Child advocates ask you to 'look before you leave' your car during summer

Shari Pulliam
Shari Pulliam
Candi Rhodes
Candi Rhodes

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The inside of a parked car can be deadly.

Like last August, when a four-month old was killed when she was left inside a car outside a downtown Lufkin business.

"A lot of times it's a parent that usually doesn't bring a child to daycare in the morning," said Shari Pulliam, a spokeswoman for family and protective services. "They have a sleeping child in the back, a small infant, they just forget about the child."

A moment of distraction is all it takes.

"It's a horrible, horrible tragedy for anybody to think about hours from that time, come to the car, and find their child dead in the vehicle," Pulliam said.

Pulliam explains how leaving a backseat reminder can prevent tragedy from happening.

"Whether that be a computer bag, whether that be a calendar, whether that be a cell phone, anything you have to get out at the next stop," Pulliam said.

And always remember, "look before you leave."

Officials with the Department of Family and Protective Services encourage folks to glance inside cars anytime they're in a parking lot. Don't think of it as being nosy, you could save the life of a little one.

"I see it all the time," said Candi Rhodes, owner of Humpty Dumpty Daycare. "They run in with one or they run in with something and they have the other child in the car."

Rhodes tells parents to bring their kids inside, even if they're only planning to be a second.

On field trips, she continually counts heads with other staff.

"When we get out she checks her role, I check mine," Rhodes said. "She has her list and I have mine. I never depend on her and she doesn't depend on me."

Rhodes looks under every seat once kids are out of the van.

"Then, I do a walk-through on the van," she said. "When I park the van to make sure there's nobody that fell asleep."

It just takes a moment to "look before you leave" but it could save your child's life.

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