Even though it’s winter, don’t leave children in cars

Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 16, 2017

Despite all the warnings advising parents against it, people are still arrested for the offense of child neglect by leaving a child in a vehicle while they go into a store.

Even though we are in the middle of winter in South Mississippi, temperatures can still reach deadly levels inside a vehicle.

Last week a father was arrested for child neglect after he reportedly left his daughter in the vehicle while he went shopping.  A look back at the temperatures that day show the average temperature in Picayune was 70 degrees and it was sunny.

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Since the windows were closed on the vehicle, a sunny day can heat the interior of a vehicle quickly. According to Parenting.com, the temperature inside a vehicle with the windows closed can increase by 35 degrees within 15 minutes when the temperature outside is 75 degrees.

It’s quite possible that without intervention by observant complainants, the child could have become a statistic.

No matter how brief the time frame, a person can be charged with a crime by leaving a child in a vehicle unattended.

Keep in mind, a quick errand can become a much longer endeavor very quickly.

No one can anticipate how long checkout lines will be, or whether a sale on a hot item can distract a person from keeping the visit short.

If it’s not a habit to check the backseat for a sleeping child while running an errand, here are some tips from parenting.com that may remind you. 

Place a cellphone in the back seat when driving a vehicle. Not only will it deter distracted driving, it will also remind you to look in the back seat before exiting the car.

Additionally, you can place the car seat of your child behind the passenger seat, where they will be more visible in the rearview mirror or your peripheral vision.

There are also devices that can remind the driver a child was in the car seat. They range in price from $30 to $70, but are a small price to pay to remind you that your progeny was left behind.