U.S. Department of Transportation announces launch of $3 million safety campaign to combat hot car deaths

Local News

MONROE, La (07/06/20) — In 2019, 52 child deaths were from heatstroke of being left in a car.
and in 2020, six children have died so far. The U.S. Department of Transportation is releasing the safety campaign to bring awareness and prevent child deaths in a car.

“It is never okay to leave a child alone in a car even only for a few moments. That’s because rolling down a window is not enough to cool a vehicle,” said Elaine Chao, U.S. Transportation Secretary.

Officials say car temperature rises 20 degrees every 10 minutes. This makes the back seat of a car for a child left inside, extremely hot.

While it seems easy to not forget your child in the back seat, officials say it happens way too often and it’s important to practice safety measures before you lock your door.

“Place your purse, your bookbag, place things in the backseat that you’re going to have to go get before you leave that vehicle. Remember, anytime you leave the vehicle, always check your backseat,” said Nick Sosso, Quality Improvement Coordinator for Acadian Ambulance.

With COVID-19 impacting families, Sosso says it may seem fine to leave your child in the car to limit their potential exposure. He has a solution to avoiding virus exposure and the temptation of leaving your kid in a car.

“Much more important to look for restuarants and other places that you shop that do curbside pickup so you can stay with your child, stay in the car,” said Sosso.

The campaign will launch radio ads across the country and the digital campaign will target the 18 states with the highest incidences of child heatstroke fatalities; Louisiana is included in that list.

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