Another Child Has Died From Heat-Related Deaths. Check The Back Seat For Children

by Terry Heick

Request: Create visuals for facebook and pinterest and instagram promoting and append tweets using the hashtag #checkthebackseat. 

I can’t bear to read another story like this.

One of the most painful realities I have to face every day is the suffering of children. There is obviously a degree of suffering inherent to the human condition, but when it’s avoidable, it’s hard to stomach. And when it’s a child that can’t protect him or herself, it’s just heart-breaking.

One hugely correctable pattern is children being left in hot cars. The inside of a car can reach 125 degrees in just 10 minutes, and a child’s body overheats three to five times faster than an adult’s. I just can’t imagine what their last few minutes are like.

It makes me sick to imagine, but not imagining it is how it happens.

PSA: Heat-Related Deaths Are Avoidable. Check The Back Seat For Children

According to Reuters and The Washington post, yesterday at Little Miracles Academy in Orlando, Florida 3-year-old Myles Hill died after being left alone in a van for 11 hours.

I’ve thought about some kind of device, app, or other invention to address this, but honestly I’m not sure where to begin. It’d have to be useful for the widest possible audience, and ideally would be free. Having a clever device that only a small percentage of parents and organizations uses does little to help.

According to, ‘The Hot Cars Act of 2017 seeks to install visual and auditory cues in cars to signal to a parent when a child is in the backseat before the driver exits the vehicle.’ That’s good, I guess. Legislation can help, but so can awareness. They ( go on to offer some tips to help prevent leaving kids in hot cars, including:

  1. Always lock your car and secure the keys so that your kids can’t get to them at home.
  2. Warn your kids about playing in the car by themselves without adult supervision.
  3. Install a trunk release mechanism so that they can’t get trapped in the trunk.
  4. Make sure that child care providers and day care workers have a plan to ensure kids aren’t left in their cars or vans.
  5. Put a purse or briefcase in the back seat with your child so you’ll have to look behind you.
  6. Use reminder apps and sensor devices in addition to safety tips and common sense—not to replace them.

To that I’d add, ‘Never, ever think it can’t happen to you.’

In the meantime, let’s spread some awareness. Let’s not only remind younger students to spread awareness in their own family, but to watch out for themselves and their siblings. We can also create visuals for facebook and pinterest and instagram promoting and append tweets using the hashtag #checkthebackseat.

Don’t let it happen to you, and spread the word to reduce the chance that it might happen to others.

You can see a map of the fatalities here. Project-Based Learning idea?