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Precautions to keep kids safe during heat wave important

To prevent children from being locked in buses, vans, state requires alarms

JANESVILLE, Wis. - The heat is posing a big concern when it comes to young ones.

With the heat index nearing the triple digits, the Edgerton Pool was the place to be on Wednesday.

Twenty-eight students from Cargill Christian Preschool and Daycare in Janesville were splashing around for a field trip.

"The kids bring their water bottles from home. We also bring a big gallon jug. We've got fruit slushies for snacks. We're doing everything we can to make sure the kids are cool," said Charlotte Adams, school age field trip coordinator for Cargill.

The kids were transported in vans equipped with an alarm to make sure no one gets left in a hot vehicle.

"The alarm helps you make sure that all of the children are off the bus because you have to go to the back of the bus to be able to turn it off," said Adams.

Around the country this year, 20 children have died after being left in hot cars.

Adams said they haven't experienced a tragedy like that on any of their buses.

"With so many children that ended up dying or getting hurt, there was a big concern with that. People forget," said Arolyn Adams, Cargill's director.

Adams said they count their children multiple times a day, especially when they're on a field trip.

Precautions to keep kids safe during heat wave important

The alarms on buses are required by state law, which stemmed from the death of a Milwaukee child in 2009.

Adams admits installing the alarms was expensive but says they're a worthwhile investment.

"It's just an important step to make sure all the children are safe and that's the major concern -- keeping all of the children safe. When you have that many to watch out for and you're responsible, you want to keep them as safe as possible," Adams said.

Adams said they also equipped their six-passenger van with an alarm, even though it's not required by law.

Janesville police recently had to help a parent get a 2-year-old out of a car after the child was accidentally locked inside. There won't be any charges in that case because investigators said it was an accident.

Police haven't had any reports of children being left in hot cars during this heat wave.

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