May is when children are counting down the days to the end of the school year, so this month has been designated “Child Safety Starts with YOU.”
It’s an effort that’s being promoted by seven of the big retailers and the Houston Police Department.
This is HPD Officer James Sabota:
“We understand that you may have a single parent that’s in charge of family, and sometimes they will let neighbors or the babysitters, or friends babysit the child, and that person may not be responsible for that child. So, it’s very important to know where your children are 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The initial intent of the campaign is to prevent crime, but also to keep children safe in stores and in parking lots.
“Some parents will say, ‘Well maybe, if I could just go in for one minute, my child will be safe. Well, just recently we had an incident where somebody did this, and a thief stole the car with the child in it.
Some parents leave their engines turned off. This creates a big problem because the inside of the vehicles with the windows rolled up, the temperature can get up to like 130 degrees, and that can be deadly.”
Major retailers are part of the Greater Houston Loss Prevention Alliance (GHLPA). Brian Hall with HEB says parents might lose sight of their kids when they enter the store.
“If you are separated from your child, one of the great tips that I have is teach your child to go and find the nearest cashier on the front end. It’s a highly visible area, and almost every single facility that cashier has access to a microphone to where they can get the word out inside the store and we can get the child back with the adult.”
Hall adds its important that parents be aware that taking any risk with children opens up that possibility for the near impossible to happen.