I can only imagine how such a tragedy rips a family apart. If I were to answer the article titled "A baby is dead. Was it a crime?", I would say absolutely. But when it comes time to offer judgement and punishment, I am lost. In my mind, the sheer loss of your own child due to your own absent-minded neglect is punishment enough and so is the grief and ostracism your family will face.
Rather than prosecute a parent on felony murder charges in order to make an example out of him/her, perhaps we can strive to find other ways to prevent another tragedy from happening.
According to Kids and Cars, on average 38 children die each year due to heat-related deaths from being left in hot vehicles. Kids and Cars also has some good safety tips to help avoid leaving a infant or child unattended in a car:
- Put something you'll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., on the floor board in the back seat.
- Get in the habit of always opening the back door of your vehicle every time you reach your destination to make sure no child has been left behind. This will soon become a habit. We call this the "Look Before You Lock" campaign.
- Keep a large stuffed animal in the child's car seat when it’s not occupied. When the child is placed in the seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It's a visual reminder that anytime the stuffed animal is up front you know the child is in the back seat in a child safety seat.
- Make arrangements with your child’s day care center or babysitter that you will always call if your child will not be there on a particular day as scheduled.
A few items like the Halo Baby Seat Safety System and Baby Alert-Child Minder Smart Clip System popped up in my research but the Halo item doesn't appear to be on the market yet and I can't find many reliable reviews for the Baby Alert item. Does anyone have resources or suggestions for other places to look for infant seat safety product such as these?