Tragically, another baby died Friday in Houston after being forgotten in a hot car. This was the fifth one in the Houston area this year. This time it was a grandpa who forgot to take the baby to daycare before he went to work.
"Similar incidents have occurred four other times in Harris County this summer. And each time, the same story. A parent or grandparent, in a hurry or out of their normal routine, somehow forgot about the child," a KHOU news report said.
According to Jan Null, an adjunct professor of meteorology at San Francisco State University, there have been 41 such deaths nationwide so far this year. Professor Null notes that deaths have increased dramatically since the widespread use of airbags has required child safety seats to be installed in the back seat instead of the front. His statistics show that about half of the 361 child vehicular hypothermia deaths from 1998-2007 were because a caregiver forgot the child.
Professor Null's website includes these suggestions for preventing these deaths:
Keep a stuffed animal in the carseat and when the child is put in the seat place the animal in the front with the driver.
Or place your purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
Is the location of the child safety seats the real problem? In the news stories that I read, no one ever questioned the modern American lifestyle that requires most mothers to work outside the home. No one questioned a lifestyle that is so stressful, that parents and grandparents, in their rush to get to work, forget the beloved sleeping babe in the backseat.
Let us begin to question.
Let us promote courtship and marriage, so that fathers can help their daughters choose husbands wisely and the proper framework is there to support a mother at the heart of the home.
Let us promote thrifty homemaking and consuming less so that families can live on one income.
Let us teach our daughters that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.