We live in a fast-paced world. The country is full of examples of people in haste, running into the store and leaving children in the car. Some are even forgetting a sleeping child is in the backseat. This is more often the reason babies and toddlers are the likeliest victims of hot car deaths. A change in daily routines by parents or caregivers can put these youngsters in danger.
According to CNN, in 2017, Southern states had the highest number of child car deaths, with the months of July and August being the most deadly.
Florida is one of nineteen states that passed legislation making it illegal to leave a child in a car. Law enforcement may take action to remove a child from a vehicle including removing the child entirely from the location.
No Child is Safe in a Hot Car
Children are different from adults and this is true when to comes to rise in body temperature, which for children is 3-5 times faster than the rate of body temperature rise in adults. Simply put, kids get hotter much faster.
Kids who are sleeping or strapped in a car seat cannot get themselves out of a hot car. The temperature in a car can rise 20 degrees in about 10 minutes. Heatstroke in a child can happen even in the shade.
It Can Happen to You
It is hard to imagine someone deliberately leaving a child in a car or inadvertently forgetting a little one in the backseat, but the number of child car deaths annually, tells a different story. In the last few years, child deaths from being left in a hot car have ranged from nearly 50 in 2010 to less than 30 in 2015 and just over 40 in 2017. According to the nonprofit organization, Kids and Cars, 28 children have died of vehicular heat stroke so far in 2018.
While there is emerging technology in some vehicles and car seats, there are also non-tech ways to help remember there is “a baby on board.”
Tips to prevent leaving your little one in a hot car include reminders such as placing a fuzzy toy in the car seat and moving that toy to the front seat when it is removed to place the child in the car seat. Place important items in the back seat, like a purse or briefcase. Make your own car check routine and follow it daily even when you are in a hurry or have arrived at your destination. Practice the routine with every driver in your household. Call 911 if you see a child in a hot car. Don’t let your child, grandchild, or any little one take an avoidable last ride.