Could it have been you? Could you ever be the parent that left their child in a car?

I can’t get it out of my mind. After reading the explanation of how it is a parent could be forgetful and end up leaving their child in the car, it didn’t take much for me to recall ways that I have been distracted or known others who were. Oh, not by leaving a child all day in a car, but. . .

I will never forget the time when our AnnaLeah was 2 and her younger brother had just been born. She and her 6 older siblings stayed overnight with my aunt so that I could have a break at home with the newborn. Brave woman. When we went to pick up the kids later, we found out that they had had some excitement. . .

My aunt put AnnaLeah on her bed to change her diaper. In the process, something came up and my aunt told AnnaLeah to stay right there, not to move, and she would be right back. As it turns out, while AnnaLeah lay there obediently, her great-aunt had forgotten about her and taken the other 6 for a walk with the dog down the road nearby. All of a sudden, my aunt realized somebody was missing and said, “Where’s AnnaLeah?”

They hurried back to the house and there AnnaLeah was waiting patiently on the bed like she was told to do! We always teased my aunt about that incident and laughed about it many times over the years because we thought it so funny. But how tragic that would have been for all of us had AnnaLeah been left in a car and forgotten. Imagine.

It could happen to anyone. Even me. Even you or someone you know.

Or, like today, our family had medical appointments at Duke Clinic where we left the car with the Valet service. After getting the parking stub and handing over the keys, Jerry got his things from the car and started to go inside the building and then thought, “Did I leave the parking ticket in the car?” It turns out he hadn’t. But, in the rush of trying to get somewhere, the wires got crisscrossed.

Then, later, while we were waiting to get our car, another woman went up to the Valet booth and said that the woman with her had left her purse in the car which had already been parked. In a hurry. Forgetful.

The point is that no one intends for these children to be forgotten in hot cars, and we could work together as a society to prevent these unbearably tragic deaths. If only we would.

Hot car deathsLook before you lock


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