Since 1990, well over 1,050 children in the United States have died after being left in hot cars. An untold number of additional kids have been left with permanent brain damage and other long-term injuries. The largest percentage of these kids were unknowingly left in a vehicle by a parent or caregiver. No one wants to believe their brain is capable of this kind of failure. Many place blame on these parents, accusing them of using drugs or alcohol or of being inattentive, neglectful, abusive, or even murderous. In reality, most kids who die in hot cars have loving, caring, sober, and even overprotective parents.
In this episode, I’ll attempt to reduce the stigma surrounding hot car deaths by digging into how these tragedies happen to people just like you and me You’ll hear my conversation with Dr. David Diamond, a renowned neuroscientist who has spent decades studying the neurobiology of memory and has testified at countless hot car death trials. You’ll also hear my conversation with Janette Fennell, the founder and president of Kids and Car Safety, a nonprofit agency dedicated to saving the lives of children in and around motor vehicles, whose work has led to legislation mandating multiple life-saving technologies in newly-manufactured vehicles.
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Sample letter to send your members of Congress for mandated technology to prevent hot car deaths: https://sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/hot-car-letter.pdf
Gene Weingarten’s Washington Post article, “Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car Is a Horrifying Mistake. Is It a Crime?”
Susan Morgan Cooper’s Documentary, Fatal Distraction, on IMDB
Dr. David Diamond’s curriculum vitae
Cover photo by Anastasia Shuraeva.
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