SPECIAL REPORT: Where’s Baby?

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It’s the kind of news story that leaves parents horrified.

Every year, people forget their babies, leaving them alone in the car, often ending in tragedy.

So, there’s a national campaign to raise awareness called “Where’s Baby?”

“It would be a very horrible way for the child to die. They would have seizures,” said Linda Mehl, Nursing Director with the Belmont County Health Director.

A baby left in a car seems unthinkable.

“Your children are the most precious things in your life. You wouldn’t leave five million dollars out on your back seat. Why would you want to leave your baby?” said Johanna Straight of Wheeling.

Our grandparents didn’t forget their babies.

“Well I just always knew I have five kids and I took ’em everywhere I went,” said Dorothy Straight of Elm Grove.

“I think they better slow their schedule down a little bit so they can think about what’s important,” said Norma Rowland of Centerville.

Dr. Tricia Bailey says we’ve all caught ourselves with our minds on auto pilot.

“Our subconscious has a way of guiding us into repetition or a habit, something we’re familiar with so that it becomes so routine that we take it for granted,” said Bailey.

So, any change in routine makes us vulnerable.

Like the dad who has to drop the baby off at day care, when he doesn’t usually do it.

“So he might miss that turn to day care or the babysitter and end up going to work that day,” said Bailey.

Linda Mehl once forgot to drop her son at preschool. She said she “went right past the school and got onto the highway.”

“And all of a sudden I looked back and there he was,” Mehl said.

And these days, the baby’s car seat is no longer in the driver’s line of sight.

“And, so, we used to have car seats that were in the front seat with us. And, so, if I’m the mom and I’m driving, I would have the child to my right,” said Bailey.

Recently, a toddler in Orlando locked the car doors as his parents watched in horror.

As his parents, police and paramedics worked, little Apollo got hotter and more miserable.

They had to break the window to get him out. He was fine, and even posed for pictures afterward.

The national campaign to prevent this is called “Where’s Baby?” There are key chains and window stickers.

And they say we should place something we’ll need, in the back seat along with the baby.

Like our left shoe!

“Actually as corny as it sounds, it’s really a good idea. Because you’re not going to go to work or shopping without your shoe,” said Bailey.

It brings awareness to the situation and it might help, if it even helps one child it’s a great thing.

“Where’s Baby” window stickers are available for free at the Belmont County Health Department.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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