WTVM Editorial 07/05/22: Ways to Monitor the Backseat

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 3:57 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Eight children died after being left in hot cars this summer…two of them in Georgia, the latest one in Columbus.

Our oppressive heat over the last three weeks made transporting children and pets in the car more dangerous than ever.

I’ve written other editorials before about leaving children in hot cars. Unfortunately, It’s time to address this tragic subject again.

This is Kendrick Engram Jr., the sweet little three-year-old found dead in the back of an SUV on Wynnton Road on June 26.

His grandmother never noticed that Kendrick didn’t get out of the car that day… Hours later, his uncle found him, but by then it was too late to save Kendrick.

That’s why the non-profit group Kids and Car Safety advocates for the latest reminder technology to be installed in all vehicles, such as alarms that sound when a back seat occupant remains in a vehicle at the end of a trip.

There are baby seats with reminder technology, and carmakers are working on highly sensitive in-car radar that might eliminate child heatstroke deaths.

For now, experts recommend keeping an extra toy in the baby’s car seat.

So when you buckle him in, put one in the front seat or in your purse, to remind you not to leave the baby behind.

Another smart idea is creating a daily calendar reminder or alarm on your phone to always check the car.

Experts stress that it’s not thoughtlessness that leads to child deaths in hot cars.

Instead, almost every child death involves a loving parent or grandparent who simply never thought it could happen to them.

And if you ever even THINK you see a child left in someone else’s empty car, call the police.

If you’re wrong, you’ll be a little embarrassed. But if you’re right, you’ll save a precious life.

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