Published: Jul 24, 2014 7:53 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 24, 2014 7:58 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Every year dozens of children die from heatstroke after being left in the car.  Government leaders say a problem that is often preventable if parents follow some easy tips.

Reggie McKinnon of Cape Coral was in Washington, D.C. on Thursday to promote a national campaign called "Where's Baby?  Look Before You Lock."

McKinnonsays he’s part of a club that no one wants to join.  Four years ago McKinnon put his 17 month old daughter Payton in the back seat of his car.  He planned to drop her at day care and head to work.  But it wasn’t until hours later he discovered his horrible mistake.

"I realized Payton was still in the backseat.  Someone was screaming.  It was me," he told national leaders Thursday.

Last year 44 children were killed after being left in vehicles.  So far this year at least 17 children have died in cars that were too hot.
Safety experts say almost any time of year is dangerous because the temperature in a closed car, can jump more than 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. 

Advocates say there are easy ways to remember your child:
-Put your handbag, briefcase or cell phone behind the driver’s seat forcing you to look back.
-Keep a stuffed animal up front as a reminder.
-Ask your daycare provider to call you, if your child doesn’t show up.

"I mad a promise to my sweet Payton Lynn to do everything I could to prevent this horror from happening to another innocent child," McKinnon said.

McKinnon says telling parents his tragic story is the best way to keep that promise.