Simple tool could save kids’ lives this summer

AUSTIN (KXAN) – It won’t be long before Central Texas begins experiencing triple-digit heat. Kids are left in hot cars all too often, but a new tool could save your child’s life.

No parent thinks it could happen to them, but in August 2009 a baby was found dead inside a hot car in the parking lot of Freescale Semiconductor. A father forgot to drop off his 18-month-old son at daycare.

In April 2012, a 1-year-old Austin girl died after she was accidentally left in her father’s hot truck.

An Austin woman, whose child died in a hot car, said accidents like these can be prevented.

“One of the saddest things we have to admit here today is that Ray-Ray’s accident could’ve been prevented in so many ways,” Kristen Reeves-Cavaliero said.

Stories like these struck a chord with another Austin mom.

“There were actually three children that died in one week in New Orleans,” said Meaghan Eckhardt, creator of Don’t Forget Baby. “It was the summer of 2011, and it just hit me in my core.”

Eckhardt now lives in Austin and came up with a way to help parents keep their kids in the forefront of their mind.

“I wanted to come up with an easy and inexpensive way for everybody to have a little reminder to don’t forget the baby,” Eckhardt said.

When you are driving, the tag hangs on the rear-view mirror. When you stop, you take the baby out and put the tag in the car seat.

If a passerby sees this tag hanging in a parked car, they know something might be wrong. For Meaghan, there are plenty of times it could come in handy.

“I’m thinking about work… I’m thinking about dinner… I’m thinking about the costume I have to make for her thing at school next week,” Eckhardt said. “I’m going to stop at a Hobby Lobby, and it dawns on me as I’m pulling into the parking lot… I have a sleeping baby in the car. I can’t go into Hobby Lobby right now.”

She said it is not the sign of a bad parent, but rather a proactive one.

“I would hate to forget the most important thing,”Eckhardt said.

$1 from every sign sold is donated to the Texas Cord Blood Bank.

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