The death of two infants in a hot car incident have made this past July the deadliest in a decade in hot car deaths, and in turn have propelled legislators to create more bills to protect children left in cars.
Information on Hot Car Deaths
It’s been reported that, since 1998, at least 729 children have died of heatstroke in cars. During this year alone, 29 deaths have already occurred in hot car related incidents.
Leaving a child in a car for even a few minutes on a hot day can turn into a life-threatening situation, seeing that children’s bodies overheat three to five times faster than an adult’s body.
Due to the recent increase in hot car deaths, lawmakers are trying to create bills that would require car makers to install alert systems to make sure parents don’t leave children in the car.
One of the bills that has been created is titled Helping Overcome Trauma for Children Alone in Rear Seats (HOT CARS), which was introduced to the Senate this week. This bill would make it a requirement for auto makers to create new alert systems for cars and to also create systems to retrofit older car models.
Most children are left in cars unknowingly, so legislators are pushing this bill in order to save children whose deaths can easily be prevented.
Car Safety and Children Facts
The following facts and statistics were provided by Kidsandcars.org and Noheatstroke.org:
- Of parents of children who have died of vehicular heatstroke, 54.25% have done so unknowingly.
- A total of 87% of children who have died of vehicular heatstroke were 3 years of age or younger, and 54% were age one or under.
- On average, 37 children die each year to due heatstroke from being left in a hot car.
- Children can die of heatstroke in a car in temperatures as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit.