Watch CBS News

Public Awareness Campaign Aims To Prevent Child Heat Deaths

Follow CBSDFW.COM: Facebook | Twitter

PANTEGO (CBSDFW.COM) - Pantego police have started a public awareness campaign to prevent child heat deaths in cars by using signs in businesses to ask parents where their kids are.

"How do you forget a kid?"

Locksmith Steve Martin of Pantego asked himself that question every time he rescued a kid from a locked car, and that was dozens of times.

"One or two a year for forever," he said.

The sights and sounds of a baby locked in a car -- the panic of racing against time -- have left images seared into Martin's memory.

"The baby is just soaked head to toe," Martin recalled. "And your heart is racing. 'Get that damn thing open!' And you don't forget them. I don't know how many I've done. I'd have to sit and think about it but I don't try to remember those. I don't want to think about it.

"It is more frequent than you would imagine," Pantego Police Chief Tom Griffith said.

(Joel) Pantego's police chief hopes to prevent child heat deaths and injuries.

They're hanging the "Where's Baby?"  signs all over the city. If you go to eat, shop or get a haircut in Pantego you'll see the reminder. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration actually came up with the idea in 2014. The police chief was shocked to learn no one was using the idea.

"I was, very much so," Griffith said. "Especially in light of the fact that these things happen every summer. And serval times we hear about children dying in cars. And nothing seems to be done proactively to try to prevent it.

"If this campaign saves one child's life it's paid for itself 1 million times over," he said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.