Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Car Safety: Summer Car Safety

Summer is here and it is so much fun to be out and about with our babies and children! We are blessed to have these little miracles to entertain and bring us joy.

When we are trying to figure out how many diapers we've used and if a trip home is needed before we return those library books it can really be hard to think of something so mundane like the temperature in our car.

It is Hot in a Car!

My featured articles are about just how quickly it can become hot inside your car. Never leave your child or baby unattended inside a car even for a quick minute! When you have to take those groceries inside and it is just you and your little babe don't forget to get that little bundle inside before those groceries! Or if you are a skilled AP* momma you can always babywear :)

Keep in mind that small children can be rascals. All you have to do is leave them unattended a minute playing by the car when they realize they left their favorite toy inside. Next thing you know they are playing in the car w/out realizing how hot is and perhaps even trap themselves inside. When we have that mom moment "hey it's too quiet, what's wrong?" it may be too late.

The following articles address these concerns and gives us some practical safety advice:
Car Safety on a Hot Day and 4 Tips to Safety

What happens when you do make a mistake and lock your kid/baby in the car?

The obvious answer is to call 911 and please do that immediately if possible.
Although this seems like a simple answer it is not always feasible because the mom who locked her kid in the car by mistake probably locked her phone in too and there may not be anyone nearby to flag down. Also in some areas there have been incidents where the authorities refuse to come out unless the kid is unconscious. I know, how uncompassionate!

So what to do? Break a window and get that kid out of there! Break a window that is not near your child and using a window hammer and blanket is probably the safest way to do this. Now I'm not a safety expert and this information is simply what I have obtained by reading articles online and talking with moms who have been in this situation. I do know that if this were to happen to me I'd break the window. Even if you have called the authorities they may take a long time to arrive as is what happened to one lady I talked with. Remember a kid can get very hot very quickly in a locked car. You need to discuss with someone (partner, family member, support system) what you would do in this situation so that you have a plan.

Some locksmiths will come out and unlock your car for free. Pop-A-Lock is one of these locksmiths. Please see the following website to see if there is one in your location and keep their phone number in your car. They may be able to reach you faster than the authorities. Always call 911 in addition to the locksmith. And if they can't get their in time don't think twice about breaking that window.

Pop-A-Lock Child Safe Website

Thanks to my sister for the Pop-A-Lock tip!

And what if you see a baby or small child in a car alone? Please notify the authorities! You can notify them anonymously if you would like. Don't feel like you are giving that parent a tough time either. Leave it up to the experts to make the judgment call in terms of what that parent needs: a warning, a ticket, a child welfare check. Your responsibility is to that child and not the parent!

* AP refers to Attachment Parenting which is a parenting style that focuses on the emotional bond between baby and parents.
** Please note that in the picture here the straps on the car seat are not in the proper position, they should be equal with the armpits.

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