East Texas child advocates spread word about risks of leaving kids unattended in hot cars

A little girl from the Right Step Day Care (Source: KTRE Staff)
A little girl from the Right Step Day Care (Source: KTRE Staff)
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
A graph on heat-related child deaths (Source: San Francisco State University)
A graph on heat-related child deaths (Source: San Francisco State University)
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A 24-hour social media campaign for National Heat Awareness Day is among the efforts by child advocates to promote safety measures for the summer time.

Lisa King, a day care owner often promotes efforts to the community. The children at Right Step are among the best advocates.

A cool may morning provided the perfect time for youngsters to enjoy the playground. They know summer will be here soon.

"Summer gets really, really hot," said a little girl.

Really, really hot indeed. East Texas summers get so warm that heatstroke becomes a significant threat.

"This is my little grandson Jonathan," said Robert Lane, a grandfather.

Jonathan will be watched closely when it does get hot.

"We make sure we keep our grandson hydrated," Lane said. "We also see that he has protective clothing on."

Kids and cars are the danger most talked about in awareness campaigns. There's a good reason why.

"Last year, in the United States 52% of the child deaths were actually from children left unattended in a vehicle by their caregiver," said Lisa King, a child advocate. The web site, www.ggweather.com notes the statistic reflects 316 children who were 'forgotten' by their caregiver.  "But the other thing that is very concerning is that 29 percent of the deaths last year were from children who were not properly supervised and got into a car and locked themselves in and died." That statistic reflects 175 children playing in an unattended vehicle, according to the web site.

Supervision is the key.

Child caregivers and drivers should follow a strict set of guidelines when transporting children.

"You got to make sure you check every single seat when you are getting to your destination," said Diana Kelley, a child care provider and driver.

Fortunately, the heat awareness campaigns appear to be working. Fewer children are dying in hot vehicles.

"We are absolutely way down," King said.

But even one death due to heatstroke is one too many, so take the advice from these children. They learned it in a matter of minutes.

"Don't let me stay in a hot car," one child said.

Catchy phrases like 'Look before you lock,' and 'Beat the heat, check the back seat' are good words to remember

For more information about the dangers of leaving children unattended in hot cars, visit this link.

Note: In an earlier posted story the campaign, Ray Ray's Pledge was attributed to the recording artist by error. We apology for the error. For more information go to www.rayrayspledge.com    

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