Summer is in full swing here in North Texas, and, tragically, so is one of the hazards of summer in Texas – kids in hot cars. In 2020, 53 children died in a hot car, five were from Texas.
So far this year, MedStar crews have responded to two incidents where a child was left in a hot car, both were under 3 years old.
With a total 143 child deaths, Texas ranks #1 as the state with the most child deaths in hot cars between 1990 and 2020.
From Kids and Cars:
- On average, 39 children die across the U.S. each year from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles.
- Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death.
- 88% of the deaths are kids under 3.
- 55% of the deaths are kids under 1.
- 55% were left in the car unknowingly.
- 26% got into an unlocked car.
- Even with windows cracked, the interior temperature in a car can get to 125 degrees in minutes.
Tips to Help Keep Kids Safe:
- Create a reminder to check the back seat.
- Put something you’ll need like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, etc., in the back seat so that you have to open the back door to retrieve that item every time you park.
- Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat. When the child is placed in the car seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that the child is in the back seat.
- Keep car keys and remote openers out of reach of children.
- Use technology
- Apps like WAZE have child reminders when you arrive at a destination you used a phone-based GPS to get to
- If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
MedStar video on Kids in Hot Cars.
Emotional video on the consequences of leaving a child in a hot car.