WTVM 6/20/14 Editorial: Children left in hot cars

ATLANTA, GA (WTVM) - It's happened again.

A baby in Atlanta died in the car after his father forgot to drop him off at daycare on a scorching hot day.

After hours at work, he returned to the car and realized his ghastly mistake.

That father is now charged with murder.

The same day in Augusta, a child was left inside an SUV before being rescued.

In a previous editorial, I shared ideas such as placing your purse or cell phone next to the baby so you won't forget your child is in the car. But it is clear parents need a higher sense of urgency now, or more babies will die of heatstroke this summer.

Here is an action plan:

If someone other than the parent who usually drops off a child is doing the drop off, alert the daycare about it, in advance if possible. Ask the daycare to call whoever is dropping off the child to make sure they remember.

Also request that the daycare call the child's emergency contact, or police, within ten minutes if the child does not arrive on time.

Create a calendar reminder in your smart phone - with a special, urgent sound effect. Send the calendar item to family members or a co-worker and ask them to call you when it pops up on their computer, to make sure you dropped off the child.

When you are driving around town, be especially observant of parked cars. If you even think you see a child in an empty car, call 9-1-1. If you're wrong, you might be embarrassed. But if you're right, you'll be a hero.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906

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