Look Before You Lock

If you see a child, senior or pet alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle quickly.

Close to 40 children in the U.S. die every year from heatstroke after being left in a car, and Idaho is no exception. With the temperatures warming up, Boise Police and St. Luke’s Children’s hospital are teaming up to remind you it’s dangerous to leave kids, pets and elderly loved ones inside cars.

Look Before You Lock sticker

All around Boise, you’ll see flyers, posters and even stickers that are designed to help remind you to keep a look out for kids who may be left in cars, and to help parents and caregivers make a habit of checking for children before leaving a vehicle.

Even the most loving, caring and protective parents have accidentally forgotten a child in a car. In April this year, three children died in Florida and Arizona. Since 1998, 798 children in the U.S. have died that way, according to data collected by San Jose State University. They range in age from five days old to 14. Last year was a sad record-setter with 52 kids killed in hot cars.

As part of the “Look Before You Lock” campaign, local businesses like Albertson’s, Jacksons, Boise Towne Square, Walmart, Zamzows and Petco will put out special flyers and large posters. Small stickers are also being handed out for people to put on their work badges, cell phones, inside their cars, anywhere that might serve as a trigger to ensure their children weren’t accidentally or unintentionally left behind.

Did You Know

Children's Temp Rise Quickly

“A child’s core temperature can increase three-to-five-times faster than that of an adult,” said St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital pediatrician Dr. Brian Birch. “That increase in temperature can cause permanent brain or neurological injury, or even death, in just a very short time.”

It's Usually Accidental

Most cases are accidental. Of the related child deaths in the U.S., more than half of the children were simply forgotten by a caregiver, and more than a quarter happened when the child somehow got access to the car on their own.

It Can Be Criminal

“Not only is it a dangerous and heartbreaking situation, it can be criminal,” explained Boise Police SVU Detective Tonya Newberry. “The person responsible can be charged with felony injury to a child if that child is hurt, or possibly a misdemeanor even if the child is lucky enough to be ok.”

Temperatures In Locked Cars

Outside TemperatureInside Vehicle After 10 MinutesInside Vehicle After 30 Minutes

Other tips for protecting your family

  • Never leave a child in an unattended car, even with the windows down.
  • Check to make sure all children leave the car when you reach your destination.
  • Don't overlook sleeping infants.
  • Teach children not to play in or around cars.
  • Keep car keys out of reach and sight.
  • Always lock car doors and trunks, especially when parked in the driveway or near the home.
  • Keep rear fold-down seats closed to help prevent kids from getting into the trunk from inside the car.
  • Be wary of child-resistant locks. Teach older children how to disable the driver's door locks if they unintentionally become entrapped in a motor vehicle.
  • Contact your automobile dealership about getting your vehicle retrofitted with a trunk release mechanism.

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