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Family Forgets Toddler at Rest Stop; Realizes It 90 Miles Away

The Short of It

While driving to the coastal town of Saint Raphael, France, a family heard an alarming message on the radio. A 3-year-old child had been abandoned at a nearby rest stop. Then, they realized it was their child.

The Lowdown

The family made it 90 miles down the road before they heard the radio report and realized their youngest of three children was not in the car. They were caught off guard because they had previously asked the older children if everything was OK in the backseat, but nobody mentioned the missing toddler.

Thankfully, the girl was cared for by people at the rest stop.

"Another family was at the rest stop and noticed the girl was alone for a while," Clara Thomas, deputy prefect of the town of Die said on French TV. "They took care of her and called police to let them know."

The child was able to describe the family car to officials and explain a bit about what happened. She told police, "Daddy's car drove away." She was held by authorities until she was safely returned to her parents.

Rightfully so, the parents were traumatized by the event and incredibly thankful to be reunited with their healthy, unharmed child.

The Upshot

There have been several stories in the media lately about parents forgetting their children. Whether they're left in hot cars during the summer months, or like this, and mistakenly left behind. The Kid Safe Foundation recommends these strategies to help avoid leaving your child in the car alone:

  1. Leave your purse or wallet and cell phone in the backseat next to your child.
  2. Put a stuffed animal in the seat when your child is not in it. When you put your child in the seat, remove the animal and put it next to you in the front seat as a reminder.
  3. Stick a brightly colored sticky note on the dashboard of your car that says, "Baby in back!"
  4. Install a child safety mirror that attaches to your rearview mirror so that you can see your child at all times.

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