NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Juan Rodriguez’s wife says he will never forgive himself for the deaths of their 1-year-old twins who died in the back of his hot car Friday.
In a statement, Marissa Rodriguez says her husband is “A great father and I know he would’ve never done anything to hurt our children intentionally.”
Which has some questioning how a loving parent could forget their children.
Child safety organization KidsAndCars.org says that sadly, this tragedy is not unique.
“This is about a failure of the brain’s memory. When we overtax the memory through multitasking, stress, fatigue, late night with babies,” said Susan Auriemma of KidsAndCars.org.
Kidsandcars.org says more than 900 children have died in hot cars since 1990. The number is growing despite public awareness campaigns. So what’s behind the rise?
“I certainly can make an argument for stress affecting ones memory,” said psychologist Harris Stratyner.
Stratyner encourages parents to:
- Live in the moment
- Focus on one activity, like when having a meal with family
- Don’t have your mind somewhere else
- Find time for mindful meditation by turning off your cell phone, TV, and other devices
That’s a tall order for parents with high-maintenance little ones.
“It is, but we have to take turns… to try to support each other,” Statyner said.
KidsAndCars.org has some tangible safety suggestions.
“Something as simple as leaving your handbag or computer bag in the back seat, so you look before you lock every time you arrive at your destination,” Auriemma said. “Have a call in system with your daycare center. So if your child doesn’t arrive at the usual time they call you.”
Those simple suggestions could help prevent unthinkable heartache.