NHTSA launches awareness program of leaving children in hot vehicles

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

WASHINGTON — After more than a dozen deaths this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation has a message that parents need to hear.

The agency and the nation’s network of head-stars have teamed up for “Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock,” a new campaign aimed at highlighting the deadly dangers of leaving kids in hot cars.

It’s a practice that within a month killed a 2-year-old girl in El Paso, Texas and a 22-month-old in Atlanta, and almost took the life of two young kids in Colorado when a father left his 2- and 4-year-old children locked in his car on South Balsalm Street with the windows up and the engine off.

The kids were lethargic but not hurt. The father is facing child neglect charges.

Because it only takes a few minutes for children to overheat, especially as summer temperatures keep climbing, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has a simple tip.

“We encourage you to put something in the backseat to remind yourself that you have a child in the back,” Foxx said. “It could be a purse, it could be a phone, a stuffed — anything that will work for you.”

The hope is parents will do whatever it takes to keep your precious cargo out of harm’s way.

For more information, visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.