Don't leave kids in hot cars this summer

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is advising parents to 'Look Before You Lock'.

"A lot of times we think it's going to take a few minutes to run in here and get this done but inevitably it takes a little bit longer or if something happens to us what happens to the child?" said Jonesboro Fire Department Division Chief Eric Simmons.

During the 18 years Simmons has worked as a firefighter, he said every summer a firefighter has to break a child out of a car.

"If we get there and we see that the child is under some distress we're going to break the window to get them out," he said. "Every single year we'll have to go out and we'll have to do that if somebody is stuck in there or if it's too hot in there."

When outside temperatures are in the low 80's, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes, even with a window rolled down two inches, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"The car heats up really quick. Even if you leave it running a lot of times the air conditioner doesn't work as well as if you're out driving around."

The NHTSA offers these tips for parents:

  • Make a habit of looking in the vehicle before locking the door and walking away
  • Ask the childcare provider to call if the child doesn't show up for care as expected
  • Do things that serve as a reminder, such as placing a purse or briefcase in the back seat or writing a note
  • Teach children that a vehicle is not a play area and store keys out of a child's reach

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