“I’m a good parent.”
“I always check.”
“I’d never forget.”
These things are easy to say. We don’t want to envision a scenario where we could be responsible for our child’s death so we try to reason with reality.
But the reality is you could, you might, and it only takes one time. You could forget your child in a car. It could happen to you. I know there are cases when horrible scum of humans have intentionally left children but normally it is just an accident. A terrible, life wrecking, soul destroying accident.
I am terrified of something like that, it makes me check my car constantly.
But that is not enough.
I have started using the left shoe method (read about it here) and I have to say that it is so simple but so important.
I know it is intended mainly for dads or moms who are out of routine and want to make sure nothing could happen but it should be intended for every parent with a young child in the car. I want devices that will help prevent these tragic deaths just like everyone else but this is important now and there is a solution available now.
Every time you get in the car with your baby place your left shoe in the back with them. It will help ensure you never have to experience the pain and loss and guilt that so many good parents in our country have.
When I arrived at the mall to meet a girlfriend for shopping I had not planned to take my daughter but she was fussing and I didn’t want poor dad to have a rough evening so in the car she went. I put my shoe back there knowing that the feeling of playing my own music (no 3 year old in the backseat!) and heading somewhere to shop for myself for fun was so out of routine that it would put me out of “mommy” mode and it alleviated the fear I could get there and walk off in a rush forgetting the sleeping angel in my seat.
If we all stop pretending it could never happen to us and instead take steps to prevent it maybe it never would have to happen again.
This year alone there have already been 16 deaths in the U.S., 7 would have certainly been prevented using this method.