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The story of a Daleville mother who recently pleaded guilty to neglect after her son died two summers ago when she left him in a hot car is a cautionary tale for all parents and others who are responsible for the health and safety of children.

In this case, intoxicants were involved, but that isn’t always the case. It has happened to parents from all walks of life, and it can result from mere absentmindedness.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a correlation between an increase in child deaths from hot cars and the introduction of airbags and small children being required to ride in the backseat.

Every year as the weather heats up, we can predict with great sadness that we’ll be hearing about deaths of children left in cars.

Some recommendations to prevent these tragedies include leaving a wallet, phone or necessary item in the backseat with the child; always looking in the backseat before leaving the car even if you know you do not have the child with you; and never leaving a car unlocked even in your garage or driveway (to prevent children from entering the car on their own).

Never intentionally leave the child in the car, even if you think you are running just a quick errand.

More information can be found through kidsandcars.org, a nonprofit dedicated to improving child safety around cars.

The experts agree that forgetting a child in a car can happen to anyone, and this is a lesson that no one should learn the tragic way.

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