Israel’s Health Ministry has launched a campaign to prevent the tragic incidents in which parents forget their small children in overheated cars. Some 200,000 stickers have been printed, to be placed in vehicles to remind parents to check that no one is left behind when they leave the car.
The Knesset Special Committee for the Rights of the Child endorsed the idea four months ago, after it became apparent that any electronic devices invented for the purpose would require several years to complete the process for approval at Standards Institution. The low-tech sticker solution requires no such lengthy vetting.
The new stickers, in Hebrew or Arabic, bear the image of a child and the reminder message: “Don’t Forget Me.” It is supposed to be affixed under the window on the inside of the driver’s side, near the door lock, or on the horn inside the steering wheel. There is an option as well to affix the photo of one’s child or grandchild on the sticker.
The simple idea – originally suggested by Jerusalem Post health and science editor Judy Siegel-Itzkovich – has already shown itself to be effective. Eli Beer, founder and president of United Hatzalah, got behind in 2010, and with sponsorship from an insurance company, printed more than 500,000 such stickers.
Beer reported that the stickers were very much in demand in Israel, California and Florida, where summer heat can make a locked car a death trap for a youngster.
On Wednesday, a baby at Kfar Chabad was rescued and hospitalized after being left in a parent’s vehicle.
A few months ago, a small child died after being forgotten in its mother’s car.
The stickers are available at Israel’s well-baby centers and health fund clinic, and will appear in Yisrael Hayom newspapers starting on Friday. They can also be ordered from firstname.lastname@example.org. An additional 200,000 are set to be printed and handed out at vehicle licensing bureaus as well.