According to experts, last year was the deadliest on record for children dying in hot cars. The National Safety Council reports that 52 children died across the United States in 2018 as a result of being left in hot vehicles, the most fatalities seen over the last 20 years. Over the course of the last 20 years, it is reported that vehicular heatstroke has claimed the lives of almost 800 children, a number that is truly shocking. One local police department is hoping to do all they can to help reduce that number and has come up with a clever and simple way to remind parents they always need to double check the back seat before leaving their car.
The O'Fallon Police Department in Missouri is giving away free rear view mirror hangers and stickers to the public to help prevent children being left in hot cars. According to their Facebook post, 13 children have already died this year in the United States from being left in a hot car and the police are hoping these rearview mirror reminders will help prevent any more unnecessary deaths.
The hangers and stickers are bright yellow in color and state "BABY IN THE BACK" and "WHERE'S BABY?" as a reminder to parents to always check the back seat before leaving their car unattended.
They also serve as a reminder that there is no safe amount of time to leave a child alone in a hot car. An average of 38 children dies as a result of being left in a hot vehicle every year. The NSC is offering a free online course to educate people on the dangers of children being left in hot cars. They state the main reasons for children being left are a parent or caregiver simply forgets the child is in the car, the child somehow gains access to the car or they are left on purpose.
The O'Fallon Police Department in Missouri is doing their part to help remind parents to always check the back seat with their free rear view mirror reminders, and those who live in the area are also fans of the idea. While there were many commenters on the Facebook post questioning how anyone could forget their child, others were happy the police department were proactively trying to prevent any accidental tragedies from happening.
"Excellent idea! Parenting is tough enough with all the unwelcome “advice” from others such as in this comments section. OPD definitely goes above and beyond to serve and protect!" wrote one commenter.
"O'fallon P.D. Has come up with another good idea t0 help keep people safe. Even the smallest of their citizens. Thank you," wrote another. If you live in the area of the O'Fallon Police Department you can pick up your free rear view mirror reminders at select locations listed on the Facebook Post.