HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - As temperatures rise heading into the summer months, it’s important to protect your children from overheating in vehicles.
Forrest County Sheriff Charlie Sims said 54% of overheating incidents are because parents forget their kids in the car.
“Sometimes people get on auto pilot and they start thinking about their day and everything else and they forget about the child,” Sims said.
There are things you can do to avoid making a tragic mistake.
“Make sure you have their toy or something where you have to look at it when you get out of the car, that will be a reminder,” Sims said.
Dr. Marla Chapman says that children overheat three to five times faster than adults.
“Try to have the same routine. When you get home check the back seat,” Chapman said.
“Try to stay off of your cell phone as soon as you get home so you’re not distracted,” she added.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says you should never intentionally leave a child alone in a car, even with the windows rolled up or the air conditioning on.
If you do find your child unresponsive in a heated car, call 911.
If they’re responsive but may be overheating, here’s what you need to do.
“I would immediately get them some water, put them in a cool environment and take them to your pediatrician just to get them a check over, make sure they’re not dehydrated or any concerns there,” Chapman said.
As a bystander, if you see a kid in the car alone, Sims said to call law enforcement.
“If that child is unresponsive, sweating profusely, I would encourage them to do whatever they can to get inside that car and save that life,” Sims said.
Sometimes children take their parents keys and get into the car on their own. To avoid that, parents should make sure the car is locked and the keys are out of reach of the child.