'Where's Baby? Look Before You Lock' campaign aims to protect ch - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

'Where's Baby? Look Before You Lock' campaign aims to protect children from being left in hot cars

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON -

The federal government is stepping up its efforts to try to prevent deaths of nearly three dozen babies every year in this country -- children accidentally left to die in hot cars.

Four children across this country this month, more than 600 over the past 16 years, have died trapped inside sweltering cars.

It's the worst kind of preventable death you can imagine. Just ask Reggie McKinnon.

"The pain can sometimes pull you right to your knees with no warning," McKinnon told reporters at a news conference in Northwest Washington Thursday.

McKinnon, a southwest Florida businessman, accidentally killed his own 17-month-old daughter, Payton, four years ago. He found her in his car at the end of a work day in March 2010.

"To my horror," he says, "I realized Payton was still in her car seat and it's the last thing I remember. I heard someone screaming. It was me."

McKinnon's message is simple: don't be fooled into thinking it can't happen to you.

“We were just a normal, happy family of five," he tells FOX 5 News. "Parents both working. We had the normal stresses of life. There wasn't anything that day that was too much on me."

Last year, 44 children died of heat stroke inside hot cars. 17 already this year.

"Every summer, it seems like we live out this same nightmare," says U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

He’s leading a campaign with federal health officials called "Look Before You Lock."

"A lot of times you're tired, you're overwhelmed, you're stressed out, you've got lots of things to think about," says Foxx. "And in some cases, your mind isn't functioning as sharply as you would otherwise want it to."

One of the names on a memorial wall brought to the news conference: Frances Kelly.

The youngest of 13 children, Frances was 19 months old and strapped into her car seat when she died inside the family van in May 2002. It was parked outside the Kelly home in Manassas. She had been left alone for seven hours.

"Parents and families and caregivers need to be in the habit of always looking in the backseat before they lock the car," says Mark Greenberg, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families at HHS.

But keep in mind, it's not always the parent's fault.

"30 percent of these heat stroke deaths occur when kids lock themselves in a car," Secretary Foxx says. "They're just playing around."

But it's worse when you're to blame.

"I made a promise to my sweet Payton Lynn," Mr. McKinnon says, "that I would do everything I could to prevent this horror from happening to another innocent child."

Here's one tip the experts offer: if you have young children, try leaving your cell phone or purse in the backseat.

You're more likely to remember that, they say, before locking your car and walking away.

Online:

http://www.safercar.gov/parents/heat-involved.htm

  • FOX 5 News Morning: ArchiveMore>>

  • Zip Trip: Gaithersburg - FOX 5 at the Fair!

    Zip Trip: Gaithersburg - FOX 5 at the Fair!

    Friday, August 8 2014 8:35 AM EDT2014-08-08 12:35:26 GMT
    FOX 5 hit the road for another Zip Trip! Holly Morris visited the Montgomery County Fair. From the rides, to the food, to the animals and some really cool entertainment - Holly's got a look at the fun and saw what's new in Gaithersburg and showed us the five must stops when the fair's not in town.
    FOX 5 hit the road for another Zip Trip! Holly Morris visited the Montgomery County Fair! From the rides, to the food, to the animals and some really cool entertainment - Holly's got a look at the fun and saw what's new in Gaithersburg and showed us the five must stops when the fair's not in town.

  • Zip Trip: Purcellville

    Zip Trip: Purcellville

    Friday, July 18 2014 11:36 AM EDT2014-07-18 15:36:13 GMT
    Our latest FOX 5 Zip Trip took us to Purcellville, Virginia. The charming Loudoun County town is home to about 8,000 people.
    Our latest FOX 5 Zip Trip took us to Purcellville, Virginia. The charming Loudoun County town is home to about 8,000 people.

  • Zip Trip: Friendship Heights

    Zip Trip: Friendship Heights

    Friday, July 11 2014 11:59 AM EDT2014-07-11 15:59:49 GMT
    It didn't take us long to get to this FOX 5 Zip Trip destination...because it's in our neighborhood! Located in both northwest D.C. and southern Montgomery County, Maryland, Friendship Heights is truly a place you can live, work AND play-- and we showed you how. 
    It didn't take us long to get to this FOX 5 Zip Trip destination...because it's in our neighborhood! Located in both northwest D.C. and southern Montgomery County, Maryland, Friendship Heights is truly a place you can live, work AND play-- and we showed you how. 

  • Web Links Seen on TVMore>>

  • Laura's Likes: Farmers Market Finds

    Laura's Likes: Farmers Market Finds

    LINKS: thesoupergirl.com | herbanlifestyle.com | karmalades.com | FOX 5's Laura Evans loves farmers markets. It is a great place to discover local flavors and unique treasures. Here are some amazing companies doing great things right here in our area.
    LINKS: thesoupergirl.com | herbanlifestyle.com | karmalades.com | FOX 5's Laura Evans loves farmers markets. It is a great place to discover local flavors and unique treasures. Here are some amazing companies doing great things right here in our area.
  • U.Va. president: 'Deep concern' for missing 18-year-old student

    U.Va. president: 'Deep concern' for missing 18-year-old student

    Monday, September 15 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-09-15 20:45:39 GMT
    University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan says the university community is deeply concerned about a student who has been missing since early Saturday.
    University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan says the university community is deeply concerned about a student who has been missing since early Saturday.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices