COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)— Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson joined Safe Kids Columbus and Kiwanis Club of Columbus to remind parents and drivers to stay vigilant when transporting little passengers.

Across the nation, 14 children have died of a heatstroke after being left in an unattended vehicle in 2022. Three of those deaths happened in the state of Georgia, and one here in Columbus just under two months ago.

Pam Fair, Director of Safe Kids Columbus partnered with the Kiwanis Club of Columbus to host a news conference, reminding parents and caregivers to check for children before leaving a vehicle.

Mayor Henderson spoke on the importance of always checking your back seat.

“I would urge everyone to try to develop that as a habit. When you park, before you get out of your car, try to step out, turn and look at your backseat. Even if nothing’s back there but an umbrella, it’s gonna take creating those habits to make sure the youngest people in our community, those most vulnerable are protected,” he said.

Fair says the most dangerous scenarios are from people who don’t have the regular routine of picking up children.

“We are just asking parents, and caregivers, and car riders, and car poolers as school is starting back, August in Columbus, in the Chattahoochee Valley, our Fountain City is very hot in August. It’s just like it would be in the summer, and that carries on into the fall. So we just want to ask you to do your diligence and remember to not leave your child in a hot car, not even for one second,” she says warning of the dangers that may loom in the back-to-school season.

During the conference, Fair demonstrated the temperature difference in and outside of a car.

In a room or setting where it is 72 degrees Fahrenheit, an unattended car is 97 degrees Fahrenheit.

She urges drivers with little passengers to think of the following acronym; A.C.T., avoid heat stroke, create reminders, and take action.

Avoid a heatstroke by never leaving a child alone in a car. Create reminders by setting an item like a phone, shoe, or purse in the backseat beside your child. Take action, if you see a child alone in a car be sure to call 911 and report the sighting.

Previous Coverage

June 26, 2022: Child left in car, death investigation underway

June 27, 2022: New details emerge in heat-related death of Columbus toddler found in hot car

June 28, 2022: Safe Kids Columbus on car safety tips following 3-year-old hot-car death

July 3, 2022: Loved ones gather following tragic death of 3-year-old

July 10, 2022: Columbus 3-year-old laid to rest following heat-related death