Officials are reminding parents to look before they lock to avoid leaving a child locked in the car. (Source: WALB)
Leaving a purse or cell phone in the back seat can serve as a reminder to check the backseat. (Source: WALB)
Janis Pelham (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
As temperatures across south Georgia rise, health officials are reminding parents of the dangers of leaving children unattended in cars.
In just a few minutes, the temperature inside of a vehicle on a hot day can easily reach triple digits.
For grandmother Janis Pelham, leaving her grandchildren Taylor and Ariel inside of the car is unthinkable.
"I just can't fathom the idea of someone leaving their child in the car," Pelham said.
But it's a tragedy the numbers show happens quite often. According to kidsandcars.org, 29 children in Georgia have died after being left in a hot car since 1995. That makes the state number 5 in the nation for child hot car deaths.
Nationwide, the organization estimates 38 children on average die every year in hot cars.
"We all lead busy lives, so it's important with all the things we have to do, to remember the most important things in our lives and that's our children," said District Deputy Health Director Brenda Greene.
Health officials recommend leaving your briefcase, purse, or even a shoe in the backseat can serve as a reminder that will prevent another heatstroke tragedy.
"So anything that you can do to remind yourself that you have precious cargo in the car with you that you need to get out is important to do," Greene said.
For Pelham, that's advice she takes to heart.
"Just always check, always check. Or even put a sticky tab up there on the window that says check the kids," she said.