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Look before you lock the car door, advocates say

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Look before you lock the car door, advocates say
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Jim Pollard holds safety reminders not to leave a child in the car
MPB News

The number of children dying after being left in hot cars is steadily increasing in the U.S., according to national statistics. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

Temperatures are on the rise and so are the number of children dying in hot cars, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. Forty-two children died last year, almost doubled from 2015. The majority of those deaths were children left in cars unintentionally.

Jim Pollard with American Medical Response says the annual average of children in Mississippi dying in hot cars is less than five. But, he says it happens.

"Leaving the air conditioning on, rolling down the window, parking in the shade that's not really going to help. In a typical vehicle the temperature can increase by ten degrees in twenty minutes easily," said Pollard.

Pollard says almost seventy-five percent of children dying in hot cars are three years old or younger.

"With children, they absorb more heat and absorb it faster than adults. The body reaches a point where it has sweated out its reserves and then various bodily systems begin to break down," said Pollard.

Erica Cousin is with Safe Kids Mississippi. She says creating reminders will help you remember to check the backseat.

"Maybe you can place your phone, your bag in the backseat so that when you make it to your destination you have to go in the backseat and get that out. Also, a bear or a stuffed animal just something easy to move, but it keeps that caregiver checking the backseat," said Cousin.

Cousin says if you find children left in a car unattended in public, call 911. More tips on how to keep your children safe are online at www.safekids.org.

Ashley Norwood, MPB News.