The number of infants and toddlers deaths from being left inside hot cars is higher through the first half of this year than at any time since the statistic was first tracked in the late 1990s.
Eighteen children have died of hyperthermia due to being trapped in cars through June 13, a San Francisco State University researcher told the Associated Press. In the research, 2005 had 45 hyperthermia deaths, which is an all-time high, but only 12 deaths had occurred through the end of June.
July and August are typically hotter months than June, leading to a higher chance of harm if children are left in cars.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report in 2009 that found 27 children died of hyperthermia in 2003-04.
We run a story like this every year to remind parents and guardians to never leave children unattended in a vehicle, especially in summer months. However, this seemingly common-sense warning doesn’t seem to be taking hold.
The AP’s story noted that two of the deaths occurred when unattended children who were playing outside became trapped in cars. We recommend locking your vehicle when at home and keeping your keys out of reach of your children.