581 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
Wilkes Barre, PA 18705

Call Today!
(570) 208-9125


Don’t Forget Your Kids in the Backseat of the Car

Little Wiggles & Giggles Learning Center Wants All Children to Be Safe

Don’t forget your kids in the backseat of the car. Well, duh, right? This shouldn’t even be an issue, should it? Actually, the statistics about how many kids die after parents accidentally leave them in vehicles are staggering.

Forgetting Your Kids in the Backseat Can Lead to Deaths and Abductions

According to www.kidsandcars.org, of the 900 child deaths between 1990 and 2018, “56 percent were left in the car accidentally.” While children dying in a hot car is unlikely in February, leaving them unattended anytime in a vehicle is unsafe. In winter, they can die from hypothermia, and could choke or suffocate any time of the year. Also, according to www.missingkids.org, “Since the pandemic began, 40 children left alone in cars have been abducted during vehicle thefts …”

6 Simple Measures You Can Take Not to Forget Your Kids in the Backseat

The staff at Little Wiggles & Giggles Learning Center wants all children to be safe. So, we’ve decided to blog about six simple measures parents and caregivers can take not to forget kids in the backseat. These simple measures include:

  • Staying extra alert when you’re driving
  • Placing a toy in the front as a reminder
  • Leaving something in the back you’ll need later
  • Securing your child in the middle of the backseat
  • Taking a good look before you lock the car
  • Establishing a check-in system with your childcare provider

Stay Extra Alert at All Times When You’re Driving

According to www.parents.com, Dr. David Diamond, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist in the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida’s psychology department. Dr. Diamond researched details of many hot-car deaths of children. Ultimately, Dr. Diamond’s research explained why staying alert while driving can be difficult.

Here’s an Explanation About Staying Extra Alert While Driving

According to www.parents.com, understanding why parents can forget their children “requires grasping how … different parts of the brain work.” There are two sections of the brain at work when performing activities. One section is the basal ganglia, and the other section includes the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

Two Sections of the Brain Process Information Differently

The prefrontal cortex and hippocampus parts of the brain process new information. The basal ganglia “allows us to do things without thinking about them,” Dr. Diamond explained in the www.parents.com article. In other words, the basal ganglia section allows us to form habits and muscle memory.

Understand the Battle Within the Brain

In the article, Dr. Diamond explained that doing something different means the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex process new details. He said this should “override the basal ganglia’s strong desire to perform actions out of habit.” However, the article concluded that “in every hot-car death Dr. Diamond … studied, something was different about the (day’s) routine. In some cases, Mom made two stops instead of her usual one. In other cases, Dad drove the baby instead of Mom … and the basal ganglia won control.”

Learn How to Stay Extra Alert

If something changes in your routine while driving, stop immediately and refocus your mind on the tasks ahead. This should help to keep you alert. For example, if someone calls you en route to daycare, pull over to take the call, even if it’s hands-free. Once you’ve completed the call, make a mental checklist of each task you need to do next. Another way to stay alert is eating, using the bathroom, making calls, and sending texts before you drive anywhere.

Enable Your Phone’s Do Not Disturb Function While Driving

Once you’re in the car, it’s a good idea to enable your phone’s Do Not Disturb (DND) function. (FYI, in an emergency, someone calling can usually get through DND by making several, rapid consecutive calls.) Also, try to not do anything other than driving while you’re driving. Furthermore, you could break up the drive by stopping to stretch and getting fresh air. The best way to stay alert while driving is to commit to phone-free travel, and just save screen time for later.

Place a Toy in the Front or Leave Something in the Back as a Reminder

Keeping your child’s toy in the front seat serves as a trigger-reminder that he or she is in the car. It could be something that your child wants to take with him or her to daycare or for show-and-tell. It’s a good idea not to keep a toy in the front that your child wants to play with en route. Besides a toy in the front, leave something in the back that you usually take to your next destination.

Unless you need them, consider putting your cell phone, purse, or briefcase on the back seat as another reminder. You might want to make sure that putting something in the back is also out of your child’s reach. If you have to choose between something in the back and the front, decide which would be the better reminder.

Put Your Child in the Middle Rather than Behind the Front Seats

If at all possible, secure the child in the middle of the backseat, rather than behind either front seat. With your child in the middle, you’ll see him or her better in the rearview mirror. Also, seating your child in the middle will make room for whatever object reminder you put in the backseat.

Take a Good Look Before You Lock the Car

Whether or not you’re toting your child along, start checking the backseat every time you get out of the car. Taking a good look before you lock the car door is a habit worthy of picking up. According to www.heathline.com, it can take as few as 18 days to form a new habit. So, for at least three weeks prior to your child starting daycare, take a daily drive. When you park your car, check your backseat, even if your child isn’t there. The more you take a look before you lock your car, the less likely you’ll forget anything in it.

Establish a Check-In System with Your Childcare Provider

Establishing a check-in system with your childcare provider is a way to keep them looped into your child’s plans. A system with your childcare provider includes you creating and sticking to a regularly scheduled drop-off timeframe. The system with your childcare provider simply could be them calling you if they expect you to bring your child in by a certain time. (Of course, if your child isn’t going to daycare, or the babysitter at all, let your provider know that too.)

If you choose Little Wiggles & Giggles for daycare, we’d be happy to work out a check-in system with you. For more information about our daycare services, give Little Wiggles & Giggles Learning Center a call at (570) 208-9125. Follow us on Facebook for updates. We’d like to explain more tips so you don’t forget your kids in the backseat of the car.