I do not know where to start with this. I do not want to offend, and I do not want to treat lightly a rather grave subject. I also know full well that I am not a perfect parent. Just ask my kids! You will get the mostly honest truth with perhaps slight exaggeration as to the degree of my cruelty and incompetence.
So, the trouble? The U.S. government is launching a new awareness campaign through the Departments of Transportation and Health and Human Services called, "Where's Baby? Look before you Lock." The initiative is intended to keep kids safe and make parents aware of the danger of leaving kids in a hot car. I honestly think that most parents are aware of the danger, but I also think the majority of the 23 child deaths this year, due to being left in hot cars, were accidental. This campaign is targeted at preventing those accidental deaths.
Again, I do not want to make light of this. Twenty-three children gone is heartbreaking. No one would wish this on anyone, and I honestly hope it never happens to another family. I first became aware of this new campaign a few weeks ago when I saw an app designed to remind parents that they have a child in the back seat. I was a little annoyed because I assume that if you can remember to bring your phone with you from the car, you should be able to remember your child. On the other hand, if it prevents the senseless death of a baby, then please, get the app.
I am not necessarily against this ad campaign either. (Although it is not really a governmental issue, but that is a post for another day.) People need to be aware of potential danger, although, as I have said, I think we all know it is dangerous, but we are so harried and hurried, that we are not living with our brains turned on or tuned in. The part that I think I am annoyed or irritated or cross with is the statement that the governmental agencies have released. I don't even know what I think. I am confused. And saddened and irritated I guess. They stated that they would like to involve the "departments of Head Start and also day care units across the country to distribute safety tips -- like when you leave your car, make sure you have something important in the backseat like your keys, cellphone or purse so you can't forget them or your child."
Read that carefully. Put something IMPORTANT, like your cell phone, in the backseat so that you do not forget your child. I am sorry if this offends, but the child IS the important thing that you put in the backseat.
Now, I know myself well enough to know that if I continue discussing this, that it will escalate into a full blown rant, therefore, I will rest my case here. Confused and sad. I think there is a cure for this tragedy and a way to prevent it from happening again, but I do not think that it lies in governmental action, or cell phone apps. Any ideas?
Quote of the Day: "Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why." Eddie Cantor actor, comedian