Leaving a child in a hot car can be deadly. That’s why one hospital is trying to spread awareness of the problem by enlisting the help of hundreds of day cares and preschools across the state.
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is sending an outreach worker to the locations to remind people how dangerous it can be to leave a child in a hot car.
Twenty-three children have died in hot cars across the country this year, according to Kevin Borrup, Associate Director of the Injury Prevention Center at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. None of those deaths this year have been in Connecticut, but in the summer of 2014 15-month-old Benjamin Seitz of Ridgefield died after he was left in a car by his father when he went to work.
To prevent the same thing from happening to other children, consultants for Connecticut Children’s are visiting about 300 daycares and preschools across the state – including at Kidco day care center in Newington -- passing out important information for parents.
It’s part of their “Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock” campaign.
“With the heat wave that we’ve recently in the middle of it certainly comes to mind more often and we definitely want to see the number decrease to zero," said Kidco day care director, Maria Bomely.
Tineisha Pino is a consultant visiting the day cares and preschools.
“Maybe before they drop off their children they’ll just kind of see the pamphlet and have the image in the memory and be like wait – is my kid in here?” said Pino.
The pamphlet is a reminder for parents like Doug Haines.
“I don’t think people really understand how hot it actually gets inside the car so any information is great to help inform and save children’s lives pretty much," said Haines.
And inside the pamphlet are suggestions for parents: If you’re strapping a child into a car seat, leave a reminder -- take off one of your shoes, even leave your cellphone in the back so it’ll make you check before you leave the car.