Many times, this situation happens when there is a schedule change. A new child care provider, preschool, or job. Maybe the spouse is out of town and the other spouse has to do the drop off/pick up.
We have dear friends who had a wonderful family time swimming, ran some errands, and came home. All the kids and parents laid down for a nap. A couple of hours later, mom woke up to nurse the baby. She thought the dad had the baby and he thought she had the baby. They rushed to the vehicle and found their daughter. She was still alive, but needed immediate medical attention. Sadly, this precious baby girl passed away the following day.
This had been the top news story for 2 days. The servers at a restaurant we ate at were talking about the parents, saying horrible things about them. Accusing them of ridiculous things. We could not stand it. J got up and told these women the parents are the best, most attentive parents. They are strong Christians, who are involved in their church and community. It was an accident. An accident that could happen to any of us and we should never judge this couple.
It is by the grace of God that neither of my children were lost this way. The summer Motor Mouth was born, a school teacher forgot her child in the car. That may have saved Motor Mouth's life. I'm from Canada. I knew about kids who were left in cars in the winter, but didn't ever remember hearing about kids dying from being in a hot car. It was my wake up call.
I'm not sure where I intended to go with this blog. But just know that it can and does happen to the best parents. Good parents forget their children in the car. It is not just horrible people who are drug addicted or drinking or whatever. No one should EVER judge a parent who has left their child in the car.
These tragedies are reminders that we have to be diligent and present in the moment. Communication with our spouses and childcare providers is really important.
Here are some ideas to help prevent this from happening to you:
1. If you don't normally drop the child off, have your spouse call you within 15 minutes of when you were supposed to leave the child.
2. Set an alarm on your cell phone. My phone as a calendar feature I could program.
3. Arrange with the childcare provider to call you if the child has not been dropped off within a set timeframe (30 min).
4. Be in the habit of looking in your backseat every time you exit your vehicle.
5. Do a head count when you arrive home and to your destination.