HERRIN (WSIL) -- With a warm-up on the way and summer not far behind, it's important to stay safe in the heat.
On a sunny day with temperatures in the 70s and 80s, a car can heat up very quickly. We left our vehicle sitting for about fifteen to twenty minutes and the dashboard warmed up to 145 degrees.
"I believe in 2019 there were, like, 51 recorded children deaths in cars. The heat can become unbearable and life-threatening in ten minutes or less, so thinking I'm just going to run into that store real quick and then come back out, just never leave children or pets alone in a car," says Herrin Fire Chief Shawn Priddy.
Priddy says leaving an item in the backseat can be a useful reminder in our hectic schedules.
"Whenever I'm going to leave, I'm just going to be sure, instead of setting it in the front seat next to me where I can just leave and that's it, I'm going to put it in the backseat. Then I know I've got to get in there, and I can do one last check to make sure we're good."
Other tips include putting your child's or pet's items in the front seat and to always look before you leave.
"Even like 70 to 80 degrees, I mean, with a car that's completely closed up, can get up into the 100 degrees or higher. So it doesn't take a 90-degree day or a really humid day," explains Priddy.
Kentucky State Police are launching "Keeping Kids Cool" this month. It's a statewide initiative providing awareness about the dangers of leaving children in hot cars.