Spring is on its way, and summer to follow. We hear a lot during these months about children being inadvertently left in hot cars. Statistics tell us that at least 495 children have died after being left in a hot car since 1998 – sometimes with temperatures only being 70 degrees outside. According to pediatrician Vincent Iannelli, 2010 was a record year with 49 deaths of children left in hot cars. Many attribute this to the fact that child seats were moved to the back seat and to busy, stressed parents who are often distracted.
These instances are rarely cases of negligence or bad parenting. According to Kenny Degenhardt, of Pop-A-Lock Nashville, most cases are simple miscommunication when one parent locks and shuts the door without realizing that the other parent has left the purse/jacket with keys inside - in the car. Mr. Degenhardt goes on to say that occasionally when parents are getting strollers or groceries from the trunk, the wind slams the door shut. From time to time, parents even give the keys to the baby to entertain them for just a moment, and they lock themselves in. Obviously the most dangerous scenario is when the parent doesn’t realize they’ve left the child in the car, and hours pass.
Janette Fennell, founder and president of Kids and Cars , reiterates that so often, these accidents result from something simply out of the ordinary such as the routine being interrupted “The thing people should understand is that this could happen to anyone,” says Fennell. What parents who end up leaving their children in cars have in common is that they tend to be under stress and have experienced a significant change in their daily routine. Perhaps it’s not their usual day to drop the child off at daycare, or perhaps they were distracted by a pressing work call. Even something as simple as a detour on the highway can cause a stress response in the brain. Conscious thought is disrupted, and the parent drives to work on autopilot, oblivious to the quietly sleeping child in the backseat.
When an emergency such as this arises, getting help in Nashville is easy and free. Dial 911 first. Pop-A-Lock works with first responders and EMS, so they are contacted immediately. Pop-A-Lock can also be dialed directly at 615-255-6736 - 24/7. Locksmiths will drop whatever they are doing (even if they are in the middle of another job) to come out and pop the lock.