Governor and Mrs. Deal Join State Agencies in Warning About Dangers of Leaving Children Unattended in VehiclesPrint This Post
“Look Again” Campaign Urges Greater Awareness to Protect Georgia’s Youngest Citizens
For the fourth consecutive year, Gov. Nathan Deal, first lady Sandra Deal, and leaders of several state agencies are calling for families and caregivers of children to have a heightened awareness of the dangers of leaving children unattended in vehicles.
Officials hope a news conference held June 14 at the State Capitol and a new public service announcement will help prevent heatstroke deaths of children this summer.
“Since 2010, 13 children in Georgia have died due to vehicular heatstroke,” said Gov. Deal. “I ask all Georgians to join me in preventing future loss of life by being aware of your surroundings and never leaving a child in a car, even for just a minute. Lives can be saved if we all just take the time to Look Again.”
“We as parents and grandparents work hard to keep our children safe and out of harm’s way,” added Mrs. Deal. “By increasing awareness and reminding your family and friends to Look Again, together we can prevent future tragedies here in Georgia.”
Amy M. Jacobs, commissioner of Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), said more than 337,000 children in Georgia are cared for daily by approximately 5,000 child care providers, most of whom regularly transport children.
“When we receive reports of children left in vehicles, we investigate each incident,” Jacobs explained. “During FY2015 and again in FY2016, eight children were left in vehicles by child care providers statewide. So far in FY2017, four children have been left. Thankfully all these children survived, but one child left unattended in a vehicle is one child too many.”
According to Jacobs, “Look Again” is a message not only for child care programs and teachers, but for anyone caring for a child—parents, grandparents, other family members, neighbors, and friends—to always account for the children in their care as they drive them from place to place.
“When you arrive at your destination, check the front and back of your car, and after you’ve looked, just to be sure, Look Again,” Jacobs stressed. “There is absolutely no reason for a child to suffer or die in these conditions.”
State officials hope the public will help share a new “Look Again” public service announcement with family and friends using social media.
Officials also ask the public to be their eyes and ears in the community, and if they see a child left alone in a vehicle, call 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to respond.
Agencies participating in the Campaign are:
- Georgia Department of Public Health,
- Georgia Department of Human Services,
- Georgia Department of Public Safety,
- Georgia State Patrol,
- Governor’s Office of Highway Safety,
- Georgia Department of Transportation, and
- the Georgia Children’s Cabinet.
Supporting partners include:
- Safe Kids Georgia,
- Emory Center for Injury Control,
- Get Georgia Reading Campaign,
- Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics,
- Georgia Child Care Association,
- Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students—GEEARS,
- Georgia Family Connection Partnership, and
- Voices for Georgia’s Children.
Watch the Look Again 2017 news conference at the Georgia State Capitol:
DECAL Communications Director
GaFCP Communications Director
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About Bright from the Start
Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and their families. It administers the nationally recognized Georgia’s Pre-K Program, licenses child care centers and home-based child care, administers Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program, federal nutrition programs, and manages the voluntary quality enhancement programs.
The department also houses the Head Start State Collaboration Office, distributes federal funding to enhance the quality and availability of child care, and works collaboratively with Georgia child care resource and referral agencies and organizations throughout the state to enhance early care and education.