The Dallas / Fort Worth area got a very brief break last Thursday from our string of 100-degree plus days. After 40 consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures, we reached “only” 97 that day. Of course we immediately went back to triple-digits on Friday. We missed breaking the 1980 record of 42 consecutive 100-degree days, but we might still break that summer’s total of 69 days of 100 degrees or higher.
This is a good time to remind people of safety tips regarding kids in cars during summer weather. The Web site KidsandCars.org has a good list. Here are excerpts:
- Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
- Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., on the floorboard in the back seat.
- Get in the habit of always opening the back door of your vehicle every time you reach your destination to make sure no child has been left behind. This will soon become a habit. We call this the “Look Before You Lock” campaign.
- Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat when it’s not occupied. When the child is placed in the seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that anytime the stuffed animal is up front you know the child is in the back seat in a child safety seat.
- Make arrangements with your child’s day care center or babysitter that you will always call if your child will not be there on a particular day as scheduled. (This is common courtesy and sets a good example that everyone who is involved in the care of your child is informed of their whereabouts on a daily basis. Ask them to phone you if your child doesn’t show up when expected. Many children’s lives could have been saved with a telephone call from a concerned child care provider. Give child care providers all your telephone numbers, including that of an extra family member or friend, so they can always confirm the whereabouts of your child.)
- Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway and always set your parking brake.
- Keys and/or remote openers should never be left within reach of children.
- Make sure all child passengers have left the vehicle after it is parked.
- When a child is missing, check vehicles and car trunks immediately.
- If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. If they are hot or seem sick, get them out as quickly as possible. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
- Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays.
- Use drive-thru services when available. (restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.)
- Use your debit or credit card to pay for gas at the pump.