‘Hot Car’ safety event held in Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – With outside temperatures reaching around 90 degrees, the inside of a car can surpass 120 degrees in just 30 minutes.

Child advocates in the East are reminding parents and caregivers to “Look before you Lock.”

ECU Health and Safe Kids Pitt County hosted a “Hot Car Event” in the Kohl’s parking lot on Thursday in Greenville.

Brooke Santos, a parent, acknowledged how easily children can be forgotten in cars.

“I guess if you are out of your routine or doing something unexpected, it can be easy to forget them back there if they are asleep or you have more than one child,” Santos said.

The event provided safety information, including a visual display of the dangerous temperature inside a vehicle if a child is left unattended.

Ellen Walston, coordinator at ECU Health, recounted an incident where a child was found alone inside a car outside a cosmetic store in Greenville several years ago.

“A good samaritan called 911 immediately, the officer came immediately, and that good samaritan stayed with the child until the officer arrived,” Walston said.

In another case, police say Dayla Timms was arrested and charged in the death of her one-year-old child left in a hot car last year in Jacksonville. Her court date is September 18th.

Santos follows safety recommendations and encourages others to do the same.

“What I was reading, always put some kind of reminder in the back, maybe your car keys or your diaper bag, something that your phone, so that if that’s back there, you might need something else important back there as well,” she said.

Walston noted that two children died in hot cars this year, one in West Virginia and one in South Carolina.

According to the National Safety Council, 29 children died in hot cars in the United States in 2023.