GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It's stories through the eyes of Officer A.D. Reed that help reinforce a very important lesson as temperatures start to climb over the next couple of months.
“We had several years ago a woman. Her grandchild had got out of the car seat. She had left the car running. She ran into a store really quick. She came out, the kid had left the car locked. The air was not running,” Reed said. “He wasn't in any danger where he was going into hypothermia or anything else like that but he was starting to get hot.”
Reed says as a parent he understands what goes through the mind of parents in situations where children are left in hot cars.
“I have three kids myself. So, having my kids growing up it's one of those things that you're constantly going five different ways and you think you did something but you didn't do it. You may get sidetracked. You may forget about something. So, it's just a simple double check. That's all it is,” Reed said.
He says while you may think it's common sense if you have a small child in the backseat, doing a thorough check of your car when you get out can prevent them from getting trapped in an extremely hot car.
“It's stressful for the parents, but it's also stressful for the first responders who get there and have to deal with it,” he said.
The Kids and Cars website has North Carolina ranked as sixth in the nation in child hot car deaths.
A total of 34 children have died since 1991.
The site states that so far, this year alone there have been 12 child vehicular heatstroke deaths in the U.S.
“People are not going to leave their cellphone in the car. Everyone is going to have their cellphone on them. Make sure you treat the kid like your cellphone,” Reed said.
A majority of Greensboro police officers carry with them a tool called a window punch, which helps them break car windows safely during hot car incidents.