Last week I blogged about two tragic cases here in North Texas where infants died after being left in hot cars. At one point, I cited some research done at San Francisco state regarding these deaths. Afterwards, I was lucky enough to be put in touch with a consultant and researcher by the name of Jan Null, to tell me a little more about why these infants are dying.
Here are some highlights of what Mr. Null told me:
- This year, there have been 23 children have died from hypothermia (heat stroke) after being left in hot cars.
- There have been 387 hot car deaths (that’s an average of 36 per year).
- 50% of those deaths are a result of children being left by a caregiver
- 30% of those deaths are the result of children playing in hot cars
- 20% of those deaths are after a child was left intentionally in a car.
- In just 10 minutes, a car left out on an 80 degree day will raise in temperature by 19 degrees.
I asked Jan what can people do to prevent this from happening to their children and he told me that it is often a good idea to keep a “reminder”, such as a briefcase or teddy bear in the front seat while the child is in the back. He also said that children need to be taught that a car isn’t a play area.
Of all the states where these events have occurred, Texas and Oklahoma have the highest number of recorded incidents. So, please do your part and spread the word about how dangerous hot cars can be.
For more information, you can visit Mr. Null’s website at http://ggweather.com.