By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Preventable tragedies
Make sure kids are not left in not cars
Placeholder Image

As the heat continues, it was, sadly, a matter of time. A 10-month-old baby girl died Thursday after being left in a vehicle in Wichita. She was 10th child that has died in a hot car in the state of Kansas since the year 2000.
These tragedies can happen in a very short amount of time, and temperatures doesn’t even have to be in the triple digits.
“Even a few minutes in a hot car is too long for a little one,” said Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore. “Children should never be left alone in a vehicle, especially when we’re seeing triple-digit temperatures.”
“The worst thing any parent or caregiver can do is think that this could never happen to them or that they are not capable of inadvertently leaving their child behind,” says Janette Fennell, founder and president of, the leading national nonprofit child safety organization working to prevent injuries and deaths of children in and around vehicles.
Since the group began tracking data, at least 719 children have died from heatstroke inside vehicles. Last year was one of the worst years in history with a total of 44 children deaths. Fennell’s organization offers the following tips:
• Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
• 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.
• Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., on the floor board in the back seat.
• Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat. When the child is placed in the car 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 childcare provider that if your child does not show up as scheduled, they will contact you immediately to ensure your child is safe.  In turn, you will agree to always call the childcare provider if your child will not be there on a particular day as scheduled.
• Ensure children do not have access to an unattended vehicle.  Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in driveways or garages. Ask home visitors, child care providers and neighbors to do the same.
• Keep car keys and remote openers out of reach of children.
• If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked, a child may lock the doors after entering a vehicle on their own.
• Make sure all child passengers have left the vehicle after it is parked.
• 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.
This can and does happen to the most loving, responsible and attentive parents. Just be vigilante.
These tragedies are preventable.
Dale Hogg