Child Heatstroke Deaths Spark Calls for Vigilence
Four Deaths Reported in Past Weeks
A report that has come in from Dallas, Texas states that “the deaths of four children in hot cars in recent days has brought the number across the U.S. this year to at least 23, nearly matching the total for all of last year and prompting experts to plead for vigilance and warn parents that it can happen to anyone.”
Samaria Motyka, a four-year-old girl from Pennsylvania, was left in a hot car while her caretaker drove to work, instead of dropping Samaria off at daycare. Another child from Dallas, two-year-old Boi Lei Sang, died after his family left him in a hot car to attend church services.
Janette Fennell who is the founder and president of KidsAndCars.org, a national child safety nonprofit based in Philadelphia, stated that “the number began dramatically rising in the 1990s with the passing of laws requiring that young children be placed in the back seat to avoid air-bag injuries.”
It is heartbreaking to know that parents can sometimes just forget that their children are in the backseat of their vehicle. As such, experts say should get into the habit of checking the back of their vehicle even when a child is not in the car to avoid these types of things happening to their children.
Child Heatstroke Death Statistics
- The numbers of heatstroke deaths of kids in cars fluctuated in the following decades, averaging 37 such deaths a year since 1998.
- Last year, with about two dozen deaths, was an unusually low year.
- The worst was 2010, with 49.
- Not surprisingly, states with warm climates all year and large populations had the most hot car deaths since 1990.
- Fennell said that there have been 111 hot car deaths in Texas, followed by Florida with 80 and California at 54.
- The temperature inside a parked car on a 90-degree day will reach 119 degrees in 20 minutes and 133 degrees after an hour.
- About 30 percent of the deaths are the result of kids getting into unlocked cars on their own.