We recently got an email from K.T. Korngold, the director of the Montessori Children’s Center in West Harrison. She shared excellent information that’s critical for parents.
1. Unattended children are not permitted - by law - in a parked car
Children under the age of 10 are not permitted by law to be left alone in a car for any period of time for any reason in the state of New York. This is for their safety. Children are natural explorers and may close and lock the door without being able to open it. Unfortunately, there have been tragic, accidental deaths due to heat stroke when children were accidently locked within a vehicle and the parent was unable to open the door in time.
2. Interior temperatures of cars get hot quickly.
At 70 degrees on a sunny day - after 30 minutes - the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 113 degrees. When outside temperatures reach 80-100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to 130-172. Please be sure to test the car seat before you put your child in, to make sure it is comfortable to touch. Turn on your air conditioner and open the windows to reduce this inside air temperature before you buckle in.
3. Our busy schedules lead to occupied minds
We all have busy schedules and often our lives seem to be a whirlwind of to do lists, worry, and concerns. Sometimes sleepless nights lead to a challenging next day. We may find ourselves in the car going on “auto” pilot - and then driving to the wrong designation or even going to work without first coming to childcare. There have been tragic incidents of normal, loving parents walking into work only to remember that they had left their most important loved one behind in a closed car, sleeping in the car seat, with tragic results.
Here are few tips to practice to avoid this nightmare:
1) put your child’s bag in the front seat next to you in the car.
2) put your briefcase or bag in the backseat.
That way, you will have two built-in reminders of the presence of your precious cargo.
This information as it is offered with kindness and compassion and without judgement. Let’s all have a safe summer!