(WMC) – Signs are popping up on highway overhead signs in Tennessee warning you to "Look Before You Lock."
It's a new initiative to encourage parents and caregivers to check their cars so that children are not left in the sweltering heat of a locked vehicle.
When the outside temperature reaches 80 degrees, the temperature inside a locked vehicle increases anywhere from 19 to 99 degrees in just 10 minutes.
Experts say a child's body temperature increases three to five times faster than that of an adult. Children exposed to extreme temperatures can suffer heatstroke, brain damage and death.
The Tennessee Department of Human Services, Department of Health and Department of Transportation are all joining forces this summer to make sure parents and caregivers are aware of the dangers.
The Shelby County district attorney's office has also collaborated with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center with the message "Are the kids out of the car?"
State leaders say to create reminders like placing an item such as your workbag or purse in the back seat next to the car seat, so that you'll always check the back seat before you leave the car. Parents or caregivers can also have their child care agency call if their child doesn't show up at the agency.
Tennessee state law states that if you see a child left alone in a car, you are allowed to break into the vehicle only after you call police.
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