It really can happen to anyone
Forgetting children is a common memory failure that can lead to tragic consequences. It’s not a negligence problem but a memory problem.
Many parents feel like “it can’t happen to me”, but the stresses parents face in everyday life can make this memory lapses more likely.
Forgetting a child in a car is not limited to any particular group of people. It can happen to anyone, regardless of their education or socioeconomic status.
During the summer, many families change their daily routines for vacations or other reasons, and that disruption is a common factor in these tragic incidents.
The temperature inside a car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, even if the outside temperature is only in the 60s.
These high temperatures can be very dangerous, especially for children because their bodies heat up three to five times faster than adults’ bodies.
In this article we’ll give you tips to make sure it doesn’t happen to you!
Why Do Parents Forget Their Children in the Car?
According to Dr. David Diamond, a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, forgetting a child in a car is a common memory failure that can happen to anyone, regardless of their education or socioeconomic status. He calls this phenomenon “Forgotten Baby Syndrome”. Diamond explains that the brain has several competing factors that come into play when we have a plan to do something in the future and then forget to complete that plan. The first component is the basal ganglia, the brain center, which operates on a subconscious level. Diamond said it’s this part of the brain that stores the ability to ride a bicycle and allows people to “go on autopilot”. The second component is the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for working memory and conscious thought.
Diamond said that when the basal ganglia and prefrontal cortex are in conflict, the basal ganglia often wins out, leading to memory lapses.
In addition to these neurological factors, parents may be more likely to forget their children in the car when they are tired, stressed, or anxious, or when they experience a change in routine. According to the Raising Children Network, lapses in short-term memory are natural and can happen to anyone.
How to Avoid Forgetting Your Child in the Car
1. Create a Reminder System: Place something in the backseat of your car that you will need when you arrive at your destination, such as your phone, purse, or briefcase. This will remind you to check the back seat before leaving the car. Check this recommended Baby Car Remainder
2. Use Technology: There are several apps available that can help you remember to check the back seat of your car. We’ll cover it in depth in the next section.
3. Keep Your Car Locked: Always keep your car locked when it’s parked, even in your own driveway. This will prevent children from entering the car and becoming trapped.
4. Teach Your Children: Teach your children not to play in or around cars, and to never enter a car without an adult present.
5. Be Vigilant: If you see a child alone in a car, call 911 immediately. You could save a life.
The Role of Technology in Preventing Child Deaths in Hot Cars
Technology has played a significant role in preventing child deaths in hot cars. Here are some ways technology can help:
Car Seat Alarms: Some car seats come with built-in alarms that alert the driver if a child is still in the seat after the car is turned off.
Rear Seat Reminder Systems: Some car manufacturers have developed rear seat reminder systems that remind drivers to check the back seat when they turn off the car.
Smartphone Apps: There are several smartphone apps available that can remind parents to check the back seat of their car. For example, the Kars4Kids Safety App sends a reminder to check the back seat when you arrive at your destination.
Sensors and Radar: Some car manufacturers have developed sensors and radar systems that can detect the presence of a child in the back seat of a car. These systems can alert the driver with a series of chimes or notifications.
Pressure Sensors: Some pressure sensors can be placed in a car seat and synchronized with a mobile app. If the sensor is activated by the baby’s weight, the parent’s phone will repeatedly vibrate and beep if they walk far enough away from the car seat
Forgetting children is a common memory failure that can lead to tragic consequences.
There are many things we can do to make sure it won’t happen, starting from setting up a routine, like calling your spouse when reaching your destination, a variety of technological solutions, and simply being aware and conscious about your little loved ones in the back of the car.
By raising our awareness, we can actually save lives.
We hope this article could has been helpful for you!