LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It doesn’t take much for a car to heat up in the Louisiana sun, which is why Louisiana State Police is advising parents to take caution in the summer months.
“A vehicle can reach 120 degrees quite quickly and it can get a lot hotter than that. We know that heatstroke begins at 104 degrees and can be lethal at 107 degrees,” said Sgt. James Anderson. “Children heat up a lot quicker than adults, it doesn’t take much to cause damage.”
Last year alone, there were 52 deaths across the United States due to children being left unattended in cars.
“Maybe a parent left the child in the vehicle, maybe that child found a way to get in the vehicle, close the door and wasn’t able to get out, but this is preventable,” Anderson said. “This is something we can easily prevent.”
He explained, there are some easy ways to remember.
“The easiest I’ve found is before you press that lock button on the remote, look with your eyes at the car seat or seats and ensure there are no children left in the vehicle,” Anderson said. “People are creatures of habit. You may forget that you have a child that day, but if you get in another habit, the habit of checking before you lock you can ensure your child is safe each and every time.”
According to Louisiana State law, leaving a child unattended in a vehicle could result in fines or jail time, but Sgt. Anderson said, even more importantly, it can lead to tragedy.
“So take the extra time, bring your child out, ensure your child is safe,” Anderson said. " It could save his or her life.”