"Look Before You Lock" campaign aims to reduce children killed in hot cars
Written by Shelley Russell, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
WATERLOO (KWWL) -
In the U.S. more than 600 children have died after being left in a hot car during the past 20 years, according to statistics released from Kids and Cars, a national child safety organization.
"The number one message we need to get to everyone is the fact that if you don't think this can happen to you, you need to think again," said President and Founder of Kids and Cars Janette Fennell.
Statistics show the inside of a vehicle can increase rapidly by 15-20 degrees in a matter of just a few minutes.
Kids and Cars reports six children have died in the state of Iowa from being left inside a hot car, the most recent happening in Storm Lake in 2007.
"This is one of those things that's 100 percent preventable," said Waterloo Police Sergeant Greg Fangman.
"The parent just needs to take a moment to get the kid out of the car seat, or unbuckle them, and go inside or wherever they're going. So there's no reason a child should ever be injured or harmed from being left in a hot car," he said.
Meanwhile, KidsandCars.org has launched a nation-wide "Look Before You Lock" campaign, encouraging adults to implement extra steps in their routines to make sure they don't leave a child unattended in their vehicle.
The organization recommends putting something in the back seat of your vehicle that forces you to check the back seat after you park like a cell phone or employee badge.
It also recommends placing a stuffed animal in a child's car seat at all times, and moving the stuffed animal to the front seat when the child is in the vehicle to serve as a reminder.
The organization encourages all parents and guardians to have a policy with their childcare provider to check in if a child has not arrived on time.
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