My heart ached again last week when a 5-year-old was accidently killed after being rolled over by the family vehicle. The added layer was that the child’s 2-year-old sibling was in the vehicle when this happened. Heartbreak.
As I’ve said before, I never want to add to a family’s pain in such a tragedy – but at the same time accidents that happen on beautiful summer days are cruel reminders that accidents can happen to anyone at any time. Certainly a situation like this makes us want to go home and hug our kids (which was the order of the day – and every day) but also gives us an opportunity as parents to rededicate ourselves to being vigilant about our children’s safety – particularly in and around cars.
Safe Kids USA, an organization that I work with very frequently, has really focused on educating parents and children about children being safe in and around cars – of course car seats are part of the issue – but not all of the issue. I’ve shared with you the challenges of hyperthermia but Safe Kids USA also has a program called Spot the Tot which shows parents how easy it is to not see a child playing behind a car or truck in the driveway. Safe Kids USA also educates children and parents about the importance of never playing inside of a car or using a vehicle as a “hiding spot” during that classic game of hide-and-seek.
Take a few minutes, in honor of our recent child victim, to talk to your kids about playing in and around vehicles and to remind yourself to check around the car before backing down the driveway. One heartbreak is too many!