By Karen Wells
It’s back to school time. You can feel the excitement, the anticipation in the air. The shopping trips to get the new school clothes, gear and electronics – the stuff that makes it all possible.
If you do the traditional, round robin of shopping malls and outlets, you drive there and back, right? If you’re lucky, the ideal parking space awaits, right?
Remember to Stop! Look! Listen! Check for your children or other kids around your car before you park, after parking and before pulling out.
Kids are short. Parents are distracted. Kids are excited and curious. Parents are in a hurry. Cars have blind spots. Kids are oblivious to cars, both parked and moving. Parking lots and driveways are dangerous places, ripe for tragedy.
Stop! Look! Listen! Check where children might be before getting into your car. It takes seconds and could save a life.
According to KidsandCars.org, about 114 children younger than age five were killed in 2015 from backovers – cars that backed over unseen children – and frontovers – cars that moved slowly forward over unseen children.
Don’t leave a child younger than five unattended in a car, even for a minute. Heatstroke or another medical emergency can occur in moments. If the outside temperature is 70 and the windows are closed, it’s 125 inside that car.
We’re good parents. Let’s do our best to keep our children safe. Stop! Look! Listen!
Karen is a master trainer in early childhood education at Oregon Center for Career Development in Childhood Care and Education. She provides health and safety training to parents and childcare staff via Child Care Resource and Referral of Multnomah County. Reach her at 5CornersFamily@gmail.com and 619.244.7892.