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baby-hot-carMy heart breaks every time I read an article like this. It just does not have to happen.

Another infant was forgotten and left in a hot car while his mother goes into work. Alexandria, VA, mom, Magali Conde Hernandez, told police she went to work and returned to her car six hours later. She went to pick up her 2 year old at a child care center and realized that her 8 month old son was still in the back seat. What horror she must have felt at that moment. Little Nathan was not breathing and his body temperature had reached 108 degrees. The little guy could not possibly have survived for very long at that temperature, so sad. Hernandez has been charged with felony child neglect.

I wish I could say that this is a rare occurrence. This was not the only case of a child left in a car this past week. In Baltimore, MD, a relative of a 16 month old was supposed to drop off the toddler to a local day care center. He went home, parked his truck and went in to the house to take a nap. Four hours later he went to the day care center to pick up the child when he was informed that she had never been dropped off. He immediately ran to his truck and found the toddler non-responsive in the car seat. She was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

These two cases were in my local area just in the last week. Unfortunately, during the summer months there are approximately 38 deaths nationally of young children who have been left in hot cars.

A child?s body temperature rises 3 ? 5 times faster than an adult?s. Even with the windows partially down, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 125 degrees in just minutes. Leaving the windows opened slightly does not significantly slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature attained.

“Slow down and be careful…. Try not to let things get too busy,” said Lt. Mark Bergin of the Alexandria Police Department.

I can not reiterate this enough. Make it a habit to look in your back seat every time you get in AND out of a car. Please pass this around to get the word out. It might just save a young life. My heart aches for these families.

I found this list over at KidsAndCars.org:

  • Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
  • Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., on the floor board in the back seat.
  • Get in the habit of always opening the back door of your vehicle every time you reach your destination to make sure no child has been left behind. This will soon become a habit. We call this the ?Look Before You Lock? campaign.
  • Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat when it’s not occupied. When the child is placed in the seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that anytime the stuffed animal is up front you know the child is in the back seat in a child safety seat.
  • Make arrangements with your child?s day care center or babysitter that you will always call if your child will not be there on a particular day as scheduled.
  • Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway and always set your parking brake.
  • Keys and/or remote openers should never be left within reach of children.
  • Make sure all child passengers have left the vehicle after it is parked.
  • When a child is missing, check vehicles and car trunks immediately.
  • If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. If they are hot or seem sick, get them out as quickly as possible. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
  • Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays.
  • Use drive ? thru services when available. (restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.)
  • Use your debit or credit card to pay for gas at the pump.

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