The death of a child is always a tragic occurrence, but it’s even
more heartbreaking when the death could have been easily prevented. Each
summer, some infants, and young children will lose their lives because
their parents or caregivers inadvertently left them in the car. The emergency
care team at
Regional Medical Center of San Jose encourages parents and caregivers to become better aware of the dangers
of leaving children in cars. A child can lose his or her life in less
than an hour—even with the windows rolled down. There is no safe
amount of time to leave a child alone in a car.
Look Before You Leave
Get into the habit of checking your backseat before you lock your car and
walk away. Instead of just glancing in the back, open the back door. This
prevents the possibility that a child could be hiding on the floor of
the car after having climbed into the car unnoticed.
Place a Needed Object with the Child
When buckling your child into his or her car seat, leave your briefcase,
purse, or cell phone next to the car seat instead of placing these objects
in the front passenger seat. This reduces the risk that you’ll leave
the car and forget that your child is in the back.
Use a Visual Reminder
In addition to using the other strategies, you can also use visual reminders
to help you get into the
habit of checking the backseat. Keep a stuffed animal in the front passenger seat at all times. This
can remind you to look in the back before you leave the car. You could
even post a reminder note to your dashboard; use brightly colored paper.
Keep the Car Doors Locked
Many people neglect to lock their car doors while their car is safely parked
at home, but this can lead to tragedy if a curious child climbs inside.
After making sure your child is safely out of the car, roll up the windows
and lock the doors.
If a parent or bystander realizes that a child has been left alone in a
car, 911 should be called immediately. The
emergency care team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose is comprised of highly trained
professionals who are dedicated to saving the lives of our patients. Patients
in San Jose can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 762-8881 for general
information about our hospital services, which include stroke care, robotic
surgery, breast care, and heart health services.