Thea Digiammerino

‘Look Before You Lock' Event Warns Parents of Hot Car Dangers

“Look before you lock!”

That’s the potentially life-saving message to parents who have kids in their car. It’s especially important with more warm days in the forecast.

Experts say those with kids in the car can do something simple to remember the backseat passenger before you get out.

Whether it’s leaving a picture of your kid on the passenger seat or even taking off one of your shoes and leaving it in the back where a car seat would be, it could prevent a tragedy.

“Honestly this is the best thing that can happen for new mothers,” said Denisha Allen, who attended a clinic at St. Francis Medical Center Tuesday.

Allen is all about protecting her little girl with those twinkling eyes and infectious smile. And she’s all too aware of the dangers of driving with kids.

St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center teamed up with the Hartford Fire Department to educate parents at a car safety clinic.

“We know that people’s routines change and children have been forgotten. We know tragedies happen nationally,” explained Marisol Feliciano, the Violence & Injury Prevention Program Coordinator at St. Francis Hospital Medical Center.

One of the big lessons was about heatstroke, with 29 kids passing away so far this year across the country in hot cars. Earlier this month in West Haven, police say a 4-year-old boy got into a hot car and later died.

While a national study found about 30 percent of cases involve kids who enter a car themselves, about half were simply forgotten. And those could have easily been prevented.

“Something you can do easily is set some reminders, set a routine with your daycare provider,” Feliciano said.

Or in Allen’s case a new sticker is a sign of her precious cargo.

“A reminder, hey, please, you wouldn’t want to leave yourself in the car, please don’t leave your child in the car,” Allen said.

Experts say cars can heat up quickly even on a day that’s not incredibly hot, and kids can overheat up to five times faster than adults.

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