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Keeping Kids Safe Around Parked Cars

Keeping Kids Safe Around Parked Cars

We had a very frightful and traumatic happening here over the weekend. You can probably guess what it was from the title of this post, and I am so glad I can write this as an ALMOST tragic warning.

Soon after taking the photo above, all the kids brushed the sand of the beach from their clothes and feet and we stopped on the way home to get frozen yogurt. Everyone was happy and exhausted when we got home, and we all scattered to rest, read books, or just generally chill out.

3yo Peyton asked if she could stay outside and play with the bubbles I had bought for the beach, and I said “sure.”

A little while later, I realized I hadn’t seen or heard from her in what seemed like too long, so I asked if anyone knew where she was. No one did.

I called for her and checked her bed to see if she had fallen asleep after our busy day. She wasn’t there.

I went all around the house calling her name and started to get a little panicky. I rushed outside hollering for her.

No answer.

I ran around to the back yard and yelled toward the woods.

I checked the swing set.

The trampoline.

The zip line.

Nothing.

I started to run frantically down to the hen house. That’s when I noticed the headlights were on in the old farm truck we rarely drive.

I rushed over there and found Peyton lying down inside the truck bawling her little eyes out. I opened the door and scooped her sweaty body up. She fell limp into my arms, sobbing between ragged breaths, “I… needed… you… I… needed… you…”

She had just that week been so proud that she figured out how to open the door to the van and get in all by herself. She just hadn’t figured out how to open the doors from the inside yet. I never thought to warn her that she should never get into a vehicle without us.

I am so very thankful the weather was mild that day. Even though the temperature outside only reached about 72 degrees, she was still hot and sweaty by the time I found her. Where we live, in Texas, it isn’t unusual for summer temperatures to reach over 100 degrees. This site shows that even on an 80 degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach 123 degrees. That is enough to kill.

Every year, somewhere around 38 children die in hot cars from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside.

If she hadn’t turned on the headlights, I would have never thought to look in that old truck. I am so thankful God has plans for Peyton to be with us a while longer.

We will be locking our empty vehicles from now on, and we have also had numerous and lengthy discussions with Peyton about getting into cars without us.

Please do the same at your house.

Together we can keep kids safe around parked cars.

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Comments

  1. Oh Connie!!! How scary! Love you sweet friend AND all your little gifts from God! So glad this had a happy ending! Love you!!!

  2. The same thing happened to us when our now 6 year old was 3. He is the youngest of our five kiddos. We had never had this happen with the other ones so we didn’t expect/consider/ worry that it could happen. He wanted to get something he had left in my DH’s truck. It was a HOT day, and we thank God he was in for only 10 minutes. I have a near panic attack every time I think about it! BUT this is the same child that pushed screens out of the window, and quietly stacked items up so he could reach the door’s chain slide lock in his attempts to get outside. Yep, he’s been in the ER/Pediatrician’s office for accidents more times in his short life than all of our other 4 kids put together. Lord help me!

  3. So sorry you had to experience that! One of our children did that in a minivan. Faint whimpering that I barely heard as I stood still next to the van trying to figure out where he might have gone was the only reason I looked in there. It was a very hot day during the summer. Scary! Yes, the vehicles are always locked, now.

  4. So scary! Poor baby. And poor mama. And praise God!

  5. That makes me so sad. Such a scary situation. Poor sweetie. SO so glad you found her! My goodness.

  6. Oh wow! Duly shared!

    What worries me now is that I can’t lock my van. The driver’s side sliding door is missing the doodad that makes it lock, so I never leave valuables visible in it. But I’ll keep it in mind to talk to my kids about it tomorrow. We have discouraged them from playing in the vehicles anyhow, so that’s helpful!

  7. We learned to teach our children to honk the horn if they ever get stuck in a vehicle.

  8. That is so scary! I’m so very, very glad Peyton is okay.

  9. So glad she is fine! I had a scare this year as well. My 3 year old figured out how to buckle her seat belt but still can’t unbuckle it. I had to run in to use the bathroom, assumed everyone else was out when I was done, oldest was outside with our dogs, I assumed she was with her sister outside. I just got a weird feeling like I needed to put my eyes on her, and I found her still locked in her carseat in the locked car! Thankfully it was less than 10 minutes and it was a cold day. Now I do a head count when I come out of the bathroom if I have to run in, and I give direction on who gets the littlest out before I get out of the car. My husband just assumed her sisters would get her. Never assume! Always do a head count! I am totally have a new safety talk with all three of my kids.

  10. Great reminder to teach our kids about being safe around vehicles. We’ve talked to ours so much, my 3 and 4 yo now say they will “melt” if I just run back in the house for a second before we leave somewhere. :) Great idea to teach them to hoot the horn! We keep ours locked, but my kids know how to use the keys to unlock, so if they really wanted to, they could get in there. Will have a chat with them in the morning!

  11. Oh, had chills just reading that. I am so so glad your story had a happy ending. It’s been a while since we’ve been in the baby years, (my two oldest daughters are almost 7 and 9 and then we have a 1 year old), so … thank you for the reminder that I will need to teach her about this someday soon.
    God was in control and must have big plans for her! :)

  12. Oh how scary! I like what one commenter said about teaching them to honk the horn. I never even thought about this. Poor baby! So glad she’s safe!

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  1. […] Keeping Kids Safe Around Parked Cars :: With warmer weather on the horizon, this is SO important to teach our kids. […]

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