There is a campaign spreading on the internet called “Not Without My Left Shoe”. The idea is that if you are driving a child, after you put them in a back seat – in a car seat, booster or buckled in with a seat belt – put your left shoe back there too. The thought is that you will never forget your precious cargo.
A lot of you who read this will say, “There’s no way I’d ever forget my kid.”
And a lot of you will be wrong.
Last June, according to the Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University, there were 13 deaths from children left in cars, and summer had only just begun. The year before 44 children suffered this horrific death.
The results of a recent survey, published on the SafeKids.org website stated that:
14 percent of parents have intentionally left their children in a parked car.
11 percent of parents admit to forgetting their child in a car.
Nearly 1 in 4 parents of a child under 3 has forgotten the child in a car.
Dads are nearly three times more likely than moms to leave a child in a parked car. (nothing against Dads)
Not all deaths were caused by people forgetting. They may have thought cracking the window made the car cool enough. About 6 percent of the people in the above cited Public Opinion Strategies survey, thought it was OK to let a young child stay in a parked, locked vehicle for longer than 15 minutes.
Still, a little more than half of all child heatstroke deaths in cars were caused by a parent forgetting the child was in the car. The parent is distracted, preoccupied or running on autopilot, like many busy parents of babies and toddlers. The child falls asleep. The parent gets out of the car and leaves the baby behind.
Often, safety experts say, the death comes when a parent breaks a routine.
For Reginald McKinnon of Cape Coral, it was picking up his daughter Payton from day care and taking her to the doctor. After the appointment he put her in the rear-facing car seat on the back seat and headed back to work. He spent the day there not realizing the 17-month-old was still in the back seat. When he opened the door to his SUV to go home, Payton was dead, still strapped into her seat.
McKinnon was sentenced to five years of probation and community service for Payton’s March 2010 death. He is dedicated to honoring Payton’s memory by educating parents and friends about the risk of hyperthermia when children are left in cars.
In Marietta, Ga., Justin Ross Harris was booked on murder charges after he forgot to drop his child at day care and went to work instead. On his drive home, he discovered his 22-month-old son was in the back seat.
I don’t mean to be morbid but this is SERIOUS! Summer is fast on it’s way so PLEASE if you have to LEAVE YOUR SHOE and as always DRIVE SAFE!!!