Children rescued from hot car
Okay, so I guess the theme this year for summer will be “the dangers of leaving your kids alone in a hot car.” I don’t know why this even has to be discussed, but there have been reports of deaths, and today video shot of people rescuing children out of a car that was parked outside of a beauty salon. Originally, the story made it sound like the mother had left the kids in her car in order to get a haircut, and the men were breaking the glass to rescue them. This seemed plausible given all of the recent reports of kids being left in hot cars. But, an updated version has clarified what happened. The mother had accidentally locked her kids in the car, and asked the men to break the glass. I regret my misunderstanding of the situation, and feel for her situation. Locking your kids in your car, under any situation, is scary. It was quick thinking to get them out in the hot weather. So, this new stories brings on two thoughts. First, there have to be steps that a parent can take to try to avoid locking their kids in the car. This probably is only a problem with smaller kids who are either too young to understand instructions, physically unable to reach or work the locks, or do not have the maturity to unlock the door and get out of the car on their own. This “emergency plan” might involve always checking to make sure that you have your keys with you, and carrying an extra set in your purse or wallet. Second, you should make a list right now, while you’re calm, of the things you would do or the people you might call if you are locked out. This might be 911, a spouse, or a friend. It might also be good to have the phone number for a local car dealership so that you can make arrangements to have a key made in case that becomes your only option. Here is my revised thoughts about the other people who have been leaving their kids in their car, a situation separate than the one originally used as an example.
Don’t Leave your kids in the car
Putting aside the lack of common sense, what I don’t understand is why these parents feel like their children can’t just hang out with them while they run errands. Well, okay, I understand why some things are easier to get done without your kids around, but what we do is find someone to watch them. Or, bring an extra hand so that there is someone else to watch them. The point is that with a little bit of advanced planning, it is possible to get things done without endangering the lives of your kids. If you find that you don’t have anybody else to watch them, then for God’s sake just accept that you’re stuck with them. Maybe the haircut needs to wait. Maybe they need to come into the gas station with you. You’ll get frustrated and angry, but aside from that they will be safer than they would be in a hot, locked car. One morning not so long ago I saw as I pulled into a gas station that a little boy was leaning out of the window of the front passenger side window. The boy smiled at me and waved as I got out the car. I happened to be parked at the other side of the same gas pump, so I was able to see