Every nine days, a child dies from being left in a hot car. Use this checklist to make sure it never happens to you.
It's chilling but true: every nine days, a child dies from being forgotten by a parent in a hot car. It's easy to think it couldn't happen to you, but it's a lapse in memory, not a lapse in love, and could happen to anyone. It happened to Miles Harrison, who shares the gut-wrenching story of his son's fatal accident in the hopes that all parents will remember it and avoid experiencing such a nightmare. This is something social psychologist Maryann Gray recommends to people struggling with the guilt of accidents like these, and it is the basis of her organization, AccidentalImpacts.org.
This particular accident happens as often as it does due to an evolutionary failing in our brains when we go on "auto-pilot." The part of our brain that holds the primitive foundation, controlling all of the old, routine-like information is what allows us to go on auto-pilot and perform daily tasks like driving to work without thinking much about it. However, this part of our brain competes with the more complex, evolved part that is in charge of implementing more recent memories. Factors such as lack of sleep and stress can make us revert back to our primitive brain, but it can take over at any time and leads us to make mistakes. This printable Look Before You Lock guide from KidsAndCars.org has many more helpful tips to avoid a fatal mistake.