With a long, hot summer beginning, the Kentucky State Police is reminding parents that leaving small children alone in hot cars is dangerous.
Across the country, nine children have died already this year as a result of being left in hot cars, according to the National Safety Council.
Such cases continue even though the danger seems obvious, police officials say.
According to troopers, a study indicates that 615 children have died nationwide since 1998 as a result of being left in vehicles in hot weather. Kentucky's last such fatality occurred in Louisville in 2012, state police said.
Police said you should never leave a child unattended in the car, even with the windows down. When loading the car, always make sure everyone is out, and don't overlook sleeping babies.
Use various tips to avoid inadvertently leaving a child behind. For example, put your briefcase or purse in the back seat as a reminder that a child is present.
Police also urge residents to call 911 if they see a child alone in vehicle and think it is in danger.
Jim Warren (859) 231-3255. Twitter: @heraldleader.