Heat Related Child Car Deaths Have Doubled Since 2015

Tragedy struck Dallas this past weekend as a toddler became the 21st child to die in a hot car this year in the United States, according to the national safety advocacy organization KidsAndCars.org. That is nearly twice as high as the number of children who died due to being in the car under hot temperatures than this time last year. 

With temperatures in the mid-90’s on Sunday afternoon, the child’s father noticed that the boy wasn’t in his regular children’s Bible service class, according to CNN. A member of the Dallas Matu Christian Church stated that the boy’s father went to his car, found the boy inside and carried him into the church, shouting that someone needed to call 911. After paramedics performed CPR, the boy was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

A couple days before, 4-year old Samaria Motyka died in a car in Pennsylvania, where the temperatures rose to 97 degrees. CNN reports that a woman who takes care of the girl usually dropped her at daycare in the mornings but on Friday the woman drove to work. At the end of the day, she returned to her car and found the girl unconscious. Attempts of reviving the girl from paramedics were unsuccessful. 

“The biggest mistake people make is thinking that it can’t happen to them”

According to Jeanette Fennell, KidsAndCars.org founder and president, there are typically two sets of circumstances that lead to this kind of tragedy. Children will either get into a car on their own or an adult leaves them in the car because they were distracted or didn’t think the heat would have such negative effects on their child. The organization has given parents tips which will help prevent them from forgetting their child is in the backseat, including putting something they need in the backseat which will force them to look in the backseat where the child is sitting. Fennel says that an average of 37 children die every year from heat stroke in a vehicle. 87% of kids that die this way are 3 years old or younger. 

“The biggest mistake people make is thinking that it can’t happen to them,” Fennell said. “Everyone should practice those safety measures and do whatever they have to do to remind themselves to check the backseat.”

Parents please be aware of your child's presence in the car, especially during these summer months where cars can reach dangerous temperatures in a matter of 5-10 minutes. Tragedies like these are 100% preventable. If you or somebody you know has been injured in an auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.