So far this year there have been 16 hot car deaths of children confirmed in the United States. Most of these deaths have been reported in the Southeast region, which is where some of the warmest temperatures have occurred so far this year.
In the past three years (2017, 2016, and 2015), there have been 42, 39, and 24 hot car deaths reported, respectively. There have already been 16 this year, approaching the total from 2015. On average (since 1998), there have been 38 hot car deaths per year.
The latest death reported was on June 19th, when a 7-month-old boy was left in the car in Kingsland, Georgia. The air temperature outside was reported to have been up to 92 degrees, but it was even hotter in the car.
Cars heat up much quickly than the air due to the materials used to form the enclosed environment. On average, in just 10 minutes the temperature rises by 19 degrees, and up to 34 degrees within 30 minutes. Even if the window is cracked open, temperatures can still reach dangerous levels.
Here’s a few tips to follow, courtesy of “No Heat Stroke“:
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle. not even for a minute.
- If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle call 9-1-1.
- Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don’t overlook sleeping babies.
- Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices. Teach children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
- If a child is missing, always check the pool first, and then the car, including the trunk.
- Keep a stuffed animal in the carseat and when the child is put in the seat place the animal in the front with the driver. Or place your purse, briefcase or cell phone in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
- Make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car.
- Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up for school.