
Auto Alliance is one of the best resources I’ve seen on children and heatstroke. There is a temperature time lapse tool on there that really drives home the effects of leaving a child in a car. To see it in action, for more information about heatstroke prevention, and to help spread awareness, visit AutoAlliance.com and use your page scroll feature. When you get to the fifth slide, you can scroll up and down to see how quickly a car can heat in minute by minute. Even when the outside temperature is only 70°, the inside of a parked car can still heat up to 120º within just 15 minutes. And, that’s with the windows open.
Mama’s let’s do all we can to spread the word about preventing heatstroke deaths this summer. Many cases involving kids being left in a car are due to a mistake and usually involve children under age of two years old, so share this with moms of littles. Encourage them to do whatever they have to do this summer to prevent leaving a child in the car. Something as simple as putting their pocketbook and cell phone in the backseat helps.
To help raise awareness about the dangers of heatstroke in automobiles, the Auto Alliance has launched campaign in support of the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) “Look Before You Lock: Never Leave A Child Alone in a Car” outreach letter. To learn more please visit AutoAlliance.com.