Cases surge across the country this year of children dying in hot cars

QUAD CITIES, Iowa/Ill. (KWQC) –  A Dallas family is grieving the death of a child left in a hot car over the weekend. The boy’s family was attending an afternoon church service when they realized the three-year-old was missing. The temperature outside reached 100 degrees.

There has been a sharp climb in the number of these kinds of cases recently to nearly twice as many deaths compared to this time last year. The Dallas toddler is the 21st child to die in a hot car this year in the U.S. That’s according to KidsAndCars.org, a national safety advocacy organization. This time last year there were 11 deaths. Officials say a lot of it comes down to distractions and that it only takes minutes for simple forgetfulness to turn fatal.

Parents and guardians have a hard time picturing accidentally leaving a young child in a hot car.

“I couldn’t even imagine that like heartache of a parent having to go through that loss, but I also have a hard time imaging like how you forget your child in the vehicle,” said Holli Maiani, a young mother.

“I think and lot of people are running around so busy, so stressful, just kind of things happen. It’s unfortunate that tragedies like this occur from that,” said Jeremy Pessman, Fleet Communication Manager for Medic EMS.

A child’s body over heats several times faster than an adult and the temperature inside a car can reach well over 100 degrees in just minutes. Even with that in mind all it takes is something as simple as change in routine, stress, or fatigue.

“I know there’s a lot of different alarms they’re making for car seats, but having his diaper bag in the front seat I see it when I’m grabbing my purse,” added Maiani.

“Maybe put your briefcase or purse or cell phone in the back seat,” added Pessman. “Another thing you can do is set up with your daycare to have them call you if you don’t drop your kid off on time.”

Also, make it a routine to “look before you lock” every time you park. There are also some cases where the child gets in the vehicle on their own. Experts say it’s best to lock your car at all times even in the garage or driveway and keep keys and remotes out of reach.

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