Kars4Kids is launching a public safety campaign, “It Can Happen,” designed to raise awareness that all parents and caregivers are capable of unknowingly leaving children in hot cars. This campaign follows years of efforts to educate parents on the dangers of hot cars and on precautions one can take to avoid forgetting a child in the car, including developing a free safety app in 2014 and a viral hot car challenge in 2015.
“We still see far too many parents holding the mistaken belief that only ‘bad’ parents can leave a child in the car,” says Wendy Kirwan, the charity’s director of marketing and public relations. “With our latest campaign, we’re trying to break that stigma and convince people that they must take precautions to prevent needless tragedies from happening to them.”
The campaign’s webpage uses a combination of video, research and true stories to persuade parents that they are, in fact, capable of “forgetting” a child, regardless of how responsible and loving they are. The page ends with a choice of simple precautions to commit to taking, such as asking daycare providers to call if baby is not dropped off to downloading an app to alert drivers to baby’s presence.
“Summer and warm days are far from over, and unfortunately, we are on pace this year to see a record number of hot car deaths,” explains Kirwan, a mom of five. “These are heartbreaking tragedies, and there are simple precautions all parents and caregivers can be taking to make sure it never happens to them.”
Here’s what a recent survey by Kars4Kids found:
• Only 16 percent of parents are concerned that leaving a child in a car can happen to them. A mere 15 percent are taking precautions.
• Seventy-eight percent think negatively of a parent who forgets a child in a car, describing these parents as “irresponsible,” “unfit to be a parent” and even “murderers.”
• Eleven percent of people believe it is OK to leave a child alone in a car for a few minutes.
Results of the survey are based on individual online surveys through AYTM (Ask Your Target Market) of 2,500 respondents, identified as parents 18 and older, and conducted in June 2018. Based on the total population of adults, the sampling error is plus/minus 2 percent, with a confidence level of 95 percent. Full survey results can be found here: https://www.kars4kids.org/safety-app/itcanhappen/survey.php
Kars4Kids is a national, Jewish non-profit that helps children become productive members of society. From 2012 through 2016, it has made contributions of over $76 million to its beneficiaries and has helped more than 32,000 people since 1995.