South Bend Fire Department: Take kids out of the car with you

With a warm and sunny weekend ahead, the South Bend Fire Department is reminding drivers to look before they lock.

The department says being mindful can help save the lives of young passengers.

Captain Gerard Ellis placed thermometers in two cars as an example.

One car, directly in the sun reached 106 degrees inside in mere minutes.

The second car, in a garage, was 83 degrees inside.

Ellis says it takes only moments for a child or pet to suffer heat stroke in a hot car.

“It is totally preventable,” Ellis said.

The South Bend Fire captain doesn’t recommend leaving children in the car for any period of time.

To remind yourself to check for backseat passengers, Ellis recommends driving with your phone or purse in the back seat.

Your child’s favorite toy can also be placed in the front seat, to remind you of the child in the back.

Lastly, if you see a child or animal trapped in a hot car this weekend, Ellis says be a hero, not a bystander.

“Definitely call 911 because police and fire, we’re going to respond. In an extreme situation you may have to think about maybe breaking the window to save that child or possibly even a pet,” Ellis said.

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