With the hottest point of summer upon us, advocates for children’s safety want to reinforce the risks of leaving a child unattended in a car.  The number of child deaths nationally last summer reached 41 by September 1.  That is the most on record, according to Dr. John Peter, an emergency medicine specialist at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’sMedicalCenterinSt. Louisand professor at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Peter notes that it’s surprising, but in a review of nearly 500 cases dating to 1998, slightly more than half – 51 percent – resulted from the caregiver, usually a parent, forgetting that the child was in the back seat.  

Dr. Peter comments  

Dr. Peter suggests that parents adopt safety checks to reduce the risk, however remote it might seem, of accidentally leaving a child in a car.  He notes that one way is to place a stuffed animal – or even a diaper bag -- in the front seat as a reminder when placing a child in back.