Leaving a child unattended in the back seat of a car could be fatal.
In 2015, Louisiana was ranked #8 for most child deaths caused by vehicular heat stroke.
“In Louisiana there is a law in the books, any child under the age six can’t be left unattended in a car,” says Ouachita Parish Sheriff Public Information Officer, Glenn Springfield.
In over 55% of these cases, the person responsible for the child’s death unknowingly left them in the vehicle.
“Some family member that doesn’t normally take a child to day care inadvertently goes to work or just maybe gets their mind preoccupied goes into a grocery store or something and since they aren’t used to a child being in the car, will leave the car locked up with the child inside and the windows up,” says Springfield.
According to kidsandcars.org, here are some tips to avoid this dangerous situation.
First, put an object like a purse, brief case, or backpack in the back seat something you’ll need every time you park.
Also, keep a large stuffed animal or baby doll in the passenger seat its a visual reminder that a child is in the backseat.
“Anything can happen to distract you, and you need to set something, a pattern that will make you remember that child in the back seat,” says Springfield.
Springfield says, those who make the mistake of leaving their child unattended will be held accountable with charges as serious as negligent homicide.
But the guilt, he says, is the worst consequence.
“The devastation and loss that they have to feel for the rest of their life when in just a few minutes or seconds of making the right choice and taking their child out of the car, the whole thing would be prevented,” says Springfield.