You would never forget your child in your car – would you?

Jul 3, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. ET

You might be living under a rock if you haven’t heard stories of children perishing after being “forgotten” and left behind in cars by their caregivers, many times their own parents. Many responsible parents (like you) may assume this could never happen to them.

Don’t think it couldn’t happen to you

The fact is, it could. And it’s happening more and more often to perfectly responsible parents all across the country. Since 1998, 533 children have died from heat stroke as a result of being left behind in a car. Every year on average about 37 children 4 years old and younger fall victim to this epidemic. That’s too many to lose over a tragic — and totally preventable — mistake.

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This year alone, six children have fallen victim to being left behind in the car. There have been some recent standout cases -- on June 11, a 3-year-old in Philadelphia, Mississippi was accidentally left in the car. Days later, on June 18, a 9-month-old in Louisville, Kentucky and on June 25 an 11-month-old in Lafayette, Louisiana were both tragically left in their car seats when their fathers forgot to drop them off at daycare. In each of these cases, the temperature outside was below 100 degrees.

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Don’t let it happen again

Andrea Lester founded the non-profit organization Forget Me Not USA after she’d heard about one too many children dying as a result of being left behind in their caregivers’ cars. She decided she couldn’t idly stand by and let this happen again — without doing her part to help stop this tragic epidemic in its tracks.

In an effort to help bring the number of children left behind in cars to zero, Forget Me Not USA has started a petition for the government to require all car manufacturers to install a Child Sensor Alert Device in all newly built vehicles. Visit the site to sign the online petition.

Don’t forget

If you find parenthood has made you a bit forgetful, there is a product currently available to help you avoid accidentally leaving your child behind in your car. Baby Alert International’s ChildMinder Smart Clip System features sensory buckles for Baby’s car seat and a key fob for parents’ keychain. Every time the child is buckled into his seat, the system is automatically activated and it is deactivated every time the buckles are detached. When the system is activated, it alerts parents with an alarm six seconds after they move more than 15 feet from the child in his car seat. Smart, huh?

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