So far in 2019, a total of 19 children have lost their lives in hot-car deaths in the USA. The children ranged in age from infant to 4.
The inside of a vehicle heats up very quickly, fire officials said. Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can reach 125 degrees in minutes, and most of that increase in temperature happens in the first 10 minutes. Cracking windows does not help slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature, officials said.
Children have died from heatstroke in cars when outside temperatures were as low as 60 degrees, Powers fire officials said. During summer in South Mississippi, air temperatures can exceed 100 degrees by midday.
Officials urge motorists to create simple habits to make sure a child is never left alone in a car:
• Make it a habit to open the back door every time you park to ensure no one is left behind. To enforce this habit, place an item that you can’t start your day without in the back seat — employee badge, laptop, phone, handbag, etc.
• Ask your child-care provider to call you right away if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled.
• Clearly announce and confirm who is getting each child out of the vehicle. Miscommunication can lead to everyone thinking someone else removed the child.
• Make sure children cannot get into a parked car by keeping vehicles locked at all times, especially in the garage or driveway. Ask neighbors and visitors to do the same.
• Never leave car keys within reach of children.
• Teach children to honk the horn if they become stuck inside a car.
• If a child is missing, immediately check the inside, floorboards and trunk of all vehicles in the area very carefully.
Additional safety tips:
• Never leave children alone in or around cars — not even for a minute.
• If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked. A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own, but may not be able to unlock them.
• If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
— Information from KidsandCars.org