AUSTIN -- An Austin couple is working to raise awareness about the number of children dying in hot vehicles all over the country. Texas leads the nation in the sad statistic, with more than 80 child deaths reported since 1998.
Kristie Reeves-Cavaliero and Brett Cavaliero started the group, "Ray Ray's Pledge", after their one-year-old daughter, Sophia "Ray Ray" died when she was accidentally left in a hot truck in May 2011. Her father was supposed to drop her off at daycare that morning.
"Ray Ray's Pledge" improves communication between childcare providers and parents. If parents don't drop off a child by a certain time, the daycare will call and make sure everything is okay, serving as a reminder in case a child was forgotten. In turn, parents alert the daycare center of any changes in schedule.
"For the parents who have forgotten their children, there is a number of factors present within those scenarios, most commonly a lack of sleep or stress or a change in routine," said Reeves-Cavaliero.
In Texas, the peak season for deaths in hot vehicles runs March through November. Even on a 78 degree day, a car can get as hot as 110 degrees in half an hour.
Kristie and Brett Cavaliero want to remind all parents to communicate when a schedule changes, that's when a majority of children are left behind.