Camby Walmart reminds parents not to leave kids in car
The Walmart in Camby has a sign in the window that you don't see every day. But the goal behind it is to save lives.
"LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAVE: Make sure children are not left unattended in vehicles," the sign reads.
It's designed to jog parents memories whether or not they have a child in a car seat or if they forgot to open the family van to let the toddler exit.
While many people might wonder how any parent could leave a child in a car on a hot day, it's happened over a dozen times across the country so far this summer. And even in 80-degree weather, a car's interior can heat up to 120 degrees or more, leading to heat stroke and, in some tragic cases, death.
Brendon and Dawn Broadstreet of Mooresville are raising two beautiful daughters. They take their parenthood seriously and their daughters with them inside the store every time they go shopping. It's shocking to them when kids are left alone in a car in extreme weather or otherwise.
"I just can't think of leaving my little ones like that...just scary," said Brendon.
Friday afternoon they left the Walmart Store in Camby headed to a friend's house to swim. Their daughters, 11-year-old McKenzie and six-year-old Aaliyah got the invites from the family of six-year-old friend Zoey.
All the kids accompanied mom and dad to Walmart to shop for a few minutes.
When shopping, Brendon Broadstreet said, "A few minutes can turn into a few more minutes, you know, people lose track of time. That just doesn't make sense. Even a few minutes is a little too much."
This week in Indianapolis, Metro police responded to two separate cases involving children left in hot cars.
Officers arrested 24-year-old Lamont Allen after finding his two baby brothers, 19-months and six-months old, drenched in sweat after he reportedly left them in his car outside a bank.
Dr. Eric Yancy, a pediatrician and chief medical officer at Managed Health Services, continually warns parents about dangerous car temps - even on milder days.
"Children have been shown to succumb to heat stroke in temps as low as 65-70 degrees. That's a mild day. So no time is a safe time," Yancy said.
Yancy advises parents to place a doll, ball or stuffed animal in their car seats when it's empty. When they exit the car and notice that item is not in the car seat, then that means their child is buckled in as their reminder. In one case, he had to treat a child left in the car outside his Indianapolis doctor's office for 30 minutes to bring down the body temperature.
Yancy stresses that even on mild temperature days, car temps can top 100 degrees.
Indiana State Police have also issued a warning reminding parents to take extra caution as it relates to small children and hot cars.Just last week, Ritchie Gray spoke to NBC News to warn other parents after he forgot his young daughter in the backseat. It was a deadly mistake that he deeply regrets.
Now it seems that retailers are heeding that lesson by reminding parents with the sign. Other tips include leaving your purse, cell phone or briefcase in the back seat to force yourself to check the back before you get out of your car.
Those suggestions might sound strange to some people, but keep the statistics in mind: since 1998, NBC says over 720 children have died after being left in hot vehicles. That's about 38 each year.