It's a fairly easy and horrible equation: Leave a child in a hot car for as little as 15 minutes, and he or she could die. Yesterday it happened again, bringing the total of child deaths due to this tragic occurrence to 29 this year alone.
It happened on a typically hot Florida day: A 2-year-old girl was found dead in a daycare-center van after being left inside the sweltering vehicle for over six hours. Apparently, the daycare-center employees had failed to accurately account for all of the children who boarded the van during the morning pickups. It's still not known whether any charges will be filed in connection with the death.
We know how to keep from inadvertently forgetting our own children in hot cars, but what do you do when your child isn't in your control? Momlogic spoke with Janette E. Fennell, founder and president of KidsAndCars.org, for answers.
"What's so very sad about the story is, the daycare is supposed to have rules, policies and procedures when transporting children," says Fennell. "Two or three people didn't do their jobs."
Fennell says it's up to the childcare provider AND the parent to make sure that a child is transported safely to the destination.
"You need an ironclad policy with your childcare provider that if your child unexpectedly doesn't show up to daycare, someone from the staff will contact you immediately," she says. (Had the daycare center done that in this case, little Haley Brockington would have been discovered in the van sooner -- and tragedy may have been averted.) Conversely, if for any reason you decide not to send your child to daycare on a given day, you should contact the facility.
Help spread the word about hot-car danger: Watch this chilling PSA from KidsAndCars.org -- then pass it on to everyone you know!