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Child Safety

It’s Summertime, Cars are Hot… Do You Know Where Your Children Are?


It bothers me–and it should bother everyone–that children are left in cars at all… especially when the weather is warm. Or, as it must have been yesterday in Joliet, Illinois, hot, in the mid-80s–when a woman thought her 7-month old baby boy was with her baby’s father.  The woman was in a meeting for two hours and did not answer her cell phone.  According to accounts on the local news stations, her boyfriend had called her concerned about where the baby was…  When she realized that the baby could be in the car, she immediately went to her car hoping to rescue her child. The SUV’s windows had been rolled up and the doors were locked for approximately 2 hours. The baby who was found unresponsive is in critical care in hospital.  The child’s internal temperature was 107 degrees when the paramedics arrived. That’s the story. (, July 28, 2015)

I am sorry for the parents of that child. This is a tragedy that was not supposed to happen. Even if that child survives this experience, there may be physical deficits, such as brain damage… who knows? And who knows if charges of child neglect will be brought? Who knows?

Perhaps the public service announcement that hammered our television screens and radio channels in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, ought to be brought back to life, because it’s apparent people need re-educating. The old PSA asking, “It’s 10 p.m., Do you know where your children are?” ought to be re-broadcast in a different fashion, “It’s hot out! Are you in your car, and do you know where your children are?” Maybe that would get people’s attention from whatever is going on so they could count precious noses…

There have been at least 7 hot car childhood deaths this spring-summer season in 2015–and although it seems to be unintentional, there’s no excuse for this kind of harm coming to a child in a parent’s or guardian’s care.  None..  You simply cannot FORGET your child.  Not if you are conscious.

Please tell me what is more important than your child’s wellbeing! Certainly not your best friend’s cell phone text message…  or whether or not you get a loan on your home… or whether or not you have a successful job interview or a hair appointment… All of that can wait when you stack it against your child’s welfare.

It just doesn’t wash, folks.

Author: Marianne Halterman

Marianne is a member of the SafeKids Coalition of the Central Shenandoah Valley.

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