Drivers in Mississippi are being urged to take steps that will help them remember their little ones in the backseat. This year in the state, 2 children have died after being left alone in hot cars. MPB's Evelina Burnett reports.
From 1998 through last year, 14 children in Mississippi died from heat-stroke in vehicles, the sixth highest rate in the nation. That’s why officials like Pass Christian Police Chief Tim Hendricks advise drivers to remember the dangers of the summer heat.
"Within a matter of 10 minutes, a car can go from 70 to 80 degrees cooled off with air conditioning, to over 100 degrees," he says. "So we want to be more cautious, we want to get the word out to people to kind of slow down in their day ... be more cognitive of what's going on around you."
Kate Carr is president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization that works to end preventable childhood injuries, including heatstroke in vehicles. She says, when it’s in the 80s or 90s outside, inside a vehicle, it can be nearly 200 degrees.
Carr recommends using the acronym ACT, to remember how to keep kids safe.
"A is for 'Avoid' - never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute," she says. "C is for 'Create a remiinder' - put something in the backseat, something that will remind you, particularly if you're out of your normal routine. And then T is for 'Take action' - if you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911. First responders would much rather respond to a false alarm than to a fatality."
Carr says leaving something you'll need at your destination in the backseat, like a phone, purse or briefcase, is a good way to create a reminder.