Heat waves, like the current scorcher, are reminders for parents: Stories of kids forgotten in hot cars are rare, but parents would still do well to take precautions to remind themselves of that quiet, sleeping baby in the backward-facing car seat.
Statistically, it's barely even a blip: Each year across the United States, fewer than 40 children and infants die from heatstroke after being left in cars, well under 1 percent of those who die overall. But as a heat wave crawls across the United States, it can be hard for parents of small children not to think about the worst-case scenario.
Parenting is a volatile combination of hope and fear, and there are few fears more potent than losing a child to a simple, straightforward, personal error – one that we've all made on multiple occasion when the stakes are lower, e.g. a bag of groceries containing heat-sensitive dairy products.
Add the powerful (and almost universal) error multiplier of parental sleep deprivation to the mix, and you have a highly unlikely – but absolutely terrifying – situation as grim as a well-written horror film.
A recent Times of Israel blog post by Sarah Tuttle-Singer digs into the situation from the perspective of a mom who, "but for the grace of God," almost lost her son by forgetting him (briefly) in the car. If you're a parent of a small child, read it. It'll give you some straightforward practical tips for how to avoid doing it yourself.