Officials talk reducing hot car deaths as summer heats up

Published: May. 11, 2018 at 10:19 PM CDT|Updated: May. 18, 2018 at 11:03 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's starting to heat up outside and that means you can expect it to be even hotter inside your car.

"It doesn't take long for a car to get hot especially when the windows are closed up, you know? Just a matter of minutes for the car to get too hot, especially for a child, even elderly and animals," said Montgomery Fire Department Lt. D.C. Monplaisir.

According to the organization Kids and Cars, 37 kids die each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. That's one death every nine days.

"Sometimes people think, 'I'm just going to run to the store and it's just going to be five minutes,' and you know five minutes is just too long, especially when you get into the summer months, you know? It's 95 degrees outside and the car heats up to 120 degrees in just a matter of minutes," Monplaisir said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, a child's body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult's.

"It's something we don't think about a lot during the winter time but especially during the summer time during the warmer months," said Monplaisir.

He also said that cracking open a window or parking in the shade will not stop the car's internal temperature from rising.

Gwin Kelly was at the park on Friday, enjoying the warmer temperatures. She said she could never imagine leaving her child in the car.

"I don't understand how you can forget your child in a car. To me, that is the most important thing in my life. When my kids were with me, I always knew they were in the car," Kelly said.

"If I saw a kid in a car, I'd try to get them out of there," she went on.

Officials urge parents to "look before you lock." Meaning, always look in your back seat before locking your car and walking away.

For more information and tips on how to keep your child safe, click this link.

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