Leaving A Child Alone In The Car
The dangers of leaving a child alone in a car are very often under estimated by people. There are two main ways in which a child ends up being left alone in a car. The first case is when the child is intentionally left alone in the car and the second case is when a parent or baby sitter leaves the child alone in the car by mistake. The danger that follows is real and it then does not matter whether the child was left alone in the car intentionally or by mistake. We hope that this article willl highlight the dangers that could follow and force adults to change their attitude.
Before we list the dangers that could follow when a child is left alone in a car, let us understand why someone would intentionally leave a child alone in the car. A parent could drive the child to a nearby bank or grocery store and expect to make a quick stop at the bank or the store. The parent might find it convenient to leave the child in the car as the errand was not expected to take more than a few minutes. Adults who have driven to the airport to pick someone have been known to intentionally leave the children in the car until they get back. You might walk to a toilet at the gas station and leave the child alone in the car. We could list dozens of cases where adults leave children alone in cars. We could therefore summarize that children are left alone in cars either because, adults feel that they could finish their work more conveniently without having the children around or, because the adult feels that the errand would be very short.
The dangers of leaving a child alone in a car: The list we provide here is not exhaustive but it will surely make you aware of how fatal these dangers could be. When such tragedies occur with young children it does not matter whether they were left alone in the car intentionally or unintentionally.
(a) If the child is of an active age like 3-5 years, you could expect him or her to move around in the locked car and play around with the devices and controls in the car. The results could be spine chilling and the child could actually put the car into motion or, switch off the air or heater in the car. With this action, the child could either freeze to death or get affected by the deadly heat. You should also consider the possibility of the child unlocking the door from inside and getting out of the car. If the child is left alone in a car that is parked near a busy street, getting out of the car unattended could result in a fatal accident.
(b) Small infants are also left alone in cars and this is very often done unintentionally. The introduction of baby seats in cars has increased the chances of such mistakes. The child is put in a special seat and the safety belt on the seat is locked. The special baby seat is then fixed on the back seat of the car. There have been cases where parents have come back from an outing and remembered to take the older children indoors, however the infant sleeping in the car is forgotten.
(c) If the parent or adult is forgetful and leaves the baby or sleeping child alone in the car, it is most likely that they would switch off the air conditioner or air heater inside the car. In such a case the little child would soon be gasping for breathe and suffer from severe suffocation. Depending on the climate outside the child could be affected by the severe heat or cold inside the car. Most infants suffer this fate when forgetful adults leave them alone in the car.
(d) There is a different type of danger in cases where sleeping children are left alone in cars without fastening a seat safety belt. The child could fall off the seat and physical injury could result. An infant left alone in the car could later wake up and play with dangerous or sharp objects, possibly swallowing one such object. The events that follow would be something that no parent would ever want to imagine.
We have mentioned most of the dangers that could arise from leaving a child alone in the car. It would be great if adults would be more careful and such painful situations became a thing of the past. But as a wise man once said, 'to err is human' and so every human being could make a mistake. Some mistakes could be minor, others could be dangerous to the person making the mistake. But the mistake of leaving a child alone in the car, could result in a fatal accident that could cost a life.
We will now make a few suggestions
that could help reduce the chances of a child being left alone in the car.
(1) In cases, where a parent or other adult intentionally leaves a child alone in a car, they should now realize the dangers of their actions. No matter how soon you expect to be back, never leave the child alone in the car. Intentionally leaving children alone in cars can be easily stopped because it is not related to a mistake or forgetfulness. It might not be very easy to control an over active child in a bank or post office, but the dangers faced by the child if left alone in the car are not worth the risk.
(2) A child could also be left alone in the car unintentionally, this could happen if the adult forgets the child sleeping in the back seat. To reduce the chance of forgetting, you can tuck the child in the safety seat kept on the back seat but leave the baby pamper bag or feeding bottle on the front seat next to you. The bag will be a reminder when you get off the car and prove very useful.
(3) Though not a very sure method, you could make it a habit to have someone call you on your cell phone and remind you that the child is in the car with you. You would however not want to completely rely on this method to avoid leaving the child alone in the car. After all, no one would think and care for a child as much as the parents themselves.
(4) Here is a very practical suggestion that could reduce the chances of parents being forgetful and leaving the child alone in the car. Take a small square piece of stiff card or paper, cut it to a size of around 6 inches. In the center of this card stick a picture of your adorable child. Fix a chord not more than 4-5 inches long on this card, hook this card on to the inner door handle of the car. Do this only when the child is in the car with you, and when the child is not in the car leave the card on the back seat or in the safety seat meant for the child. When the card is hooked on to the door, position it in a way that would make it difficult to open the door without noticing the card.
(5) Technical advancements have been used to avoid this dangerous situation and some gadgets are already available in the markets. One such device has an alarm connected to the lock (buckle) of the child's safety seat. The device has another portion that can be attached to the key chain that holds the car keys. If the parent gets off the car (with the key chain) and walks more than a specified distance from the car, the device immediately checks if the lock is still on the baby seat belt. If the check is positive the device assumes that the child is still in the car and triggers the alarm. With dangerous and fatal accidents being reported each year related to children being left alone in cars, technology is bound to play a prominent role in reducing the frequency of such tragic accidents.
We do hope that you have found at least something of interest in this article. You can pass this link to as many people as you know because, the solution to this problem lies in educating people rather than engaging in legal battles after a fatal accident has occured.
You can read our complete report on this issue at this link: http://www.health.food-recipe-cooking.com/forget-child-in-car.htm
And check the entire collection of health related articles on this link: http://www.health.food-recipe-cooking.com/health-all.htm
This article has been compiled in the public interest by Kaisilver.