Child Left on Bus During Heat Wave Makes Every Mom Paranoid

school busYou're probably going to tell me I'm nuts, but the idea of my kid getting into an accident on her bus doesn't scare me that much. At least not when compared to the idea of her being left, alone, on a hot bus, all day. That? That makes me want to drive her to school every day from here until senior year.

It's a bit irrational. I get it. But the story of a little boy with special needs left on a bus in boiling hot Jersey City (hello, New York-area heat wave?) this week is one of those horrible affirmations of my crazy fear. The child, who has limited speaking skills and therefore couldn't yell for help, was found at 12:45 p.m. To give that some perspective, his parents said he was picked up at 7:45 a.m.!


The boy was rescued by a mechanic, and the bus driver and an aide on the bus have been let go. But this isn't an isolated incident. A month and a half ago, a kindergartner was left on a bus in a Florida school district, and he wasn't found until 1 p.m. A few weeks ago it was a 3-year-old headed to speech classes who was forgotten on a bus in New Hampshire.

Everything that applies to leaving a child in a hot car applies to leaving them in a hot bus. The vehicle heats up to dangerous -- sometimes fatal -- temperatures. Only you, the parent, have no control. The suggestions from experts to ensure that you don't fall victim to the "OMG, I left my kid" accident don't apply. You're not there to check on your kid. And you aren't going to go looking for them after 5, 15, 50 minutes because you expect them to be gone for a large period of time.

Of course, just like I said, I have no control . . . almost. I encourage my daughter to sit near the front of the bus -- more because bus drivers have an easier time tracking bullies at the front than anything, but it has the advantage that if she falls asleep all the kids walking by her to disembark will notice it. Hopefully someone will say something. She's also been instructed to drink the water bottle I pack every day for lunch, and try her darndest to get out of there if this should ever happen.

Do you worry about this? Have you prepped your kids?


Image via Cast a Line/Flickr

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