Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

NEW ORLEANS - Since 1998, 530 children have died in the United States when accidentally left in a hot car.

The main reason this happens, is when the driver's routine has changed.

Now a new public safety campaign called 'Where's baby? Look before you lock' is trying to prevent any more child deaths.

Three-month-old Bishop Collins became a statistic you hear on the news. But to his parents and proud grandfather, their lives will never be the same.

'The pain was compounded by the agony of seeing my son and his wife grieving as they fell into my arms upon my arrival at the hospital porch,' said Dr. Norman Collins of Mississippi, who met his son and daughter-in-law in Clarksdale.

The family was running late for church. There was confusion and miscommunication among family and church members as to who was unloading the musical equipment and who was bringing Bishop to the nursery.

'Bishop was inadvertently left in the car parked in the church parking lot with the windows up in 93 degree weather still buckled in his car seat,' said his grandfather, remembering the terrible day, May 29, 2011.

Dr. Collins uses the tragedy to remember other children who are now gone because they were accidentally left in a hot car. He wants to prevent more loss. Doctors at Children's Hospital see a couple of cases each year. The children either lose their lives or are severely brain damaged.

'This is particularly problematic for young children whose body temperatures rise much more quickly than an adults,' explained Dr. Costa Dimitriades, an LSU Health Sciences Center Pediatric Intensivist who is the Medical Director of the Pediatric ICU at Children's Hospital.

He said at a body temperature of 104 degrees in a child, organs begin to fail. At 107 degrees, death is moments away. Children's bodies don't have the ability to sweat and cool as efficiently as an adult's body does.

Around 10:30 in the morning, first responders demonstrated how in 10 minutes, the temperature rises in a car 20 degrees. Outside the temperature was in the low 80's, but in the car, it was in the 130's.

At noon, outside, it was still in the low 80's, but inside the car, it had climbed to the 150's.

'Never leave an infant or a young child unattended in a vehicle, even if the windows are partly open or the air conditioning is running. Always check the back seat before walking away from a parked vehicle and if you see a child alone in a car, call the police immediately,' said Ronald Medford, a Deputy Administrator with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

So Safe Kids' Worldwide and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have teamed up to talk prevention, prevention, prevention.

'That's why, in my effort to somehow by God's grace, turn our pain into power and to not allow Bishop's death to be in vein. It is very important to me and my family to make sure that this tragedy doesn't happen to anyone else. I have made it my mission to promote and to travel far and near to present to anyone that will hear me, the awareness, the dangers, and the prevention of heat stroke,' Dr. Collins said passionately.

If you find a child locked in a car, first responders say call 911 immediately.

Then if you have a tool, and can safely break the window, do so.

Products are being developed and researched now to remind people when a child is left in a car.

NHTSA's 'Where's baby? Look before you lock' campaign:

Safe Kids' 'Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car' campaign:

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