MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Recently a young child in Panama City lost their life after being forgotten and left in a hot car. These are always tragic reminders and, unfortunately for the person transporting the child, preventable occurrences.
A study by San Jose University, updated just this month, provided statistics that revealed 30 U.S. children last year died of a heatstroke related to being left in a hot car. In this year alone, four children have lost their lives unnecessarily. Alabama ranks 14th in the nation with 14 child vehicular heatstroke deaths since 1998.
This study went on to detail that 86 percent of the children who have died from vehicular heatstroke were ages 3 and younger. These small children are most likely non-verbal, or were sleeping and being small and out of the line of sight, were forgotten when the parent or guardian exited the vehicle resulting in these unfortunate tragedies.
As we dive into the 90 degree and above days of an Alabama summer, I encourage everyone to talk about this with your friends and family. Being top of mind is one step, but another are visual reminders. Put something in the front passenger seat or on the dash, like a child's toy or even a post-it note that will trigger and remind you that a child is in tow.
Something this simple, could be the difference between life and death.