LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Cases of children left in hot cars are already popping up across the country. Nationally, 12 children have already died after being left in hot cars this year.
Since 1998, more than 750 children nationwide, have died from heat stroke while left unattended in vehicles. A breakdown of the numbers from noheatstroke.org reports there have been 17 pediatric vehicular heatstroke deaths in Kentucky between 1998 and 2017 and 9 of these deaths in Indiana. A look at pediatric vehicular heatstroke death per capita, the Commonwealth ranks among the worst, 42 in that category; the Hoosier state comes in at 19th.
Experts at Norton Healthcare said that most people believe it has to be summer heat for hot car related deaths, which is not true. An infant in North Carolina died in a hot car when it was only 66 degrees outside. With temperatures already above normal this year, we could be in line to see even more tragedies.
It takes just 10 minutes for the temperature inside a vehicle to rise 20 degrees. If a child is left inside even for a few minutes, the consequences can be deadly.
More than half of child heat stroke deaths occur because parents or caregivers accidentally leave the child in the car.
If you're driving with a child in the vehicle, here are three tips from Norton Healthcare to help ensure you don't end up in this tragic situation:
- Choose an item that is needed at your next stop — a cell phone or purse — and place it on the floor in the back seat, in front of the child.
- Set the alarm on your cell phone as a reminder to drop off your child at school or daycare.
- Set your computer calendar to remind you with a question such as, "Did you drop off your child at child care today?"