628, an Avoidable Number of Deaths

 

Here’s the thing,

Because of recent headlines, young children dying from heatstroke from being left in a hot car is on the minds of a lot of people these days. And according to an article by Detroit News here, it should be on the minds of everybody. According to the article, since 1998, about 628 children have died from being left in a hot vehicle. That comes out to an average of 38 children dying a year because of that, last year was even more, 44 died. Think about that for a second, on average every 10 days, somewhere in this country, someone left their child in a car, and that child dies because of it. And don’t think that just because it’s cold it can’t happen, according to DOT’s site about leaving children in hot cars, it’s happened when the temperature as low as 57 degrees.

The first reported death of 2014, came when outside temperatures were only at 70 degrees. I mean just think about that for a second, if it is a nice but not too hot day outside, and this can happen, just imagine what would happen during the main swing of summer, it would be absolutely horrible.

So let’s take a look at this objectively, the car connection has already broken it down for us:

  • 30% of fatalities had happened when children became trapped while playing in unattended vehicles
  • 17% of fatalities happened because parents intentionally left their children behind, it however does not say if it was malicious or just to do something quick, like run inside a store to grab something
  • 51% of fatalities had happened because parents forgot their children were in the car.

Just think about that, 51% of all these deaths happened because parents just completely forgot the child was in the car. How would that even be possible? Myself being a father, I actually look behind at my daughter with my rear view mirror on average probably every 5 minutes of driving, and guess what, I’m not the one who drops her off or picks her up every day, her mother is. And yet, I can handle the responsibility and not forget about my child. This isn’t like you forgot your phone at home, or your wallet, this is a god damned human being. I just don’t understand how people are even able to do this. I understand forgetfulness, sometimes I forget to feed my pets, or I get my daughter juice when she asked for chocolate milk, but this is something else entirely.

Somethings that people don’t understand, are that a child’s body temperature can actually raise up 5 times faster then an adult’s, which means that while the heat may be okay for you, if you are sweating and it’s uncomfortable for you, it is horrible for them.

The post by Detroit News is talking about developing some sort of technology to alert you when you leave your child behind, and while it is good that they are developing that, the fact that someone needs to develop technology like that is utterly disgusting. As equally disgusting, it also says that you should leave something in the back seat – like a cell phone or a brief case, which, is sad in it’s own right. If you remember that your brief case is in the back seat, and you go get it and say, “Oh shit there’s a kid back here!” Then maybe you should rethink the whole being a parent thing.

carBrokenWindow_3

Credit: http://bit.ly/Usrboi

The Department of Transportation put up this site here, to help spread awareness about it, and it has some good information in it, but again, it’s pretty sad that this even needs to be here. If anyone sees a child in a car, and it is hot outside, call the police. If you are genuinely worried about the child’s safety, break the window. In some states that is even becoming legal to do so.

And that, that is the thing about people being irresponsible.

-Jeremy

 

 

 

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