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Are kids left in cars like bags of groceries?

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We laugh, but we relate to the Liberty Mutual Insurance ads reminding us that we’re only human.

TWICE I have forgotten that my bike was on top of the car and have driven both into underground parking at a shopping center and the overhang at a burger joint.

Ever forget to take in the bag of groceries you left in the backseat?

Of course you have. We all have.

What about the clothes from the cleaner’s you find when you climb in the car the next day?

It all comes down, sadly, to “Out of sight, out of mind”. It happens to all of us. We get distracted. It’s not a matter of lack of caring or criminal intent.

According to KidAndCars.org, an average of 38 children die in hot cars in the U.S each year.

What can be done to prevent children suffering from heat stroke and death because of parents who forget that infant children are restrained in a car seat behind them?

One idea is to put the child in the front seat as in days of old. Yes, some call it the “Suicide Seat”. And yes, air bag systems would have to be redesigned to accommodate the child in a child seat sitting in front. But it could be done and this could save lives.

OR, parents could follow the suggestions list from KidsAndCars.org.

But I have one more.

You notice I did not say I crashed my bike THREE times. There is a reason.

When I was getting my bike rack fixed for the second time the rack specialist, out of just plain pity I guess, gave me a gift. It is a Yakima Load Alert Magnetic Reminder.

The roughly 4” X 3” hinged plastic sign magnetically attaches on top of the hood of the car in front of the driver. The driver puts it there whenever there is an unseen load (bikes, camping equipment, etc.) on the rack on top of the car.

When the car moves, the wind pushes down the sign’s lid and there is nothing to see. But when the car slows down and stops, the spring-loaded lid slowly pops up showing a brightly colored upward angled arrow (reminder of load on top of car).

I never crashed my bike again!

This same inexpensive device, or one modified to say, “CHILD IN BACK”, could serve the same purpose and help protect children from “Out of Sight, Out of Mind Syndrome”.

Now I can laugh at the last scene of the ad when the car with bikes on top drives into the garage.

But I cannot laugh when I think of the children who have suffered so terribly because of well-meaning but “only human” parents.

Maybe we have a simple but effective answer to the problem here.

Feel free to comment! And no, I do NOT have an interest in the Yakima company! They just have a great product!

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