‘Backseat Buddies’ Keeping Kids Out Of Hot Cars

IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – Children becoming sick or even dying after being left in an extremely hot car – it is a story that is told far too many times each summer. But a new program at Baylor Medical Center at Irving is working to educate parents and prevent these tragedies.

Jamie Duarte and her husband are eager to bring their newborn baby home. “I’m looking forward to going home, relaxing,” said the new mom. The family is also taking home some lessons on how to keep little Sophie safe inside a hot car. “I think it’s good because a lot of people don’t think about it.”

The Duartes went through a program at the hospital called ‘Backseat Buddies,’ designed for new parents. Moms and dads have a little bear attached to car keychains. When a kid leaves the carseat, he or she is replaced with the bear, which essentially acts like a string around the finger, reminding parents about their children.

Emergency room doctors have seen many cases of children left in hot cars, and said that kids can overheat and become seriously injured more quickly than adults. “The cars can be 120, 140, 150 degrees. You’re talking minutes for something that’s very preventable,” said Dr. Charles Su. “They can have seizures. They can have brain injuries. Most of them will die from the heat.”

All new parents at Baylor Medical Center at Irving go through the program, and it seems to be working. “A mom called me and said she was getting ready to go back to work, and she had the bear on her keychain,” explained prenatal educator Tina Austin. “She looked down at the keychain and said, ‘Don’t forget to go by the day care and drop off the baby.’”

As for the Duartes, they said that they could not imagine leaving their little one behind in a hot car. But it will be useful to have an extra little reminder. “I think it’s a good idea,” said Duarte. “Too many kids are being left in the cars.”

Comments

One Comment

  1. S Fincher says:

    I wish car manufacturers would get together w/ car seat manufacturers & create an alarm system like when the car door is opened w/ the keys in the car only louder. Something that’s activated when weight is placed in the car seat & sounds off when the door is opened. It’d be specially helpful if it’d send you a text message to get your child out of the car. They could also have a system for the regular back seats & make it turn off-able.

    I was sitting in a car w/ slightly open, tinted windows & it was only barely 60 degs & I started sweating w/in 5 mins. It was actually kinda chilly outside in the morning but boy did it get hot in that car quickly. I don’t see how a child or pet can survive hotter & longer stays in a car.

  2. rd says:

    The family is also taking home some lessons on how to keep little Sophie safe inside a hot car. “I think it’s good because a lot of people don’t think about it.”

    OK people who think they need lessons on how not to leave kids in the car also need a visit from CPS. They shouldn’t be breeding.

  3. TC says:

    Wow. I can’t believe these are the parents raising kids now – I never had to think twice about leaving my kids behind – ever.

  4. JOHN GRAGO says:

    WE ARE TRYING TO GET THE WORD OUT TO INFORM CAREGIVERS ABOUT OUR EASY TO USE OR MAKE YOUR OWN BRACELET SYSTEM THAT WORKS. A KEYCHAIN SYSTEM CAN EASILY BE THROWN INTO A PURSE AND NOT NECESSARILY CONNECTED TO THE CAREGIVER. THE CAREGIVER BRACELET REMINDER SYSTEM ATTACHES TO THE CAREGIVER UNTIL THE CHILD IS REMOVED FROM THE CARSEAT AND THE BRACELET IS ATTACHED TO THE CARSEAT. LALON GRAGO AIRED ON CBS CH 6 ORLANDO IN AUGUST 2011.(MAKING A DIFFERENCE) IF YOU ARE INTERESTED PLEASE CHECK caregiverbracelet.com NOTE: WE ARE RETIRED TEACHERS AND CONCERNED GRANDPARENTS HOPING TO SOLVE THIS TRAGIC REMENBERING PROBLEM

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