New statewide campaign goal to keep kids from dying in hot cars - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

New statewide campaign goal to keep kids from dying in hot cars

ATLANTA (CBS46) -

The death of a 22-month-old toddler left inside a car Wednesday comes just weeks after a new statewide campaign to prevent this exact thing from happening.

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning oversees more than 6,000 childcare centers across the state. It started its "Look Again" campaign last month to get daycare workers and parents in the habit of checking vehicles twice before walking away.

"This is something that's been a priority for our department," DECAL spokesman Reg Griffin said. "This is something we take very seriously. We stress transportation safety with all of our providers. But what we began to realize was this is not a problem limited to childcare. In fact, most of the incidents that occur actually occur while the child is in the care of a parent or an extended family member."

Griffin and other experts agree, one of the biggest mistakes parents or child caregivers make is thinking leaving a child behind in a closed car could never happen to them. It creates a false sense of security.

"If we kind of back up and look at the busyness of our lives and the distractions that we have, whether it's text messages, deadlines at work, just our minds being in 50 different places, it can very easily happen," Griffin explained to CBS46 reporter Donna Rapado.

A child's body temperature rises up to five times faster than an adult's and it takes just minutes for a child to die from heatstroke if left in a closed car.

Griffin said eight children have died in a hot vehicle in Georgia since 2010. And, several more have been close calls - 21 of them in 2012, down to 17 in 2013 and back up again to 18 in 2014.

Griffin pointed out creating a routine is best. Habits are great ways to set your reminders.

He suggested this trick to help you remember a child's in the back seat: Put something in the back seat that you must have when you leave the car, like your purse or jacket. You can always put a stuffed animal in the child seat when your child's not in it. And when they are, put the stuffed animal up front with you where you can see it, serving as a reminder.

Watch the entire "Look Again" campaign video here.

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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