Has it really come to this? We now need apps on our phones to remind us not to leave a young child in the backseat?

The National Safety Council says last year was the deadliest in 20 years of tracking. 52 children died being left in hot cars. Since 1998 800 kids were lost from vehicular heatstroke. Within these numbers, an interesting stat. Of these deaths, 24% occurred in employee parking lots. This is telling. As hard as it is for most of us to accept, this speaks to a significant number of parents who genuinely got off their routine and went to work without dropping their child at daycare.

So as troubling as it seems to think parents will pay more attention to a phone than their backseat, maybe some people could benefit from apps that now exist to keep this from happening.

WAZE

Since 2016 Waze has an added feature called Child Reminder. You set it up to remind you to check your backseat when you arrive at a destination. You have to go to the settings page, and under Advance Settings choose General. Then select Child Reminder and choose "allow reminders." You can even add a custom message to yourself, maybe your cute nickname for your little one.

BACKSEAT APP

This is available on iPhones and Android. Using GPS it tells the driver to check the backseat when parked. If you don't turn off the alerts to your phone, the app sends a message to three pre-determined contacts. The message lets them know there's a chance a kid has been left in a hot car. These are sent via email and text message and sends the location of your vehicle. That'll give grandma a nice heart attack!

KARS 4 KIDS SAFETY APP

If you're not using Waze and are an Android user you can get this app on Google Play. It pairs with your car's Bluetooth so that when you exit your vehicle an alarm goes off. It lets you add your little one's picture to customize the reminder.

I know it seems shocking to many that anyone could forget their kid is in the car. Yet we've seen it happen where it appeared to be a mental lapse, perhaps from a break with normal routine, in an otherwise loving parent. The recent case in NYC of the twins left in the car while the father worked all day is one example. He started driving home before realizing they were still in the backseat never having been dropped off to daycare as planned. An eyewitness found the father screaming hysterically outside his car in the road.

So we can tsk tsk these parents all we want. But if these apps ultimately remind a loving parent with a hectic life of something that can save a child's life, why judge?

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