Perspective: A WIS Editorial - Heat Safety

How tragic that we have already had one child die of heat stroke when left unattended in a stifling hot car. With temperatures soaring into the 90's and above, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise and become 50 degrees hotter within just two hours. The best advice is to be acutely aware of minding children in your vehicle during these summer months. Don't leave them unattended for even a moment, and make sure they don't play around your car and inadvertently close themselves inside.

Here are three things you can do to avoid this deadly accident:

1. Starting today, put a teddy bear or stuffed animal in your child's car seat. When your child is in the car seat, move the stuffed animal to the front seat as a visual reminder of your child.

2. Keep your lunch bag, employee badge, or purse in the back seat. That way, you'll always reach in your back seat or open your back door when you arrive to your destination.

3. Have an ironclad policy with your daycare provider that if your child does not show up, that person will call a list of contacts to confirm his or her whereabouts. In many cases, if the daycare provider would have called, tragedy could have been averted.

And don't forget your pets. They too cannot survive in a hot, closed car…even if the windows are left cracked. Did you know that you can be fined up to $300 in the city of Columbia for leaving your dog in a hot car?

So please be aware, and take precautions to prevent any senseless deaths this summer due to leaving children and pets unattended in closed cars.