Heat kills. We’re in the middle of the summer season when cars can heat up very quickly. That’s why the Safe Kids Coalition is reminding parents to never leave children in the car, even for a minute.
On May 25, 2001, Austin, Texas, police rush to a pickup truck only to find 1-year-old girl dead inside. She never made it to daycare.
Her mother is still picking up the pieces from her untimely death. “It was completely devastating,” said Kristie Reeves Cavaliero. “We’re living a perpetual nightmare at this point.”
It takes less than half an hour for the temperature inside a car to jump almost 20 degrees, creating fatal conditions. The chief medical officer for University Health System said people underestimate the time it takes for the car to heat up.
“Really, all it takes is ten minutes in a closed car to put someone at risk of death,” Dr. Bryan Alsip explained.
Last year alone, 49 children in the U.S. died from heat stroke while unattended in vehicles. It’s the worst year on record. Thirteen were in Texas.
This year so far, there have been 20 hot car deaths.
The Safe Kids Coalition is teaming up with doctors’ offices and day cares to raise awareness of hypothermia risks. Everyone thinks it couldn’t happen to them.
“Yes, it could happen to you,” Cavaliero said. “It could happen within your community.”
Your child is the most valuable possession you have. The Safe Kids Coalition wants to make sure no one else loses their treasure in this heartbreaking way.
Car makers and car seat manufacturers are working on technology to keep these needless deaths from happening. Those kinds of alert system are years away.