The media is full of a disturbing new trend; leaving children in cars. For some reason, parents can’t seem to remember their children are with them! For most of us, we can’t fathom ever leaving a child behind. I have three kids, I work, I get stressed, I get forgetful, but never once have I left my child in the car. One family of five recently took forgetfulness to a whole new level when they left their toddler at a rest stop, and didn’t realize it until they had driven 90 miles away.
The family had left a rest stop in France, and was continuing their drive to a coastal town called Saint Raphael when they heard an alert on the radio. The news was that a three-year-old child had been left behind at a rest stop. It was then that the family realized their toddler was missing.
The parent’s were shocked, because they had asked their oldest child in the back if everything was ok, and they said it was. Neither of the older children mentioned that their sibling wasn’t with them.
Thankfully the little girl was noticed by another family at the rest stop, and they took care of her until police arrived. Upon arriving, the toddler told them “Daddy’s car drove away”, and was able to give a description of the vehicle.
Police said the parents were “traumatized” by the event and had never had any reported incidences in the past regarding their three children. It is still being decided if any further action will be taken against the parents.
Because of the rise in incidents of parents leaving children behind, The Kid Safe Foundation recommends these tips to help avoid leaving a child:
- Leave your purse or wallet and cell phone in the backseat next to your child.
- Put a stuffed animal in the seat when your child is not in it. When you put your child in the seat, remove the animal and put it next to you in the front seat as a reminder.
- Stick a brightly colored sticky note on the dashboard of your car that says, “Baby in back!”
- Install a child safety mirror that attaches to your rear view mirror so that you can see your child at all times.