Petition push to prevent child hot car deaths

One death is too many, but hundreds of deaths of children in hot cars have spurred one national group into action.
Monday, July 14, 2014
One death is too many, but hundreds of deaths of children in hot cars have spurred one national group into action.

Monday a child safety advocate group began a petition to get the White House to begin funding research to prevent kids from dying in hot cars.

Of course, every parent thinks it won't happen to them. But KidsAndCars.org says any parent can easily, and tragically, forget a kid in the back seat of a hot car.

Even on cloudy summer days, with temps only in double digits, a sealed up car can be a deadly place for kids.

Jenni Norman has one-and-half-year old twins. She hopes to never forget her kids in the car.

"I don't know, I've never gotten to that point myself," Norman says. "I'm very vigilant when we have the boys with us in the car, and make sure that we take every precaution."

But she can understand how a parent makes the tragic mistake. "Especially if it's a parent that doesn't typically have the child with them, and they get into their routines," she said. "I definitely can see it being an accident."

"Every time we get the news that another child has died, your heart just sinks and it's just devastating," Amber Rollins, director of KidsAndCars.org said.

The group is a national non-profit pushing this petition to get the White House to support funding research to prevent child deaths in hot cars.

Rollins told me via Skype, in more than half the 700 cases she's tracked parents simply forget their kids. Mistakes she says that are backed up by the non-profit's research.

"You can't educate and train your brain not to fail you, just like you can't train your organs not to get cancer," Rollins said. "We're humans and this is how our brains work."

They're hoping the Department of Transportation develops preventative technology similar to weighted air bag and seatbelt sensors.

"The cars tell us everything else, why couldn't it tell us 'hey, by the way, you forgot your child, you forgot something important," said Fresno mother Brooke Imire.

KidsAndCars.org has one month to get 100,000 signatures, then the White House has to respond to the petition directly.

Visit the link if you'd like to sign the petition http://wh.gov/lL8nX


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