This year, 13 children have died due to vehicular heatstroke as of June 19, according to Kids and Cars. Last year, 44 children died from heatstroke after being left in a vehicle.
"On average, 38 children die in hot cars each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside motor vehicles," the Kids and Cars site states. "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."
While allegations of purposeful neglect occur, as in the case of Justin Harris, whose small son died in a hot car in Marietta, Ga., there are times when leaving one's child in a car is accidental.
"In well over 50 percent of these cases, the person responsible for the child’s death unknowingly left them in the vehicle," the KidsandCars.org site states.
You can see in the videos above that the adults in the cars definitely feel the impact of heat when sitting in a car for an extended period of time.
The Kids and Cars website notes that a child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult's body temperature rises.
How Not to Forget: Reminders and Tips
Here are some tips from KidsandCars.org.
- Put your purse, briefcase or whatever you must take out of the car with you next to the child—not in the front seat with you.
- Situate a mirror in the backseat so you can see children easily who are still small enough to be in rear-facing child seats.
- “Look Before You Lock” – make it a habit of opening the back door and looking inside every single time you get out of your car, even if you think you’re sure you don’t have a child with you.
- Put a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat when it’s not occupied, and move the stuffed animal to the front seat when the child is in the car seat. The stuffed animal will serve as a visual reminder in the front seat with you.
- Make sure your child’s daycare center or babysitter calls you if your child does not show up as scheduled.