If you follow our news, you know that the news continues to offer us worrying news about children forgotten in the car, often with tragic consequences.
In this case, fortunately, there is a happy outcome… but the episode is surreal, to say the least. We are talking about a 6-year-old boy forgotten on the school bus that was taking him home.
The facts. On Friday 18th September, near Treviso (Italy), the little boy was on board the bus that serves some schools between the provinces of Venice and Treviso. He was coming back after school together with many other students, but during the journey, he fell asleep.
On the bus, in addition to the driver, there was an operator who followed the children during the journey. When the vehicle finished its journey and arrived at the depot, neither of them realised that the passenger was on board.
A bad awakening for the little student who found himself alone on board the closed vehicle and parked in the depot. Fortunately, courage and initiative were not lacking: including the situation, he grabbed the safety gavel, broke through the glass and got out with only a few minor scratches. Then he was immediately noticed by passers-by who warned his parents and made him safe.
All’s well that ends well? Of course, it is, but even this episode could be due to the phenomenon of dissociative amnesia we have often talked about. A blackout of the mind that convinces itself that it has performed an action (often routine, repeated every day for years) even if it is not so. An action like checking that all the children have got off the bus and arrived at their destination, for example.
Is it time to imagine an extension of anti-abandonment systems such as Tippy Pads to buses and other means of collective transport? Surely you can never be too strict when it comes to child safety, so why not?