New "Look Before You Lock" Campaign

Bay County- The Department of Children and Families is launching a new campaign geared to helping parents keep their kids safe.

It's called "Look Before You Lock" designed to prevent adults from locking children inside of hot vehicles.

Although there haven't been a lot of cases this year, stat officials say it happens in out area quite a bit.

People leaving a child unattended in a vehicle, exposing them to extreme temperatures, with dangerous, and sometimes death consequences.

EMS Captain Joel Welch says, "At 90 degrees which is very common, the inside temperature - windows all closed up and all - in 15 minutes, can get up to 150 degrees."

Sometimes a lock-in is unintentional.

And that's where DCF is stepping in to lend a helping hand with a new campaign, "Look Before You Lock".

Panama City Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman says, "It's not complete strangers, it's usually the parent, 'Hey I got out, hit my door locked and my keys are inside of it.'"

The campaign suggests several tips for parents to ensure they don't forget their kid in the backseat, including the following:

Never leave children alone near cars, not even for a minute.

Keep a large stuffed animal in the child's car seat when it's not occupied.

When you do place your child in the seat, keep the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat as a visual reminder.

Keep keys and remote openers away from children.

And when a child is missing, check the vehicle and car trunk immediately.

Good tips but is it enough to curb the number of kids left locked cars?

Welch says, "Certainly this is a good place to start, getting it out there, see where it goes from there. I don't know whether it needs more legislature or not."

More than 600 US children have died in hot cars over the past 20 years.

If you leave your child in a locked vehicle, and they're injured or killed, you can face felony charges.


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