HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - The Harrisburg Fire Department demonstrated a rescue from a hot car and offered tips to parents on Thursday, July 28.
The rescue demonstration was held at 1 p.m. at the Harrisburg Fire Department on S. Main Street.
The takeaway for a mother who watched the demonstration was the best way to save a child from a hot car is to not leave them in the car in the first place.
"You know we're always rushing, everyone's on the go so just stop, think about it, check the backseat," said Michelle Bradley of Harrisburg. "Leave your phone back there if you need to so there's a reason to look back there before you get out if you're, if you're in a hurry."
The fire department partnered with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, KidsandCars.org, Harrisburg police and the Saline County Sheriff's Department for the demonstration.
Some safety tips from KidsandCars.org include:
- NEVER leave a child alone in or around vehicles. Not even for a minute!
- Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in driveways or garages. Ask home visitors, child care providers and neighbors to do the same
- Keep car keys and remote openers out of reach of children
- Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute
- If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked. A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own, but may not be able to unlock them
- If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible
- Be especially careful during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays. This is when many tragedies occur.
- "Look Before You Lock" - Get in the habit of always opening the back door to check the back seat before leaving your vehicle. Make sure no child has been left behind.
- Create a reminder to check the back seat
- Put something you'll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc, in the back seat so that you have to open the back door to retrieve that item every time you park
- Keep a large stuffed animal in the child's car seat. When the child is placed in the car seat, place the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It's a visual reminder that the child is in the back seat
- Make sure you have a strict policy in place with your childcare provider to call you if your child does not show up as planned
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