DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – When the summer heat reaches hazard territory, warnings about kids and hot cars can be expected. And yet it is a warning worth repeating: because dozens of kids each year still die.
“It just makes me sick to my stomach,” says mother of two Ashlie Fewell when asked how she typically reacts to such news, “because you just never know.”
So Fewell thinks the ‘bag in the back’ campaign is a great way to make safety a habit. “It’s a genius idea because it forces you to go into the back and see what’s back there and hopefully prevent something from happening to the kid.”
Although she says her family is always intentional about safety, Fewell got an extra reminder while on a playdate outing at Plano’s ‘play street museum.’ Owners this summer are handing out brochures with suggestions for making a habit of checking the back seat for baby. And it’s personal.
Owner Courtney Muccio says her family had a ‘hot car close call’ a few years back when on a hectic day, her youngest fell asleep on the third row seats.
“I went inside and started to do some laundry and pulled her shoes out of the drier, and had a moment of ‘oh my goodness!’,” recalled Muccio. “I flew through the house. My husband was right behind me. Luckily it was just a couple of minutes and she was okay, and we were very fortunate at that, because so often it does end in tragedy.”
According to the National Safety Council, on average, 37 children will die in hot cars each year. And those who know say judging others’ mistakes (ala: how could they? I would never!) does nothing to protect your own:
“Of course, that pops into your head,” admits Fewell, “it’s so scary, you don’t ever want to think it could happen to you. And so yeah, that pops in my head. But, I’ve had friends of friends and it happened to them before and they’re perfectly good parents.”
So along with pushing awareness, Muccio, a busy mother of four and business owner, says she’s also learned the danger of arrogance: and warns ‘never say never’.
“Ya know, it’s definitely not my proudest moment as a parent,” says Muccio. “But, if it helps other people to realize that it could happen to anybody at any time, then, ya know, I’m going to put my ego aside and share this story.”