I don’t know why I’m surprised when I read Internet comments—or, to be completely honest, why I read them at all. But yet, here I am…reading them and surprised.
We’ve all seen the horrific stories about children being accidentally left in cars. In warmer months, temperatures can quickly soar to well over 100 degrees inside a vehicle, and every year, around 40 children die under these tragic circumstances. I don’t know if this is happening more frequently or if we’re just hearing about it more because of social media, but either way, it’s beyond horrible and it has to stop.
That’s why when I came across an article about some ingenious Rice students who created a prototype for a safety device to save kids from this horrific fate, I thought it was a great idea. It features a blinking-light alert, a phone notification, a secondary contact if the first is unresponsive and even a cooling feature to buy a child more time before help arrives. Who wouldn’t want this—just in case.
Apparently a helluva lot of perfect parents out there.
The reader comments went something like this…
Because parents are much less likely to forget their precious PHONE than their own child?! SMH.
How about you pay attention to your damn kids?
If you forget your kid in a car, you shouldn’t have kids.
How pathetic for our culture that we need an app to remind us not to cook our kids in a car. I’d venture to guess no one would forget a million dollars in a suitcase in their backseat. Just sayin’…
Now, no parent on the planet wants to think that he or she could do something like this. After all, what type of person forgets her own baby but remembers her iPhone? But it happens. In many cases, the parents were on autopilot, on their way to work or to a regular event, and something about their routine changed. Their brains, however, didn’t register that change. It sounds crazy, I know, but there’s actually scientific backup to explain it.
I certainly don’t want to think that it could happen to me or my husband, but I’ll tell you one thing: I would do everything in my power to make sure it didn’t. If there was a device that could add that extra peace of mind, you’d damn well better believe that I’d buy it. And I sure as hell wouldn’t shame other parents for thinking it was a good idea.
To me, it’s the same as properly installing a car seat to lessen the risk of injury in case of an accident. Or putting a baby to sleep on her back to decrease the incidence of SIDS. These are safety precautions that we all accept as normal. Why? Because we don’t want to put our child in harm’s way. This is no different.
So here’s what I have to say to all of those perfect parents out there: Move past your ego and acknowledge that you’re human and that mistakes can happen. Doing everything you can to ensure your child’s safety is good parenting, plain and simple.