Incidents involving children and hot cars continue to occur but few people talk about it. Perhaps out of ignorance or lack of detailed information. Now that data shows 2018 was the deadliest year on record for children left in hot cars, it’s impossible to turn a blind eye.
According to CNN, 52 children died in the United States in 2018 after being left alone in hot cars. That brings the average number to 38 yearly. Unfortunately, not everybody knows that parents and caregivers can prevent these situations.
Officials say that all it takes is 10 minutes for the temperature inside a car to increase by 20 degrees. This means that if a child is left inside unattended, he or she could quickly succumb to overheating. This will lead to a series of health-related problems that might result in their death.
With the summer months upon us, it’s clear we must do more to prevent this type of incident.
According to the the National Safety Council report, at least 800 children lost their lives between 1998 and 2017 for being left in hot cars. Unfortunately, only 21 states have laws addressing this issue. With only eight including the possibility of felony charges for those who deliberately leave a child alone.
To parents who accidentally left their children in hot cars (about 53 percent of them), the realization that they were to blame for their child’s death came as a shock. Unfortunately, many of the victims died because their parents left them in hot vehicles on purpose. These laws may help to both punish those who make these horrific decisions and help others by reminding them of what they ought to do.
Putting the safety and health of your child first should be a parent’s priority. Knowing that there’s a risk your child may die if you leave him or her behind is key to keeping them safe.
Many car and tech companies already started to address this issue. They do this in order to help save lives. But for that to happen, parents and caregivers must use these features.
General Motors is the latest to develop features that help parents keep their children safe.
Since 2017, the company makes Acadia vehicles with “rear seat reminder” features. Waze also offers services that remind drivers to check the back seat before leaving the car.