OUR VIEW: It’s hot: Don’t leave kids, pets in car

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, June 29, 2022

It happens every year. Somewhere in the United States, someone forgets to take their small child out of the back seat of a vehicle on a hot day. This happened on Sunday to three-year-old Kendrick Engram Jr. in nearby Columbus, Georgia, who died from the heat.

The National Safety Council states that on average, “38 children under the age of 15 die each year from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle.” They state that there were 23 children died from being in hot cars in 2021.

Anyone who’s spent a summer in Chambers County knows that it gets pretty hot here. Anyone who’s gotten into a car on a hot day knows that heat can get trapped inside a vehicle.

A study published in 2018 in a journal called Temperature found that within an hour of being parked in the sun on a day that reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter, the inside of a car reached an average temperature of 116 degrees Fahrenheit.

Anyone could potentially forget to take their child out of the back seat if they’re being quiet. Parenting website Oh My Parenting shared clever tips on how to avoid making this mistake. For example, you can put your handbag, briefcase or cell phone in the back seat next to your baby. Better yet, you can do this with your left shoe. Another thing you can do is a stuffed animal swap — when your baby is in the back seat, have a stuffed animal sit in the passenger seat. When you get your baby out of the car, put the stuffed animal in their car seat.

Whatever you do, don’t leave your child (or dog, for that matter) in a vehicle in the heat for even a short while. It just isn’t safe.