School is out, summer is here, and the weather is hot. So Attorney General Jeff Landry is encouraging Louisiana parents and guardians to practice safety when it comes to children and hot vehicles, especially amid the tragic news of a 2-year-old boy dying after being left inside hot car in Iberia Parish.
“There have been over 700 hot car deaths in the last 20 years; and unfortunately, a Louisiana family recently lost a child in this heartbreaking manner,” said Attorney General Landry. “Louisiana is one of the top states in the Nation to suffer hot car deaths so, as we lift up in prayer our mourning New Iberia neighbors, let us also take the steps necessary to help prevent these fatalities in the future.”
According to Kids and Car Safety, 56% of hot car deaths are the result of children being unknowingly left in vehicles and about 26% get in on their own and become trapped. To help reduce the chances of this happening, Attorney General Landry offers caregivers of children the following tips:
- Make a routine to open the back door every time you park.
- Leave something in the backseat that you need – such as a shoe, a wallet, or a phone; when you go to retrieve it at the end of the ride, you will notice the child.
- Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat when it is empty; when you put the child in the car seat, move the animal to the front passenger seat as a reminder.
- Get the child out of the vehicle before worrying about groceries or other items – even if the child is sleeping or content.
- If someone else (including a spouse) is dropping your child off at daycare or school, insist he or she contact you once the child is delivered safely.
- Be extra careful during busy times, changes in schedule, periods of crisis, and holidays.
- Keep your vehicle locked and your keys securely out of a child's reach.
- Teach your child to honk the horn or turn on the hazard lights if stuck in a vehicle.
- Be on alert for vehicles that might have an unattended child left inside. If you see a child alone in a vehicle, immediately call 911 and help make sure the child gets out as soon as possible.