COLUMN: Reminder about children in hot cars

Submitted photo.
Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown.

The first day of fall is just around the corner, this coming Thursday, Sept. 22. When we start thinking about the fall, the thoughts that come to mind are cooler weather, the trees starting to turn colors and lining up for some hot chocolate at your high school’s Friday night football game.

While football season is already under way, that cooler weather has yet to make its appearance and that’s why I’m reminding everyone here to not let your guard down and make sure your children aren’t forgotten and left in a vehicle. Even if it’s “only” 70 degrees outside, sunny conditions can quickly raise the temperature inside a car to more than a hundred degrees.

Our little ones are our most precious resource and when we make a decision to bring them into this world, we need to make every effort to ensure their health and safety. It’s a shame we have to constantly be reminding each other to be on the lookout, but if a reminder can help save a life, well, I’ve no problem with repeating a message time and time again.

As of this past Friday, 30 kids have lost their lives this year as a result of being forgotten in a hot vehicle, with most of those – seven of them – in Texas. 2016 isn’t even over yet and we’ve already seen more child heatstroke deaths than the 2015 total of 24. On average, 37 children lose their lives each year to a vehicular heatstroke incident. “Look Before You Lock” and check your vehicle, in particular that back seat, so your child doesn’t become one of the saddest statistics kept.

As always, keep our military and service personnel in your thoughts and prayers as we remember that the rights and freedoms we enjoy begin with their service and safekeeping of our great nation. May you have a Blessed Week.

Johnny Brown has served as Sheriff of Ellis County since Jan. 1, 2009, and is a graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute. He has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years and holds a Master’s Peace Officer’s Certificate with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.