How to Remember to Remove Your Baby from the Car

I am heartbroken each time I watch the news and learn that another parent has forgotten their baby in the car and returned to find that something horrible has happened. I will be a parent soon and these are the things that keep me awake at night. After careful thought, I would like to offer some free and relatively easy solutions that may help new parents to overcome unexpected diversions that too often direct your attention away from your baby.

Develop a new routine to always check the back seat of a vehicle before you leave it, whether it is yours or not. Another important thing to do when you approach a vehicle is to look completely around it for hidden obstructions like children or toys. When you reach your destination and exit the vehicle, immediately open the back door and look into the back seat. Do this whether you know that you have your baby in the car or not. It is imperative that this becomes a habit for both parents and for anyone who will ever transport your child. If you are certain that you dropped the child off at the daycare or if you know that today is not your day to drive them, remember... making a careless mistake on the wrong day has needlessly cost the lives of too many young children.

If you are an employer, you have the ability and should make it a priority to watch after employees who transport young children prior to coming to work. Designate several rows of parking spaces for parents only. Have a few people routinely walk through the parking lot each morning to check those cars for forgotten children. This is a perfect job for security guards whose job is to patrol the parking lot anyway. Offer them an incentive to perform these checks. Also, post signs in the entrance of your building with a reminder about leaving small children in vehicles unattended.

Become better acquainted with your co-workers and develop a habit of asking other parents of young children how their children were doing this morning and what color shirt did their teacher have on this morning. Just that type of reminder may cause a person to remember that they never actually dropped the child off. Pay attention to small details. When you walk into the building from the parking lot, keep an eye out for car seats and casually look into cars as you walk past.

For the parents of small children who take them to daycare daily, be sure that your daycare has a list of emergency numbers, including several work numbers. Ask that they call each number and let someone know if you have not dropped your child off with them after a certain time. Check your cell phone each morning after arriving at work to be sure nobody has left messages for you. If you use Microsoft Outlook, set daily reminders asking whether you remembered your child. If you carry a briefcase with you to work, always put it in the back seat in the floor beside your child's car seat. That way, you will have to open the back door to retrieve it and you may discover an important surprise when you least expect it.

Hopefully, some of these tips will help parents to remember what is most important. If work becomes too stressful and you have difficulty focusing on the things that you are supposed to do, stop for a moment. Take a deep breath. Exhale slowly and ask yourself, "Why am I at work?" Your most obvious response is "to make money." Why do you need money? To take care of your family because they are important to you. Do not forget this! Take an extra 10 seconds out of your hectic morning commute to simply check the back seat of your car!

If you are a parent and you are reading this article at work, stop what you are doing and go check your car. Do it right now! Tell your boss that you need a breath of fresh air. If this article helps save just one child, then it will be the most important thing I've ever written for this website.

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How to be Environmentally Friendly in the Workplace

Environmental consciousness is a hot topic at the moment, but the concept of protecting and preserving the world that we live in should be a part of everyone's daily routine. I've compiled some ideas that will help you to influence your employer to "think green."

If your goal is to influence your employer and co-workers to be kind to the environment it is important to not be afraid to make suggestions when you identify problems. For example, if someone constantly leaves lights on in rooms that are not in use, say something! If you don't want to confront them directly, speak to your boss and ask them for assistance.

Be aware of devices and activities that waste energy and resources. Replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent ones and turn them off when they are not needed. Replace old toilets with new low-flow models to conserve water. Turn computers off when they are not in use or at least be sure to configure them to use "Energy Star" features if available. Only heat and cool areas of the building where it is necessary. If your business has a large roll up door that employees and visitors open and close as they enter and exit an air-conditioned area, consider installing a smaller door beside it so that the larger door can remain closed. Install weather strips or repair the seal on entrances where air freely flows through the cracks. Only water grass and natural areas outside the business as needed and try not to waste water. If several co-workers go to the same restaurant for lunch, be sure to carpool. Post friendly conservation reminders throughout the office to help keep the these important issues on everyone's mind. Set conservation goals and offer incentives to employees who meet them. Try to only do business with vendors who do their part to protect the environment. For instance, if your company has a website, use the services of a web host who is environmentally conscious. On your website, mention the things that you do to protect the environment. It helps to influence the visitors who read it and may give them some great ideas that they can adopt at work.

Learn to recycle. This includes sorting paper, plastic, and glass and sending it to the proper facility for processing, but there are plenty of other ways. In your shipping department, buy recycled cardboard boxes and reuse boxes and packing materials from incoming shipments. Use ozone safe, recycled bio-starch packing peanuts instead of Styrofoam. In your sales, marketing, and accounting departments, reduce your paper usage by sending advertisements, notices, and confirmations to customers electronically. When computers or office equipment is decommissioned, consider donating it to other local businesses or to schools. If the equipment is to be disposed of, do it properly.

If your company manufactures parts, use non-hazardous components and recyclable materials. There is a directive called RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) which was adopted in the European Union in 2003 that addresses these issues. Please visit their website at for more details.

Saving the environment is an important job and all businesses should be enthusiastic about contributing. Everyone needs encouragement and a friendly reminder from time-to-time, so if you notice areas that need improvement, be sure to discuss them with your employer. Also, email a link to this article to your employer and ask them to read it. Most likely, they will appreciate your concern and take action.

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