Never Leave A Child Alone In A Car
With hot summer weather getting closer every day, police and child safety experts are pleading with parents to never EVER leave their children alone in a car. This appeal brings back terrible and painful memories in Lufkin, where a three month old baby girl died last summer in a car parked outside her father's place of work. Her father forgot his infant daughter was in the car.
Even though it's against Texas law to leave a child unattended in a vehicle for more than five minutes, Texas leads the nation in this tragic category.
Last year there were 13 child hyperthermia fatalities in Texas. From 1998 - 2010, there were 71 fatalities in Texas, more than any other state, and the nation's first child hyperthermia death of 2011 has already occurred. It was in Texas.
Most of the the time, these tragedies happen because people are so distracted in their daily habits and routines they forget the baby is in the back seat.
Police say there are things parents can do to keep this from happening. They suggest putting something that belongs to the child in the front seat next to the driver, or on the dash board, to remind him or her of the child when they get where they're going.
Another idea is to put something the parent will need at their next stop in the back seat with the child, such as a cell phone, PDA, purse, briefcase, gym bag, etc. This will force the adult to reach into the back seat for the item and see the child.
Police say people who see an unattended child in a car should dial 911 immediately. EMS professionals are trained to determine if a child is in trouble.
Beyond the deaths, there are many more "near misses" that don't result in a child death. Pop-a-Lock reports they respond to 250,000 calls for children trapped in vehicles every year.