Warm weather brings hot car warnings - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Warm weather brings hot car warnings

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5 children have already died this year from heatstroke and 701 children have died since 1988.

That means on average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths every year.

Law enforcement officials say a forgetful moment could happen to even the best parent.

"Maybe you're just going to run into a store or facility and come back to your vehicle within minutes, it's still very dangerous because the vehicle maintains that heat and it's very hot inside and it can cause heat exposure which can also lead to death," said Corporal David Hicks with the Montgomery Police Department.

Hicks says there is no safe way to leave your child alone in a hot car, or any car for that matter.

"Just rolling down a window simply doesn't keep you from being a victim of heat exposure because if a vehicle is warm and hot inside, it can cause heat exposure very quickly," Hicks said. "You may also think 'well I'll park in a shaded area,' but then also we have to remember that doesn't necessarily prevent it as well."

One of the simplest things a parent can do is plan their errands and appointments around their children, or just bring them along. 

"If you have to leave a little bit earlier to actually bring whoever's with you inside while you're doing whatever task is that you have to leave someone inside the vehicle for, try to not do that. That's the best thing we can tell you to prevent from leaving someone or a pet in a vehicle. Plan ahead," Hicks said.

It's also important to remember that it doesn't take much time or much heat for a hot car to turn deadly.

According to the NHTSA, on a mild day as low as 57 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach 110 degrees. If a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, that child will die. 

They say there are 4 tips you can follow to reduce the risk -

  • Look Before You Lock. Get into the routine of always checking the back seats of your vehicle before your lock it and walk away.
  • A Gentle Reminder. Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Or place your phone, briefcase, or purse in the back seat when traveling with your child.
  • A Routine Check. If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered, always check to make sure your child has arrived safely. 
  • A Key to Safety. You know to keep your vehicle locked, but also keep your keys out of reach; nearly 3 in 10 heatstroke deaths happen when an unattended child gains access to a vehicle.

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