The Hot Car Crisis


Children dying in hot cars is nothing new. According to a recent CNN article, there have been at least 388 children who have died of heat death in a vehicle within the last ten years.

What I’ve been seeing over the Facebooks and the Twitters lately is nothing but comments about the “recent epidemic of kids being left in hot cars.” Allow me to compile everybody’s responses into one neat little amalgamation.

I’ve been seeing all of these stories about parents leaving their kid in their hot car lately. What a horrible terrible thing to do. That kid didn’t do anything to deserve this. It’s not like leaving your keys or your cell phone, it’s leaving YOUR KID. You can’t forget your kid. You’re a murderer and I hope they lock you away forever.

Also, most of these types of statuses have major grammatical issues, but I’ve mercifully filtered those out. I’m not here to mock the people who say this, because helplessly dying of a heat stroke in a vehicle is a horrible fate for a child. Still, I want you to consider some things.

Vehicle Heat Deaths Happen All The Time.
I don’t fully understand why they are suddenly getting so much attention now. It’s not a new problem. Perhaps it’s a slow summer for the news, or perhaps we’re experiencing yet another outlet for anger on social media.

It Could Happen to You. It Could Happen to Me.
I’m serious, you could be the best parent in the world. All it takes is one little slip-up and your child is gone. You can say you would never do that, but that’s tempting fate based off memory. Memory is, unlike love, incredibly fickle. I have no doubt that at least 200 of those 388 parents loved their child, literally, to death.

Murdering Your Child is Punishment Enough.
To constantly have the crimes a person committed in a social media feedback loop does nothing except further hurt the parent. They’ve already lost their child and likely the rest of their life to the guilt. Not to mention most of them serve quite a bit of time in jail.

It’s Not Like You Can Create Awareness For This.
Unlike diseases or social movements, speaking out or donating money accomplishes nothing. This is a momentary event with life or death implications. Kids will die in cars until technology catches up.

Stop Dissing On Memory Techniques.
I’ve seen a lot of people say that you shouldn’t need a memory trick for your kid. If it saves their life, yes you do. Do WHATEVER it takes to get your kid out of that imminent inferno.

Children dying in hot cars is far too serious to jump on the social media outrage bandwagon. This really is a matter of life and death, and should be treated as such.



Matthew Estes

Matthew Estes currently exists in the ether between graudate student and full-time worker. One day he hopes to be a full-time novelist and blogger, but until that day comes he spends his time playing video games, eating pizza, and being with his soon-to-be wife. However, he has yet to do all three at the same time. Bucket list stuff, you know.