In observance of today as National Heatstroke Awareness Day, the National Safety Council is calling on parents and caregivers to look before they lock, and on all states to implement laws to address children being left in cars. Twenty-nine children have perished this year after being left or trapped in hot cars, and 30 states lack legislation to combat the issue, according to the National Safety Council State of Safety report. The report deemed just two states "On Track" when it comes to child passenger safety, in part because so few have any laws to tackle vehicular heatstroke deaths. We can, and must, do better.
Actions are being taken at the federal level. A pending House bill would require vehicles to have backseat devices to notify drivers when a child is still in the car. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate. But states should not wait to take action. Twenty-nine deaths – including two in as many days in Phoenix last weekend – should prompt lightning-fast response.
We carry our most precious cargo – our children – in the backseat. Let's make sure they are safe not only when the vehicle is moving but also after it is parked and locked.