JOHNSTON, Iowa — The group “Kids and Cars” says 37 children die in hot cars every year in the U.S. Earlier this week a Missouri toddler was killed.
A Johnston mom is hoping her recent traumatic experience will be a reminder for others of the dangers.
It was supposed to be just a simple run to the grocery store for Danielle Ches with her 6-month-old Jett.
“Got him all ready to go. Got him into the car all the while talking to my mom on the way to Hy-Vee, which is just five minutes away,” Ches said.
In a pinch, Ches quickly pulled into the store to grab some taco meat.
“And I just got out,” Ches said. Left behind was Jett.
“Thank God it was just for a minute to get meat to check out and get back in the car. I didn`t realize until I pulled back into our driveway and looked behind and saw his car seat there,” said Ches.
With a high of 84 degrees on Tuesday, the inside of the car could’ve reached a temperature of 103 degrees in just 10 minutes. In an hour, it could’ve reached 127 degrees.
“I flew around the car to him and he was asleep, but I didn`t know if he was asleep or dead because he was just lying there, so I started shaking him to wake him up and he woke up and I was hysterical,” said Ches.
Jett is fine, but Ches is seeking therapy for this traumatic accident that could`ve been much worse.
“That night I just woke up so many times constantly thinking about it and just how easy it happened,” Ches said.
That’s why the mother of four decided to share her story on a local mom`s Facebook page to hopefully erase the stigma and show it really can happen to anyone.
“I have a 14-year-old son and I’ve never done anything like this ever,” Ches said.
There`s plenty of technology out there to help parents remember that their children are in the back seat, including a rear seat reminder which is standard feature in most of GM`s vehicles. Ches says she now has a sticky note on her dash and an app called “Kars 4 kids Safety” just in case.
“I don`t think it will ever happen again to me just because of how traumatic it was, but you never know,” said Ches.
Ches says most of the responses to her Facebook post were actually parents admitting they have also made a mistake like this.