According to the prevention website KidsAndCars.org, 1,000 children have died since 1990 after they were left inside devastatingly hot vehicles across the United States.
Last year alone, 23 children’s deaths were reported, two of which happened in the state of Texas.
Information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that heatstroke can “begin when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees. A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided the following tips for parents/caregivers to ensure this never happens to them.
- Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended — even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running, and the air conditioning is on.
- Make it a habit to check your entire vehicle — front and back — before locking the door and walking away. Train yourself to Park, Look, Lock, or always ask yourself, “Where’s Baby?”
- Ask your childcare provider to call if your child doesn’t show up for care as expected.
- Place a personal item like a purse or briefcase in the back seat, as another reminder to look before you lock. Write a note or place a stuffed animal in the passenger’s seat to remind you that a child is in the back seat.
- Store car keys out of a child’s reach and teach children that a vehicle is not a play area.
“In over half of hot car deaths, the person responsible for the child’s death unknowingly left them in the vehicle. In most situations, this happens to the most loving, caring, and protective parents. It has happened to a teacher, dentist, social worker, police officer, nurse, clergyman, soldier, and even a rocket scientist. It can happen to anyone…”
On Saturday, the RJ Foundation for Kids held an event in northwest Houston in an effort to remind parents of the dangers of leaving children inside hot cars. Back in 2018, Raymond ‘RJ’ Pryer Jr. died of heatstroke at just 3-years-old. He was reportedly left inside of a daycare center’s bus for four hours straight.