Children have a fascination with vehicles; whether it is because they are the means by which you get to other places, or because they make interesting sounds, light up, and respond to interaction. In the eyes of a child a vehicle is a wonderful, magical playground. As a caregiver or guardian, it is your responsibility to teach kids that the car is not in fact a playground, and that is should never be treated like one.
This may sound a bit overly-serious, but it’s a very important issue. Kids who are left in or around unattended vehicles could be in grave danger, especially when the weather starts to heat up. Children should be accompanied by an adult whenever entering or exiting a vehicle in order to set an example for their expected behavior regarding the car.
Reason # 1- Left Unattended By a Guardian or Other Caregiver
The most common reason that children become trapped in a car, truck, or other vehicle is that a caregiver or guardian has left them unattended in the vehicle. The vast majority of these instances are accidents, which could have been prevented with the use of emerging technology systems designed to help protect children from such risks. A small percentage of these cases involve an adult purposely leaving a child in the car because they did not realize the associated risks.
While you may not think that you could ever leave a child in the car; whether on accident or on purpose; you are incorrect. Just because you never have done it in the past does not mean that you have immunity in the future. Forgetting a passenger who is sitting quietly in the backseat is easier than you might think, and no one ever thinks that it could happen to them until it does.
The Vesta can help prevent heat stroke in trapped passengers by alerting the owner of the vehicle that there is an occupant and that the temperature has risen to an unsafe level. It is a small, solar powered device that you place in your vehicle; which then monitors CO2 and temperature levels. This helps the device determine if there is a passenger in danger of heat stroke or other heat related illness.
Reason # 2- Playing in an Unattended Vehicle
Cars are like a big, responsive playground to young children. They are fascinated by the lights that come on, the music or other radio program that they can turn up or down, the movement of the vehicle, the magic of being transported elsewhere inside of it, etc… Children play in unattended vehicles for a variety of reasons when given the chance.
It is critical that you keep your vehicle locked when not in use, and talk to kids about it being an unacceptable place for them to play. Otherwise they may find your keys and want to ‘go for a drive’ like their Mom or Dad. Or maybe they are just looking for a really, really good hiding spot in a fierce game of hide and seek. Regardless of the reason, children love to play in vehicles. That is why it is incredibly important for you to teach kids with access to your vehicle or someone else’s vehicle that a car is not a toy or a place to play. It is not a safe place for them to get in to or out of by themselves.