Is Your Kid Safe Inside the Car?

Posted by Analyse at 3:43 PM

Monday, July 02, 2007

Have you ever experienced being absorbed by something leading you to commit serious errors and problems? Even fatal consequences?

A 19 month old toddler was found dead inside a car after a day of non-surveillance. In fact, his father forgot to drop the kid off at the day care center so he unconsciously left his son locked inside the car at his office’s parking area. He only realized the error at 4pm, when the day care administrator called up to ask why the kid was absent. When the father arrived, the kid was already dead of too much heat and dehydration.

The accident happened in a town not far from Dijon. It happened two weeks ago, when I was in the Philippines on a business travel. Imagine my fear when I heard the news and the images that crossed my mind... remember, I was away from my daughter. My first reflex was to imagine myself on that same scenario.

Louna is of the same age and I know that she’s not yet capable to unbuckle her safety belt nor open the window, nor open the car door. Imagine how helpless the kid was, and imagine the feeling of guilt his parents are into right now.

I know that this is a horrible news but I need to share it with you and be warned that such thing could happen.

I am listing some kid-friendly measures that could save lives:

- Wear seat belts. They’re there to save your kid’s and your life. An abrupt braking could literally project your kids pass the car windows to outside of the car.

- Use a car safety seat. The built-in seat belts are designed for adults. In cases where no car seat is available, stay at the back seat with somebody holding your kid.

- Never let small kids stay on the passenger’s seat. They could disturb your driving concentration when they start to push all those buttons. In case of accident, it is safer to have them at the back seat. I once saw a kid displaying half of his body outside of the car window while his mom was driving. The kid was of course, not attached. I saw two risks. Either the kid will fall down or be hit by a car.

- Lock car windows and doors. Most of the latest car models provide automatic lock system. Don’t hesitate to use it especially during long drives when kids start to be restless and try to open windows and doors. You know, kids learn at a very young age how to buckle and un-buckle up their seat belts.

- Never stay inside a stationed car with the air-con running. You risk carbon monoxide poisoning.

- Bring some water (and water spray). Here in Europe, summers could be very hot and dry. I’ve heard a lot of stories of infant death inside a car during long drives because of too much heat and dehydration. Car air-con is not yet generalized particularly here in France. In such cases, schedule the long drive at night when the temperature is lower. Use water sprays without moderation.

- And yes, don’t leave your kid alone inside the car. During summer, the temperature inside a car could go up to 45°C or more.

Some parents could just take these details for granted, especially the first 4 points, reasoning that their kids are well-disciplined and would never try such crazy deeds. But remember, kids don’t have the same notion of danger than you do. One prevention is better than a thousand cure. Take your pick.

More on defensive driving here.

26 comments:

Francine said...

VERY helpful reminders.yung seatbelt bagay ata sa akin yun kasi nga nasanay na lang seatbelt sa pinas hehehe

mitsuru said...

it happened also here in our place a yr or 2 yrs ago yata, a mother went shopping and left her two daughters in the car. sarado lahat ng bintana and it was noon/summer.

seatbelts are mandatory here and you pay a huge fine if you get caught not wearing them plus the ticket that will make your insurance skyrocket, too.

so, either you pay up or buckle up.:0

Francesca said...

NAKU! I heard the news ana, and gusto ko patayin din yung tatay!

pero accident happens, kaya okey tong mga tips mo!

ba aso nga lang iwan sa loob ng car, patay din, tao pa kaya?

Em Dy said...

Hi. Just saw a similar article in this month's Reader's Digest. You might want to check it out too. It's about how to keep your car safe.

analyse said...

Francine, yep, di lang pambata yang reminder na yan, pang adults din..

mitsuru, seatbelts are mandatory here too. in fact, the government is pushing all the measures on road security because it's the government who pays all the hospital bills + medications.. so better do prevention than cure, right.

and it's a common scenario here in europe to compare all kinds of statistics, so all the interests are there to be a good example.

Francesca, grabe nga e. I was also in shock when I heard the news. How could you forget your child, di ba? But then, sabi mo nga, accidents happen... in fact, me katrabaho ako dito, nakalimutan din nyang idaan sa creche yung anak nya, and he was about to go to another town, he only realized it nung nasa peage na sya and he happen to see sa mirror na me tao sa backseat.. anak pala nya.. so ayun, demi-tour! 100km din yun ha bago nya narealize na nakalimutan nya anak nya.. sometimes, we're too much absorbed with workloads..

Em Dy, thanks for that info. Tho I don't buy Reader's Digest here, I think it's a good reference to make people aware of security.. thanks for visiting my hideaway ;)

Linnor said...

Oh my, that news is horrible.

The closest thing that happened to me was forgetting to get my son from school after I got off work. Tuloy tuloy ako sa bahay, pero I remembered before getting home na dapat may susunduin pala ako. :D

gracita said...

dito naman, i see a lot of dads driving while carrying their kids. pareho silang nasa driver seat, the tatay is naka seat belt and he's just carrying the kid in front of him and lets the kid hold the steering wheel. tama ba naman yun?! e pag nagka-accident, gagawin niya pang airbag yung anak niya! one time, naka-kita pa kame wherein the dad is driving, the mother is in the passenger seat and guess where the infant is? nasa dashboard!! talk about safety and precaution diba?! :)

analyse said...

Linnor, at least you remembered it at once ;)

Gracita, ngek, akala ko pa naman matindi na yung nakita kong bata na nagme-measure yata ng air speed while her mom's driving.. as in nasa dashboard?

JO said...

parang isang episode sa CSI, where the parents intentionally left the baby there to die kasi they thought he was suffering from another disease.

these parents should never be parents at all!

SexyMom said...

that's TERRIBLE! such irresponsible act by a parent. anyway, we really cannot judge, let's just learn from this experience.

ScroochChronicles said...

I can't believe that anyone would have that much negligence. Lalo na at siya ang tatay!! Grabe ito. Ako naman, di ko talaga magawang iwan ang mga bata sa kotse. I always bring them down with me. I'm so afraid na baka ma-carnap yun kotse tapos tangay mga bata. It happens here you know.

Em Dy said...

Hi again. The article I'm talking about is also available online. Here's the link.

Heart of Rachel said...

That's so sad. I feel sorry for the child. Thanks for these helpful advices. We have a carseat for a child. He had one ever since he was a baby and we bought a bigger one when he outgrew the 1st.

analyse said...

JO, now I'm discovering more horrible stories.. I couldn't even imagine a parent could do that.

SexyMom, I think it was an 'honest' accident.. not like as JO mentionned.. but yes, it's irresponsible.. but knowing how stressed out people here, I don't think it's the first accident of this kind.. it's a terrible and unhealthy rat race they practice here.. in fact, France is one of the leading consumer of anti-depressants and the likes in the whole world... well, I'm not trying to justify the act, of course..

ScroochChronicles, carnapping with a baby inside happens here too.. so like you, tangay ko lagi si Louna with me.. and the number of kidnapping here, nakakatakot din.. unlike in the phils where a lot of kidnappings are linked to ransom money, here, it's more linked to perverts taking the child for more evil reasons..

Em Dy, thanks for the link. I've read the first part, and yes, I forgot to mention that objects inside the car could be deadly weapons din in case of accidents.. we try to put everything inside the trunk, and if di kasya, yung magagaan lang na bagay ang nasa loob ng car..

Heart of Rachel, that's good to hear that Yohan is in security inside the car. Andami kasi sa Phils na hindi gumagamit ng seatbelt di ba.. I even saw a soap opera there wherein a bf-gf met an accident and the girl was literally thrown out of the car.. I thought na pag naka-seatbelt sana sya, baka galos lang yung impact sa kanya.

Pepe said...

this accident has happened quite too often due to insouciance. safety, an integral part of parenting, should be a conscious effort specially sa may mga tsikiting...be safe always...:)

auee said...

I read of a similar thing in the US last year. A mom left her two kids in the parking lot, but it was deliberate on her part. Babalikan nya pero nagtagal nung binalikan na nya talaga, patay na mga bata.

Kakatakot talaga. Sunod sunod mga news about child abuse nabasa ko from Pinas and here, nakakatakot, nakakadepress.

AL said...

I saw the same news on TV a year ago. I think the same as auee saw on TV. Well, things happen. We should really exclude carelessness in our dictionary.

We should all be aware when there is a kid in the car. Double check the seat belts...

Analyse said...

Pepe, be safe too ;)

Auee, we really have to be careful and be aware of the danger. Minsan kasi, we allow things to happen simply because we dont know the consequences. Ignorance kills.

Al, I didn't know such accidents happen till I heard the news.. yes, we better be careful..

KK said...

It's a parent's worst nightmare. I don't know how parents can live with themselves after something like that happens. I know how we can be so pre-occupied sometimes and forget things. We can go on auto-pilot but we really have to be more cautious when we have kids. I forgot to buckle my daughter twice and I was sick to my stomach for my carelessness. I now check her seat belts are buckled every time we leave.

Leah said...

All so true and great rules to adhere to. Even if its only a few minutes, never leave yor kid in the car. Take them with you even if your just paying for gas.

analyse said...

KK, i dont even want to imagine..

Leah, yeah, it wont take a minute to unbuckle them up and take them with you, right.

GreyMom said...

It's so sad that these things happen in all parts of the world. A similar thing happened last summer I think and there were even marks on the child when they found him because he struggled to get out. It is horrifying! Thanks for posting this. Let's hope there will be a lot more awareness out there.

SASSY MOM said...

Oh my! This is unbelievable!

Very good reminders! We really need to pay attention to these thing rather than regret it later.

Thanks for sharing.

rowena said...

hi ana, thanks for sharing. ako naman, na-lock yung car while nicole's inside with the aircon on and the key's inside also. she's smiling pa & waving. we hurriedly look for a locksmith. btw, yung napanood mo korean tele-novela noh...showing yun now here in manila.

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