Tredyffrin Township, Pa. (WTXF) - A Tredyffrin Township police officer is doing all he can to prevent tragedy. He knows we're busy people and we forget things, but he wants to make sure no parent ever loses a child after leaving him or her in a hot car.
“My wife and I just welcomed my son Tyler into the world about two months ago last week,” said Tredyffrin Township Police Officer Michael Cermignano. Sometimes changes in our lives can help us better understand others. That’s what happened when Officer Cermignano had his first child.
“I always used to see stories on the news about children left unattended in cars and ultimately passing away because of the heat or being forgotten. It always devastated me but I think it starts to hit a little bit closer to home when you have a child of your own,” he said. So he decided he wanted to do something about it.
“There’s been over 600 deaths since 1998 with children being left unattended or forgotten.” He says 21 across the country so far, according to Kids.org. He wants the message to stick—literally.
“We have a thousand of them that we’ve been able to start handing out,” said the officer. A local print shop helped him bring to life this sticker he designed as a reminder to check the backseat before you leave. I know what some of you might be thinking. So I asked. Who does this?
“Well we live in a world today where distractions are all around us particularly behind the wheel. Cellphones, radios and things like that. A lot of new parents and everyone’s going to work or rushing to work,” he responded. We asked to go along with him handing out the stickers.
“Sure, I don’t mind at all,” said Amanda D’Ascanio at a park with her children when offered the stickers. Sarah Mariano was there with 1-year-old Emma who she’s babysitting. When she heard about people forgetting their children in cars she said, “I just think it’s kind of common sense. If you’re traveling with a child, you shouldn’t forget them in the back of the car but I guess it does happen.” And that's the thinking Officer Cermignano hopes to change.
"They really shouldn’t be necessary but anything that can bring awareness to a problem is a good idea,” he said.
NUPrint Solutions printed and donated the stickers to the township for free. They're available to anyone. You can get them from the police station and fire stations in the township of Tredyffrin.