Following the death of an infant who was left locked by her father in his car on Monday, Health Minister Yael German has announced a new measure to help prevent such tragedies.
The potentially life-saving idea is simple and inexpensive: A circular sticker distributed at vehicle licensing bureaus. The sticker, with a spot in the center for a photo of the driver’s own child, would say: “Your child is more precious than your car; never leave a young child inside alone for even a moment!”
The sticker was proposed by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, health and science editor of The Jerusalem Post, who also suggested that license renewals should require affixing the sticker to the inside of the driver’s door.
The incident on Monday in Ramat Gan, one of numerous such deaths, occurred when the father, distracted by a cellphone call, forgot his nine-month-old daughter was in the infant seat behind him in his jeep. The child perished in the heat of the interior.
The idea first won the support of Eli Beer, founder and president of United Hatzalah, who personally financed the design and printing of the first stickers in Hebrew, Arabic, English and Russian.
Drivers’ reactions were reportedly enthusiastic. The Harel Insurance Company underwrote the printing of hundreds of thousands of stickers, which have been distributed around the country, and in Los Angeles and Miami.
In a meeting with the Health Minister three weeks ago, the proposal was placed under consideration.
On Tuesday, following the widely publicized Ramat Gan tragedy, German said she had decided to order distribution of the stickers in gas stations, health fund clinics and vehicle licensing garages. In the next few days, German said, she will choose a ministry staffer who is “suited to carrying out” the idea as soon as possible.
The licensing proposal would require consultation with other ministries and writing regulations or passing a law, the minister said, but in the meantime, young lives could be saved.