WTVM Editorial 06/25/18: Dangerous season for kids

(WTVM) - It's that time of year again---summer. We just had the longest day of the year on June 21.

In Georgia and Alabama, that means days, weeks, and months of sustained hot temperatures.

It is also a dangerous season for kids.

It's time for us to once again, urge every parent or child caregiver to always remember children in car seats, so those children don't become another grim statistic.

Just last week, a seven-month-old baby died after being in a hot car in South Georgia.

The official cause of death is vehicular heatstroke. It happens quickly. From 1998 to 2014, 22 children in Georgia lost their lives due to being left inside a hit vehicle.

Doctors say the body simply dries up as an effect of heatstroke, a terrible way to die.

But children don't have to be forgotten to still be in danger. Some people think they can leave children in a car in summer heat for "just a few minutes". That's what one Georgia grandmother recently told police when they found her two grandchildren in a hot car.

But of course, it wasn't just "a few minutes,"  it was nearly an hour, and by the grace of God they survived.

If you see a child in a hot car, for even just a few minutes, you can and should take action. Try to open the car. Call police. If the car can't be opened, Georgia's Good Samaritan Law allows anyone to break into the car without consequences if the Samaritan believes a life is in danger.

We never want to cover another story involving a child left in a hot car. We hope by talking about it, we can help just one parent remember to check the back seat when they arrive at their destination. Let's aim for no more child deaths in hot cars by being vigilant, using common sense and having the personal responsibility to never leave a child behind.

It's another very tragic lesson about why guns and mental illness are a deadly combination.

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 hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

Copyright 2018 WTVM. All rights reserved.