After a record number of hot car deaths, one mom is warning parents about the high-risk time of day to forget a child in a vehicle after her husband made a fatal mistake.
Kristie Reeves told Good Morning America that something as simple as a change in routine can put a child at risk for vehicular heatstroke on a warm summer day.
Reeves said eight years ago, her normally focused husband drove to work with their 1-year-old in his back seat, not realizing until later that day he had actually never dropped her off at her Texas daycare.
The couple’s daughter, Sophia, spent three hours in a hot vehicle on a 94-degree day. The family said a change in routine disrupted the parenting pattern of her husband, Brett Cavaliero.
The little girl died in the hospital following the incident. Reeves explained:
“Don’t think for one moment that only a monster would do this.”
“I get why people dismiss it. It’s easier as parents than to accept the truth that your memory can fail you in times of stress, in times of chaos. That’s terrifying that your own mind can fail you with something so precious, your bundle of joy.”
Reeves said her husband missed his turn and drove to work instead of Sophia’s day care on the day she passed away.
“Not once was I ever told about this danger to child passenger safety.”
“If you had asked me the day before May 24 , I would have assumed it was very bad parents and parents who used the car as a babysitter. In these times when these children are forgotten, the most common factor was a change in routine.”
Reeves has started a website called Ray Ray’s Pledge to educate parents about hot car deaths.
According to KidsAndCars, hot car tragedies reached a record high last year across the United States, reports ABC Radio.
To prevent a heat stroke death, parents should “look before you lock” and put all your belongings in the back seat when traveling with children.
At least 52 children were killed in hot cars last year.
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