El Paso

Baby Safety Strap Lanyard device aims to prevent child deaths inside hot cars

Look before you lock

EL PASO, Texas - Look before you lock. That's the phrase the Texas Department of Transportation is using to help parents remember not to leave their children unattended in a hot car.

The Hospitals of Providence along with TxDOT and El Paso County Sheriff's and Fire Department officials spent Wednesday morning informing the public about the dangers of leaving a child inside of a hot car.

"In hot days, the temperature inside the vehicle can climb up three times as fast. We live busy lives. School, work, family functions. But we should always always remember to look," said Carlos Alarcon, EMT Specialist for the Hospitals of Providence.

According to Kids and Cars, Texas ranks no. 1 in the nation in the number of hot car deaths.  This summer alone, three children in Texas recently died after being left in cars.

Monica O'Kane, Traffic Safety specialist with TxDOT, recommends leaving important valuables behind to remind you to look before you lock.

"For example, we can leave our cell phones or we can leave our purses or backpacks or things like that," said O'Kane.

However, TxDOT is hoping that the "Baby Safety Strap Lanyard" can be another tool in helping remind parents about leaving their child in a hot car.

The bright yellow lanyard is designed to snap into any type of carseat. Parents buckle the lanyard to their childs carseat after they remove them from the seat and leave it there until they return to the car.

When they return, parents need to remove the lanyard from the carseat in order to clip their child back in. They can then place the lanyard over their neck and drive to their destination with it.   

If a parent notices that they left their vehicle with the lanyard still around their neck, they will also be reminded that they left some special cargo behind as well.

Leaving a child unattended in a running vehicle could result in citations and you could even be charged with a felony.

If you happen to see a child or pet in a vehicle you are asked to call 9-1-1 immediately.

O'Kane hopes that this effort can help prevent more child deaths from occurring.

"If we can save one child here in El Paso then it was well worth it."


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