First Alert Weather Day: Don't leave kids in hot cars

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It's not even officially summer yet and 15 children have died nationwide after being left in hot cars - one happening right here in Georgia.

With this week of hot temperatures, we're learning more about what you can do to make sure this accident doesn't happen to your family.

Experts say children are more susceptible to heat strokes in these situations because their body heats up three to five times faster than an adult's.

"They are all older now, so if they need to let themselves out they can, but they normally don't leave their kids in cars," said Janille Sloan, Savannah.

Some say it's hard to imagine forgetting your child in the backseat, but local pediatrician, Dr. Ben Spitalnick, says the story almost always looks the same.

"You aren't the usual one who picks up the kid that day. You're out of the usual routine. You stop by the dry cleaners or you do something out of the normal, and when you get to where you get, you forget there's a baby in the back," Dr. Spitalnick said.

With the Georgia Hands-Free law coming up in July, experts say leave your phone in the back with your child's car seat. They say it could remind you to check the backseat before you lock up.

"But now that we have this new phone rule, I've heard leaving your phone next to your kid could help you to remember, 'hey, don't go anywhere without your phone, don't go anywhere without your kid,' Sloan said.

"When you get out of the car, you can't lock it without this in your hand, so you aren't going to forget it. So, if your car will start with the fob in the backseat, put this with your baby in the back. When you get out, you won't forget it," Dr. Spitalnick said.

What if you see a child or even a pet trapped in a locked car? Chatham EMS officials say your first move should be to call 911, but as a father, he says sometimes you have to do whatever you can.

"I think gaining access and whatever that means to the person there," said Bengie Cowart, Chatham Emergency Services. "If I see a child in the backseat that may not be doing well, I'm going to do what I need to do to get access to that child and we'll deal with the circumstances later."

Experts say on a day like Wednesday with temperatures ranging from 90-100 degrees, a car can easily reach 120-130 in minutes.

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