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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Most parents believe leaving their child locked in a hot car could never happen to them… until it does. It happened to Eric Stuyvesant. “To this day I can’t fathom how I would’ve left him in that car,” he said. It was a call his wife Michelle said she’ll never forget. “I could hear Eric screaming in the background and he kept yelling, ‘I forgot him, I forgot him’.” On that day in June 2015, there was a change to the family’s routine. “Eric took me to work which he didn’t normally,” Michelle said. “We switched it up that day. He said i’ll take Michael after I take you.”
But their son Michael never made it to the babysitter. Eric went home to get ready for work and then it hit him. “I can’t explain how you feel when you have the recognition or the recollection that you forgot your child,” Eric said. General Motors, Nissan and Kia have now incorporated rear occupant alert systems in certain new models. Kia uses sensors to detect movement in the second or third rows once car doors have been locked, setting off an audible alert if someone is in the backseat. It can also be set up to communicate with an app. The nonprofit Kids And Cars is working with U.S. lawmakers to make such technology mandatory. The HOT CARS Act would require all new cars to be equipped with an audible alert system. After seven weeks in the hospital, Michael, who is now 7, is about to start the first grade in the fall. The family is treasuring every minute and sharing their story in hopes their close call isn’t someone else’s tragedy.