Keeping kids safe in the summer heat - WRBL

Keeping kids safe in the summer heat

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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal wants to remind you that heat, cars and kids don't mix. He and six law enforcement agencies met at the State Capitol today to discuss the issue.

In Georgia 20 children have died of hyperthermia in the past 15 years, nine in Alabama. Safe Kids Columbus training specialist Jacquetta Jackson says the temperature in a car can rise 20 degrees in just ten minutes, and when a child stops sweating, it could be too late.

"The organs are actually starting to shut down when their body overheats," says Jackson, "so that causes heat stroke and that's why you never want to take chances with leaving your in a car, even if the windows are rolled down or cracked. That can be a lethal recipe for a child."

Harry Proctor is a grandfather of three and says, "If it gets hot enough in there, they're going to pass out, so it's very dangerous. I'd never leave a child in a hot car."

"They could overheat, and there's not enough oxygen going through the car especially if you don't have air," says Curtis Lowe, a father who takes his daughter with him everywhere.

Jackson says half of hot car deaths occur when a parent forgets their child in a car. "If you have a chaotic day or changing your routine, just set yourself a reminder," she says. "Put something in the back seat with the child so you know that they're back there and you have to go back there to look."

Another way for kids to get trapped in a hot car is through playing at home. Jackson suggests keeping your car locked with the keys out of sight.

Nationwide about 40 kids die in hot cars every year.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.

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