Most parents shake their heads in disbelief every time they hear on the news of another child reported to have been left in a hot car. Yet every year it happens again and again and again.
Now that the hot summer months are upon us, and much of the country has been dealing with a crippling heat wave, it's more important than ever to understand the dangers of leaving a child in a hot car. July is typically the deadliest month for children left in hot cars, CNN reports. We're seeing an average of 37 children die each year from being left in a hot car, Kids and Cars reports. In most of these cases children are either forgotten by their parent or caregiver, have somehow managed to get themselves trapped in a car and not able to get out, and sometimes even left alone on purpose.
Sadly, it doesn't take long for the temperature inside a car to quickly climb, especially under the intense summer sun. In just 10 minutes the temperature inside a car can jump by a whopping 20 degrees. While many assume that the rate of hot car deaths would be greater in states that are typically hotter, that isn't always the case, with NoHeatStroke.org recording hot car deaths in almost every state.
So far we've already seen 18 children die in 2018 as a result of being left in hot cars. Last year alone there were 42 recorded deaths attributed to being left in hot cars. July is typically the deadliest month for hot car deaths because of the increased temperature outside.
Last year, 42 children died as a result of being left in a hot car. ONE child is too many. Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death. Everyone be safe and enjoy the 4th @PhillyPolice RH pic.twitter.com/Ekd695wFZQ— PPD 35TH District (@PPD35Dist) July 3, 2018
Parents and caregivers are being encouraged to 'look before you lock' as a means to help prevent leaving a child in a hot car. NoHeatStroke.org reports that more than half of the children who have died from being left alone in hot cars since 1996 are under the age of 2. Many of the deaths have been attributed to children who are still in rear facing car seats and out of the view of drivers. If a child falls asleep in the car and isn't able to communicate with the driver, sometimes the child is forgotten, especially if there has been a change in routine for the driver.
It doesn't even have to be hot for a child to suffer from being left in a car. Even left in the shade with the windows rolled down, the temperature inside a car can rise to unsafe temperatures.
There's never an excuse to leave a child in a hot car, but we all know that oftentimes children are simply forgotten by overwhelmed parents or caregivers. Looking before you lock has been the best way to ensure no child is forgotten, but you can also check out these 7 tips that may help you prevent forgetting a child in a hot car, especially now that the hottest months of the year are here.