Monday, May 24, 2010


Okay, I know I said in a previous post that I would work on being less serious. I'm still working on that, but I want to share something very serious for everyone to think about.

I read the article, "Tragedy in the Backseat" by Melissa Balmain in the June 2010 issue of Parenting magazine. It discusses how mothers and fathers of young children are more likely to forget that their child is in the car; leaving them in a closed, sweltering car while the parent goes about their normal day without knowing how catastrophic their mistake will be. We've all had those strings of days - sick child or sick parent, little sleep, busy schedule, changes in normal routine, small child asleep in their car seat - and just one moment of forget leads to the loss of a cherished child.

It was over 90* here today, which is extraordinary for this state. Along with making me long for fall, the heat does help me to remember to send out a reminder to everyone, which I will do every year, to look into the cars you walk past in parking lots and curbsides to check in car seats. Pets are at an advantage in the "locked in the car" situation because they are able to move around, creating more to notice. Small children are so much smaller than the seats they are strapped into, that it would take effort to notice if a child was present or not.

While I was living in St. Cloud some years ago, a teacher had a string of days I described above. The teacher was a parent of a young child, about 18months, and took over driving this child to daycare on this day, which was out of the ordinary. It was a beautiful spring morning- sun shining and puffy clouds with the joyful finish to the school year only weeks away. This teacher left home and drove to work, surely thinking about the day of teaching ahead. Parking spot found, settled into their classroom, taught a decent day of quality learning. Walked to the car again at the end of the day, and realized they made one seemingly small but horrific mistake that day, forgetting to bring their formerly sleeping, beautiful little toddler to day care.

There isn't one week that goes by that I don't say a prayer for that parent and that family. I'm more disorganized than a good many, and have a slew of experiences leaving something important in the exact worst place. I know that I could easily have this sort of a life changing "small mistake" but I am blessed with the option to stay home with my children. By not having a daily car commute scheduled into my day, I am saved from the majority of those chances.

So as I wipe the tears from my eyes yet again, I ask each of you to reach a helping hand to those overtired, harried parents and their precious cargo. Every time you walk through a parking lot, or past a car parked at a curb, peak in the backseat. It takes an extra 5 seconds and the mental space to think, "Oh, there's a car seat!" If we could save the life of one child, no amount of effort would go to waste.

These aren't parents who are abusive or neglectful in other situations. Just those who are experiencing extraordinary parenting requirements and drop one of those "task" balls.

So share the message with everyone, and PEAK IN THE BACKSEAT!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderfully written. I admire your passion to spread the word and protect the innocent lives of other's children. You really understand this issue and I thank you for sharing that with others. Keep up the good work! :)


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