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Photo by: United Hatzalah
MDA prepares stickers to ask passersby to check for babies in others’ vehicles
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
16/07/2013
United Hatzalah prints up 40,000 more warning stickers to prevent leaving of children locked in hot cars.
 
The voluntary first-aid and rescue organization United Hatzalah is printing 40,000 stickers to be affixed inside the drivers door warning against leaving young children in vehicles.

On Tuesday, UH president Eli Beer reached an agreement with the Binyamin Regional Council – in whose jurisdiction two babies died this week after being left in their parents’ cars – to issue 10,000 warning stickers, one for each car. The effort will be carried out jointly by UH and the council.

In the last three weeks, three infants have been “broiled” to death, left in cars with oven-like temperatures, with all cases involving distracted fathers. In the last five years, several hundred children were left alone in locked cars; most survived, some with injuries, while around two dozen died.

The UH sticker is aimed at parents’ taking responsibility for their children and its presence – in multiple languages – and is intended to become mandatory for an annual vehicle license. Meanwhile, MDA is printing bumper stickers asking passersby to look into cars for children left inside others’ vehicles.

The idea for stickers on the inside of the drivers door was initiated by The Jerusalem Post five years ago, but it was rejected by then-deputy health minister Ya’acov Litzman, who said: “It won’t work.”

The Post turned to Beer, founder of UH, who immediately agreed, pulled out his personal checkbook and paid for designing and printing stickers warning parents not to leave a child in a car alone, even for a minute.

After a few thousand stickers printed in Hebrew, Arabic, English and Russian ran out due to public demand, he printed 400,000 more, the cost covered by an insurance company. The UH stickers can be personalized for even more impact by affixing a photo of the driver’s own child or grandchild on it.

Beer said this week that he personally knows of many instances of the stickers presence preventing a tragedy. He has ordered 40,000 more stickers for immediate distribution by the organization’s thousands of volunteers. Beer said he will ask the head of the Sonol petrol station company, a friend of his, to also distribute them around the country.

“After one petrol company does it, all the others will want the stickers too,” he said.

Beer suggested that a government investigation committee could look into the problem and find a technological solution, but that it would take years.

“We have to find a solution. In the longer term, if a reliable and affordable sensing device could be found, it must become a requirement like seatbelts. There could be tax breaks on them.”

MDA director-general Eli Bin has adopted the theme of “Look and Save.” Those stickers aim at asking passersby to look into other people’s vehicles and alert MDA if they see children locked inside. It will be distributed with flyers at malls, intersections and other places by MDA staff medics and volunteers. MDA has not made it clear where the sticker should be affixed – as an exterior bumper sticker or inside the vehicle.
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